Monday, March 28, 2011

Saving Money Sunday

My money saving tip this week is gardening. I know there are a ton and I mean a ton of websites that tout gardening as money saving for growing your own food to supplement the grocery store and this does save a TON of money and I don't deny that. But there are other benefits to gardening that save money. I am not in any sense of the word an outdoor girl, I tell people I am allergic hahaha. But gardening gets me outside and I don't have to supplement with Vitamin D3 I get it naturally and that saves money. It takes time to start your seeds and get them growing you can make this a fun time with your kids or like me I use this as "My Time". I go off by myself and have a few hours of planting my seeds. Free me time!!!! Getting your beds ready for planting is quite strenuous for an indoor girl like me, I use muscles I don't normally use so this is free exercise and takes a day so it is free entertainment ( This I do incorporate the kids and the hubby to help and get their free stuff too)!!! Planting your plants and taking care of them the whole season is an everyday activity. The kids love helping and getting the leaves or the weeds out. Some of the days they can do their swimming while I work in the garden, since I have little ones who have to be watched while they swim I would normally get bored and think of a thousand things I need to take care of in the house other then just sit and watch them. Now I can keep busy and watch them at the same time. Lastly, I get darn right giddy when I get even 1 bean to pick!!!! That is a free satisfaction that no shopping trip can compare to!!!!! Try it big or try it small I promise that if you turn your whole backyard into a growing wonderland or if you have a few small containers on your patio or porch you will love it !!!! Happy Free gardening stuff, Michelle

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Survival Saturday

Today I wanted to finish up the bail out bag or 72 hour kit for my older kids and the adults. Adult ( older child) 1 pair jeans or heavy pants 1 t shirt 1 jacket 2 pair underwear 4 pairs socks bug spray 4 water bottles granola bars, protein bars, snacks first aid kit medicine kit hand warmers hat pocket knife matches solar charger for phones etc (homemade by son) small blanket ( wool army issue bought at supply store) fishing line and hooks We also have one backpack that is just homemade mre's. Also my children have put some extra things for them in each. I have sunscreen and baby sunscreen in mine also and a roll of quarters. I also have a bar of soap and toiletries in mine and a small bottle of homemade laundry soap. I also have steel wool for starting fires. Michelle

Friday, March 25, 2011

Frugal Friday

I loveeee sometimes I think just a bit more then some other people ( in general) saving money. And here it comes the "But" part, sometimes we end up spending money to save money. You have to be really careful with stockpiling, couponing and searching sales. I believe in in all of these things. I could not have some of the things I have without doing these things.
But if you are not careful like I wasn't when first starting out you will spend way more and I mean alot more then you intended and not really save money. I had to learn this the hard way. That leads me to today at Walmart. They had jackets on sale for $2. This is not abnormal for Walmart or other stores to have sales these deep after season. But for many many years I would have bought them, OMG $2 jackets!!!! Now I stop and think and ponder most purchases. Do my boys really need those jackets, How many jackets do they have at home, Do I want any more clothes to wash which will lead to more spending for laundry soap electricity etc. Well my answer today was no way. They have jackets, One for every type of weather. I have 4 boys I would have purchased these jackets for if I did not stop and think. That would have been $8 and tax. I get giddy when I find a coupon while shopping for something I need that someone left behind or is attached to a product I am buying, Giddy over saving $.25 on something I was gonna buy anyway. So I do not want to throw $8 away on something that is not needed.
I love to coupon and sometimes when I see that there are several coupons that will get me free or really cheap items that I would be buying anyway I will purchase 8 copies of that paper. I have to be able to justify that $8, I have to be able to get my money back for the newspapers and still save money or make money. Some weeks I do purchase 8 copies but some weeks I only purchase 1 or none. If you are truly trying to save money or to be frugal which I might add is not a fad, it is most definitely a mind set and a way of life, you have to think about everything you buy.


Thursday, March 24, 2011


Today's recipe is easy cheater chicken tetrazini

1 box macaroni noodles
1 jar Alfredo sauce
shredded or cubed chicken about 2-3 cups precooked ( cooked in a seasoning of choice I prefer fajita or rotisserie chicken spice)
2 cups of plain potato chips or bread crumbs
4 tablespoons of Parmesan cheese

Cook macaroni noodles drain add to baking dish
cook chicken in a bit of oil and add to macaroni noodles
add jar of Alfredo sauce mix well
In potato chip bag or small baggie crunch up chips and Parmesan and top casserole, Or do the same with the breadcrumbs and Parmesan cheese.
Bake for 20 minutes at 350

I use this for those days of Oh darn I have been so busy I forgot about dinner, dinner!!! Everyone loves it.


Good Buy Wednesday

This Wednesday I don't have too much but a few things + a few things I need.

Country Mart ( Coffeyville, Kansas)

Rice a roni 2/1 ( This is a crazy unusual price although I don't have coupons I am going to purchase 18 boxes and that will probably last years)

Nabisco snak snacks 2/3-$2 in coupons = 2/1

Hiland yogurt 2/.89 x10

Philadelphia cooking cremes $1.99-$1.50 coupon x11=11/$5.50

pictsweet steam veggies .99 -.50 x4=4/$2.00

pilgrims pride whole chickens .79lb x10 lbs $7.90

Marvin's grocery (Independence, Kansas)
act 2 popcorn 2/3-$1 coupon x4=8/$8.00

farmland lunch meat 3/5 -$.75 coupon =3/$2.75 x 6=18/16.50

green giant veggies in sauce .99-.40 coupon=.59x10=$5.90

Navel oranges 6/$1x3=18/3

Golden delicious apples .69lbx10lbs=$6.90

tangelos 4/1x4=16/$4

I am still working on my Walgreen's list I will post that separately tomorrow Baby is having a rough night with teething so gotta run soon. Michelle

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Tipster Tuesday

Today I wanted to talk about one of my favorite websites, This is a huge huge community for frugalness and stretching a dollar. I have been a member here for a few years. I also recieve the newsletter which I love. The neat part about this website is that they have contests for writing. Quite a few to choose from. I have personally won 2 $25 contests and recieved my checks. I know I could win more if I posted more stories and tips. Another good thing about this website is that you can post any question you have about anything and in just a short amount of time you will get alot of advice and suggestions. Check it out I think you will really like it. Michelle

Manic Monday

Lost my groove.....

The baby is 5 months old and I still have not got my groove back. He is amazingly more demanding then any of the other 6 were by a mile. He prefers to be held and adored and have your complete and total attention!!! Did I say prefer I mean demands hahaha. I really really miss my groove but I love actually love how much attention he wants and that it is my attention he wants and needs. My last one the 3 year old was overly independent, still is. I used to cry because he was not a snuggler. Well I got the snuggler and the I need my mommy one. I just need to find balance and not doing well with it. He won't be a baby for long as I have found out with all the others so I am just going to try and go with it and enjoy it. I will someday again have a clean house, not resort to cereal or oatmeal most mornings, make more elaborate dinner meals, and get out of my jammies before noon hahaha. Have any of you had a clingy or needy baby??? How did that work out for you??? What worked for you to get 10 or 15 minutes alone???

Have a great week all, Michelle

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Stockpiling Sunday

I see I am going to rename Sundays Saving Money Sunday. ( Which will also include stockpiling)

Money saving Ideas-Entertainment

Obviously we do not go out of the house for Entertainment much or rarely I should say. A Mc Donald's trip for my family going cheap is $25. We took a trip to Oklahoma 2 years ago to the Aquarium and it was $100 for us just to get in. We do alot of things that cost nothing or very very little which narrows our list quite a bit. We are very lucky to have in our small town a cute little zoo it is a great walk through it and it takes about an hour and half to walk through slowly. It also has a huge play area with lots of fun equipment for the kids. The little ones never seem to tire of it, so during the spring summer and early fall we take them about 3 or more days a week. We always pack our lunches. We have a swimming center which is huge but I did the math last year and if we went a few times a week it would cost as much as a large swimming pool bought for the backyard. So we bought that and will put it up on June 1st. There is also a huge huge park with lots of jungle gyms and park equipment, it also has a merry go round that they open up on the Weekends and weeknights during the summer and it only costs $.05 a ride. It also has a train that circles the park area which has the same hours and it only costs $.50 a ride. The park also has a huge area where they have several fun things a month that go on, and an amphitheater. We have a huge 4 state rodeo and fair that comes each August to the next town over but it is very very expensive so we have not gone in years. Our little town is famous for Neewollah each year, it lasts I think 7 days and has lots of free things in addition to rides that are quite expensive. We usually save up a small amount for the boys to play some games and for the teen to go with friends on the rides on night. Neewollah is Halloween spelled backwards. We use the public library allllllooootttt. With my oldest daughter working there we never miss any program that the boys would be interested in and their dad takes them at least 1x a week to check out books and a video and to play a bit. My teen in on the teen committee and spends quite a bit of time there. The teen also goes 3x a week to some sort of youth group. There are endless VBS each summer living here in the bible belt. Just goes to show with a little checking of your local city pages you can find tons of free or very cheap things to do for most every holiday too. We have decided to let the(Twins) boys join T-ball this year which is not cheap at all. But the benefits for them with their ADHD to get out and run and play on a team seems worth it.

For at home things we own every game known to man I think which we play alot. We also swear by Netflix. We have a Wii and my oldest son has an xbox. With the Wii hooked up to the main T.V. we can watch movies whenever my kids can watch YouTube videos ( supervised) or the teen can browse the Internet. The YouTube on the Wii works well when I need just a few minutes to do something I can put the 5 month old and the 3 year old to watch a quickie 10 minute show of Baby Einstein.

So there is our idea of entertainment. As far as eating out, We have ethnic nights at home. I have learned from the Top Secret Recipe websites to make favorites from restaurants right here at home that taste just like going out. We frequent Braum's Ice Cream store many times during the summer for a cold treat and we frequent Sonic Many times a week for 1/2 price happy hour where most drinks are half price, I can get all of us a drink for under $3. It pays to sign up for Sonic emails since during the summer they have specials that go on, like bogo malts and shakes. They will have little one day specials for .50 cent corn dogs all day or .50 cent sundaes etc.

Start checking your city pages today for fun things to do this summer it will be here before you know it. Happy Sunday to you all, Michelle

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Survival Saturday

This Saturday I wanted to talk about Bug out bag or 72 hour kits for babies and small children. I personally find this to be the most important of my bags. These are the most important for my sanity. Just going to the grocery store unprepared with children can cause alot of stress I DO NOT want to be in an emergency situation and not be prepared with these little buggers lol

Babies Bug out bag

Wet wipes
2 Binkies ( pacifiers) ( you know how you always lose the first one cause it bounces on the floor and lands in the next county over!!!!)
Baby snacks
2 heavy sleepers
2 summer outfits
4 onsies
1 bottle of infant Tylenol
1 bottle of gripe water ( The last thing you want in a shelter or evacuation center is to be packed into a building like sardines and have a colicky or teething baby and noway to settle them or calm them)
A snuggly stuffed animal
1 musical or brightly colored toy to get and keep their attention
A snuggly very warm blankie
A thin receiving blanket
1 bpa free glass bottle ( even though I breast feed, It is just in case of anything)
I have 2 regular water bottles and 1 jug of nursery water
I have an extra baby carrier so I put that in there. ( In case of having to walk long distances this will be invaluable for carrying baby and leaving my hands free for other little ones)
A baby jacket with hood
10 cloth diapers, and pins and covers ( if it were to turn long term you will want these when no diapers can be found anywhere)
1 bottle vitamin drops
10 trial size bottles of baby lotion, baby shampoo, baby powder, baby oil. ( I just think how comforting it could be to smell a fresh baby and snuggle him smelling so good)
I also have 2 baby spoons and two jars of stage 1 baby food

That is my baby's bail out bag. Can you think of anything I might have missed?? I would love to know??

My Toddler and 6 year olds bail out bags Consist of
1 pair of jeans and a T- Shirt for each one
1 pair of shorts, Socks, 2 pairs of undies each.
1 of those add water washcloths sold at $1 tree for each one
4 water bottles each
1 box of the sugar free add to water bottle juice tubes for each
1 bottle of children's Tylenol for each
several snack bags for each ( cookies, chips, crackers, high calorie high protein snack bars)
A blanket for each one
A small pillow for each one ( I plan this year to make quillow pillows for each one)
A small stuffed bear for each one to care for and give comfort
Each one has a small baggie of toys to share with each other ( One has blocks, One has small toys that were from happy meals etc, One has a puzzle)
A color book and crayons for each one
1 bottle children's vitamins + 1 small bottle of vitamin C and Vitamin D3
A hooded jacket for each one
I have some cording in each one so that if we are in a crowded environment or building or walking I can tie a cord to them and to tie them to me to keep them with me and not wandering or getting lost. If I happen to be by myself this will be extremely helpful with 4 of them and only 1 of me.
2 bottles of baby shampoo and baby lotion for each one ( just to keep them clean and smelling nice)

That is their bail out bags, Anything I missed??? Please let me know. I will try by next week to post pictures of the bags so you can see them. Have a Great Saturday all and Stay Safe!!! Michelle

Frugal Friday- Juice and Kool-aid etc.

I wanted to talk about juices and Kool-aid. If your kids are young start now with water down and adding less sugar. They will get used to it now and they will never know the difference plus it is better for them. As soon as I get home from the grocery store, I take the juice bottles I have purchased and pour half into containers I kept and washed out from the trip before. I then fill the bottles back up with water. With Kool-aid I take one packet and add water, The Kool-aid package calls for 1 cup of sugar for 2 quarts eeeeek that is crazy to me. I only add 1/2 cup and they drink it up. I came up with this out of necessity for my boys with ADHD to consume the least amount of sugar possible. I also keep all juices from cans of mandarin oranges or peaches or pears. I have canning jars in the fridge and I do the same fill them half way with the juices from the cans and half water and they looovveee these it is like a treat for them.

What little things do you do to stretch your food items with your children or yourself???
I would love to see what others do and what more I could do to stretch anything!!! Have a great weekend all Michelle

Thursday, March 17, 2011

RECIPE OF THE WEEK THURSDAY-The american frugal housewife

I am going to post a recipe this week but I wanted to sneak in a book I found on I found this book called The American frugal housewife. It says 1802-1880. I just found myself completely enthralled in this book last night. It reads like a how to for housewives in this era and is absolutely amazing. The knowledge that these women needed about all facets of their jobs was fascinating. I urge you to just take a look at it and read a few pages. You can download a kindle for pc for free from and I just keep searching the free books everyday. I have so far The American frugal housewife, lose weight without dieting, Living rich by spending smart 3 gooseberry cookbooks ( choc chip cookies, meatloaves, mac and cheese) little elf big trouble for the kids. The secret, Mom's ultimate guide to the tween girl world. And that was just 2 days of searching. Anyway take a peek at that book and let me know what you think I am hoping you are as blown away as I was!!!!

Now to the recipe.......
I loveeeee ham loveeeeeeeee ham. So I thought I would show how a ham is dissected in our house. I definitely get my moneys worth I think out of my hams. First thing I do is wait until they are around $1.00 a lb. The last ones I got in January were $1.09lb. I bought 3 which will last until Easter when they go on sale again. ( At Easter I can usually get a ham for around $.89lb).
First I cook the ham in the oven. I go back and forth how I season them. One time I will smother with pineapple jelly or orange marmalade then the next with homemade pancake syrup. I cook it for about 2 hours. (They are precooked I just like to cook it anyway).
So the first night we will usually have ham slices with some rice and a veggie.
That night I will dissect my ham. I cut some really thin slices for ham sandwiches. I will cut enough to get sandwiches for 2 days this week. So for us that would be 12 sandwiches for 2 days. Then I will cut off about 3 thicker slices and chop these up really tiny to make ham and cheese omelets ( my boys loooovvveee these) I will cut enough for (6) 3 egg omelets. This will feed all of us for 2 breakfasts. Next I cut off 4 thicker slices and cube these for ham tetrazini and ham and potato soup. Those go into baggies and are frozen for when I need them. That will make a huge extra large pan of tetrazini and a large stockpot of potato and ham soup. By this time I am way down to the darker meat. this I cut off and dig out around the bones and I will make the next morning ham and beans. The last step I do is take the ham bone out to our dog. This is her big treat of the month. So not one part of my ham goes to waste. I feel quite content with how much I stretch a ham for around $10 but would love to have a few more ways to mix it up every now and then. Do you have any other ways you use up a half ham??? I would love to have some different things to do with it. Thanks a bunch Michelle

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Good Buy Wednesday

I have shopping this week, I saw nothing in the sales ads that I needed or that were a great great price. Plus with the rising cost of gas and me driving a Yukon that guzzles gas, I have to weigh the deals to gas and whether or not I am willing to pay the gas for the product.

This is another great reason for stockpiling. If you have what you need in your house for even just a month or two, You won't have to run out and get things in a no shopping week. But if you do like me need say milk ( I know that a trip to the store for milk will wind up in at least $25 being spent) I send one of my kids to get the milk or you could send your less spendy spouse. Or I have before taken only exactly the amount of the item I had to have and left all money and cards at home. Michelle

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Tipster Tuesday

I am trying to think of some tips that you don't run into every blog you go to. So they may seem a little different or off the wall or maybe you have read them 1000 times!!

Today's tip is snack baskets and dish and cup bin. These are tips to help you out if you have children. I take Sunday evenings and take all the leftover pretzels, potato chip bags, half a bowl of cereal bags or and snack leftovers, the two carrots in the bag in the fridge etc. I split these all up into snack baggies. I have 3 baskets that sit on the shelf in the dining room, These are snacks for the kids along side of it is the snack schedule so I don't have to hear is it snack time yet 10 times every day!!! In the fridge I keep a plastic basket on the bottom shelf with the yogurt,carrot sticks, celery with peanut butter, cheese sticks etc. So they can choose a fridge snack or a dining room snack.

They also have all of their kids plates, cups, plastic ware in a bin under the bottom kitchen cupboard. They can set their own place at the table, or get their own cups with lids without climbing on stuff and they can unload the dishwasher of their things and easily put them away. This really works nice for me!!! Good Luck Michelle

Monday, March 14, 2011

Manic Monday

wow oh wow

Jeremiah Thomas almost 5 months old already!!!

Stockpiling Sunday-pics

This is my stockpile, I added a picture of the 10 spring and summer outfits I bought the baby yesterday for $2 each at Dollar General. I also bought toilet paper and used my $5 off $25 mailer. Michelle

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Survival Saturday

There a alot of reasons to be prepared for anything. You just never know when bad things are going to happen. Noone wants to go through any of them but they do happen and things are alot easier if you are prepared.
At the very least everyone should have a bail out bag or a 72 hour kit. You should have one for every person in the house including children. I have one for each of us. We had a flood in our area 3 years ago. A really bad flood. Our house did not flood but half the city did. My father in law lost his house. My husband went to get him and they got out just in time. Unfortunatley he had nothing ready for an emergency so he lost everything not one thing was salvageable in the house, Because the flood flooded the refinery and everything was contaminated. It would have been nice if he had just had his important papers some pictures some clothing etc. Luckily he had us to live with but what if we were not there??
There are lots of ways to be prepared. Like I have talked about in a previous post, Stockpiling food and personal and first aid supplies ensure that in a crisis like losing a job or food shortages or rising food costs or worse we are prepared.
In the next few weeks I am going to talk about dehydrating, gardening, canning and other things you should know how to do. Getting back to basics. It is a bit of a fad right now but you can do things long term that will not only be enjoyable but great things you can teach your children. Michelle

Friday, March 11, 2011


Frugal Friday....

Being frugal seems to come very naturally to some and others not so much. I was the not so much one. It comes easy now but that is after many many many years of training. I took baby steps when I first started. I would try one thing a week for a bit then move up to a couple things. And eventually it came much easier. There were some that stuck and I still do today and there are some that I don't do and prob won't do again. I don't like reusing baggies. I don't use them that much and I hate washing them out and drying them so I don't. I do reuse the baggies that I store chips in because they are never really dirty. Here a few of my favorite frugal things that I actually enjoy doing I get a sort of frugal buzz from!!!

Baby frugalness

1. Using cloth diapers, I don't know why but I feel pride when I use them.
2. Using cloth wet wipes. I don't do the whole premoistend thing, I just have cut up receiving blankets and wet them when diaper rash here.
3. Making my own baby food and my own baby teething biscuits. This is very very easy. When you have something that is for dinner that would be great for baby just puree it and store it in fridge of freezer. I have already started doing this and freezing for when Jeremiah begins eating.
4. First thing I do when I get some new baby wash I split it up into 2 containers and do a half n half with it. Half wash half water. 1 bottle will usually last 1 year.
5. My newest frugal baby thing is breastfeeding, It makes me ill to think how much I spent on formula with all the other children and how much more I could have given to them. This is my greatest sense of pride.

Hope those help, Have a great weekend frugal friends, Michelle

Wednesday, March 9, 2011


Today is Recipe of the week Thursday, Today's recipe is......

Chicken wraps

My kids loveeeee these and so do I.

Everytime I make chicken for a casserole I put some aside for this lunch or dinner.
I would say it is probably equilevant to 2 chicken breasts.
shredded lettuce
shredded cheese
Ranch dressing (homemade is best but bottle will work)
fajita seasoning or rotisserie chicken seasoning or greek seasoning work well.
Flour tortillas

If you are making this from fresh chicken cut your chicken breasts like you would for fajitas. Add a few tbls of oil to pan and cook chicken in seasoning until done.

If using frozen precooked chicken, Defrost and heat up in oil and seasoning.

Shred lettuce and cheese. Make ranch dressing if needed ( My recipe is posted on my blog).

Add chicken, lettuce, cheese and ranch dressing to tortillas and enjoy!!!! Michelle

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Good Buy Wednesday


I am posting my list for Walgreen's and My town's grocery store deals (Marvins).

This weeks Walgreen's list
First I will purchase the Register Reward items I want or need
Transaction #1
Stouffers easy express skillet meals ( I do not care for these but my daughter does)
2/8 - $2rr
Purchase $10 in these products get $3rr
Tide stain release $3.99
Mr. Clean magic erasers 2/5 I will get 3/7.50( There are more items included but this is what I will purchase)
hefty trash bags 5.99 $1rr
soft soap 2/11 $5rr
lysol healthy touch 11.99 $5 rr
schick disposable razors $5.99 $3rr
always pads $2.99 $2rr
softsoap body wash 2/7 $5rr
Total-$74.50( I will cut this in half with coupons, I did not get around to getting all my coupons matched up yet for this post)
RR total-$26

I will use the $26 in rr's to purchase this for free
Dawn dish soap-$.99-.$50 coupon x4 coupons=4/$2
Coffee mate liquid creamer 2/2.49 - 2 .75 coupons =2/$1
salt and baking soda 2/1 x4= 8/4
mandarin oranges 2/1 3=6/3
arizona 12 pack tea 3/10
6 roll scott natural paper towels $5 - $1q=$4
12 large roll cottonelle toilet paper $5-$1q=$4
total-$28-$26 RR's out of pocket cash $2+tax

Marvins ad

Betty crocker cookie pouches 3/5 -(3).50q's= 3/3.50
Starkist pouches 2/3-(2)$1q's=2/1
Uncle bens rice 3/5-(3).75q's=3/2.75
orville redenbacher popcorn 3/5-(3).40q's=3/3.80
Sanderson farms 100% natural whole fryers .99 x10 lbs=$10
hefty one zip baggies 2.19 bogo free q=2/2.19 x 6=12/7.20


Tipster Tuesday

A few of my favorite tips.....

1. Once a week put your sponges and the little metal screen sink strainers through the dishwasher. They come out sparkling clean. On this day I usually do the microwave tray and knick knacks from around the house, light covers etc.

2. Before you leave for a day trip or out of town fill a spray bottle with vinegar and spray the whole house. Couches floors curtains etc. You won't have to be there while the vinegar smell dissaptes but when you return your house will be fresh smelling and it kills germs too.

3. Make your own fabric softner. Vinegar in a jug with some essential oil if you like or just plain. You towels come out really fluffy and really clean instead of getting that fabric softner build up.

4. Make your own pledge. Lemon juice and olive oil in a spray bottle. Smells lemony fresh and really polishes up well.

Have a great tip....I love tips!!! Michelle

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Manic Monday

Only 2 days in and I already love the structure. I am a structure girl, I crave structure!!!

Well today is Manic Monday. Today is about spring cleaning. I know I have the bug a bit early. But with 7 kids 6 at home ( although seems like the 20 year old still lives here haha) I have to start a bit earlier than some. I have a master list. It has about 100 things on it, from building some raised beds for gardening to washing up the summer clothes for the kids and everything in between. I make my list by room, then break that down into little 10-20 minute jobs I can do while the baby is napping or the kids are busy doing something. I have the bathroom broken down into 10 minute jobs as this is the amount of time I let the kids play during bath time. I can have my whole bathroom spring cleaned in about 3 bathing sessions. Everything else is written out like:
Livingroom- Clean out and organize bookshelf
Shelf #1
Shelf #2
Shelf #3

Diningroom- Clean out and organize Hutch
Top of hutch
hutch shelves and glass
Middle of hutch
Bottom cupboards and 2 drawers
Pledge entire hutch

This is the only way I can function to get anything done and it works so well for me. For 1, I get to see progress by crossing off things I have done and I love seeing scratch marks on my to do lists. For 2, I have alot of 5, or 10 minute down times but never have 30 minute or 1 hour down times.
My spring cleaning happens to coincide with my bi-yearly list so most every inch of the house gets done. Cleaning out fridge and freezers ( I clean these out quickie style every month, but 2 times a year everything comes out and drawers are relined etc.).
Couple of tips:
The smell is bad the first day, But if you clean most everything with vinegar or vinegar and essential oil. The next month will just smell so fresh and you know it is disinfected.
To frugal pledge your wood items use squeezed lemons and a little olive oil, I also use this to shine up my very very very old worn out wood floors twice a year.
Keep some boxes up against a wall at all times in atleast one room or as I have one set on each floor for Throw away, sell, donate or storage. This makes it so much easier to get rid of things when boxes are right there. I also have a box on each level for upstairs it is marked goes downstairs and downstairs is marked upstairs.

Hope these help good luck with your spring cleaning!!!!! I love spring!!!! Michelle

Stockpiling Sunday

I wanted to start today with Stockpiling Sunday. I stockpile, I do not hoard. I think you do have to be careful wether you are stockpiling or hoarding. Stockpiling is not about just getting stuff or just having stuff. I would not stockpile nearly as much as I do if I only had say 2 children. But I have 7 and It makes life so much easier and less expensive for me to stockpile OUR needs. I use coupons and sales (loss leader sales alot) to stockpile. I do not stockpile things we don't use or won't use, unless the item is free and I KNOW someone who will use it. I know alot of people that purchase week after week the free after rebate or RR's ( register rewards) from walgreen's, They get alot of diabetes monitors. I do not have diabetes nor does anyone in my family but the man across the street from me does and has limited income. I got him one 2 years ago for free after coupon and rebates.

There are many reasons to stockpile. I stockpile for several reasons. I have a large family and we go through alot of stuff each month. Shampoo, toilet paper, soap, laundry soap, food. I also stockpile because of cost. If I shopped for this large of a family every week without coupons and did not have my stockpile I can only imagine how much more it would cost me. I stockpile so that I do not have to run to the store more often then needed, This causes me to spend more money than I need to since I always have kids in tow and we know how they can run up a quick trip for bread. I also stockpile because I like the feeling of being prepared. If my income stopped or slowed down I at most times have enough food to last 3-6 months. Lately my stockpiling is helping with the rising cost of food. I see prices soaring on some items and I feel it is only going to get worse. So by having my stockpile at home frees me up to only purchase sale, loss leader items and coupon items. This varies my spending from month to month. Plus I can follow sale trends.

There are many pitfalls you can fall into by stockpiling so you need to watch yourself. Don't purchase things that you won't use or someone you know won't use. If you don't need 30 packs of toilet paper and have no where to store it it is not worth it. I have quite a bit of storage in this house and have a large pantry. The bathroom in our house was a bedroom at one point that was probably converted to a bathroom. It has a large walk in closet. We go through alot of toilet paper and I have a place to store it. We don't get sick much because of homeschooling and we do alot of things at home. So stockpiling large amounts of medicines that are free or free after RR's at walgreens although I have storage for room still just takes up space and is not something we use. What you will find in my stockpile are large quantities of cereal, My kids eat alot of oatmeal and cold cereals. Last month was a great month for cereal coupons and sales. I purchased most of my boxes and bags for less than $1. I purchased roughly 20 boxes and 20 bags. I also had the opportunity to get 20 boxes of ritz crackers for $20. I loveeee ritz crackers as does everyone in my family. I hope this helps a little with explaining why we stockpile and how it benefits us. I am getting my camera back today and I am going to take some pictures of my stockpile. Have a great Sunday, Michelle