June 29, 2010

Vacation Bible School

The last couple days, I asked if 'Pudge' could hang around Z-man's Bible school class, to see if he could learn some of the things Z-man was learning. Here they are at game time, where they are loading up their cups with popcorn and running back to their team to "share."

Here is their fearless leader, Chelsea,
who was in charge of the preschoolers.

Coloring time! My favorite!

Another picture taken at game-time, hosted by my lovely husband! Doesn't he look like he's having a blast?

I just wanted to share with you some photos from Vacation Bible School this summer. Thanks for looking!

June 26, 2010

Update on my garden

We have one roma tomato that is starting to turn red!! Hooray!!

These green pepper plants are doing so well in the part sun/part shade area we made for them. Lots of them have white flowers on them.

Here is a snapshot of a little cucumber, isn't it cute?

And I found another cucumber growing as well. If any of you love cucumbers, let me know. I have a feeling that we will have too many, considering we don't eat cucumbers very often.

These are our cherry tomatoes. Aren't they HUGE? We've had so much rain that they keep getting bigger before they are turning red. So we'll see if they taste the same if they're bigger.

Another side shot of our cherry tomato plants.

Here are our pumpkin plants that are taking over the back side of our shed. I had to trim them and help them grow back on our fence, because they were starting to over take our neighbors garden.

Close up of the zuchini's after I trimmed the leaves back a bit:

And a final view of what we get to see everyday...our little veggie garden!
Here's a couple pictures of our newly planted flower garden, in our backyard as well. The top right is "Kiss Me Over the Garden Gate" plant that my friend, Beth, gave to me as seeds. I feel very fortunate that they sprouted, because hers did not. So I'll be splitting that later to give some to her.

We also have Japanese lanterns, Tiger Lilies, Becky Coneflowers, Shasta Daisies (grown from seeds), Parsley, and Dill.

Here's a picture of my butterfly garden. Just planted this spring. I've seen only one butterfly so far.

These are my favorite day lilies by far! Aren't they gorgeous?

June 24, 2010

Grocery shopping this week = $40.93

Grocery shopping this week seemed okay. Nothing too exciting, but I wanted to post what I got, because I know it helps keep me accountable with my budget.

Pictured below is from IGA. They had a good deal on 90% lean ground meat, so we made sure to pick some up. And the cheese was 2/$3. Total spent below was $5.63.

Pictured below is our trip to Aldi's. We picked up some staple items that we needed to restock our pantry. The peaches were a quarter each!! Total spent below was $23.67.

Pictured below is an awesome trip to County Market (same as last week!). The Wheatables were pretty much free, because they were $2/box and on some boxes there was a pull coupon for BOGO free, and I stacked that with 2 $1/off coupons. Total spent below was $10.15!!

Pictured below are some items I picked up at Walgreens. I used coupons for these and also used some Register Rewards that I got earlier that week. Total for below items cost $1.48.

Total spent for this week's groceries is a grand total of $40.93! Not too bad!

June 22, 2010

Is it Christmas here?

Have I ever told you all how much I appreciate freecycle? If you haven't heard of it before, or are curious to find out what sort of 'junk' people are giving away (or looking for), check it out here.

Notice how our little Prius is low-ridin'?

Here's a close up, if you couldn't really tell in the above picture...

You're probably wondering what in the world could be in our little car. Well, I found out through freecycle that someone had a pile of mulch that was free for the taking! I grabbed some garbage bags (since that's technically what mulch comes in when you buy it at the store), and drove out to see what was in store for me.

Here's what I came home with:
Lots and lots of free mulch! I loaded up our car with 15 bags of it (and that was on my third trip to the mulch pile!)

And I thought, heck, I'll throw a box in the front seat and fill it with mulch too!

So, in a way, our home looked a little bit like Santa stopped by and dropped off all his goodies at our door! We must have looked so ridiculous! But if the shoe fits it...

So after lots of trips to the free mulch pile and lots of raking, we now have freshly laid mulch around all our bushes and flowers around our home. It took alot of work and alot of sweat to make this happen, but we couldn't have done it without freecycle. Thank you!! Can you imagine how much all that mulch would've cost at a garden center? And we got it all for free!

Have you gotten anything from freecycle lately? If so, I'd be curious to find out!

June 17, 2010

Grocery shopping this week = $41.63

Okay, okay, I know I went over my budget by $1.63, but I justify it by saying that in previous weeks I have been under budget, so we will take that $1.63 out of those weeks. I'm trying really hard to

Total spent at County Market = $1.37

If you're wondering how in the world I only spent $1.37 on all these name brand items, you can thank Kraft for sending me coupons for the three items in the lower half of the photo. I highly recommend following Money Saving Mom's blog to keep up on all the freebies!

I also used a store coupon for $3 off any 6 General Mills products purchased. So I bought 6 Hamburger Helpers for $0.99/each, then used the $3 store coupon, and combined that with (2) $0.75 off 3 coupons. Which totaled to $1.50 for 6 boxes. I think I also got overage for one of the other free items I got. This was the best trip to County Market ever!!

Total spent at Target = $8.95

The total I typed above for Target was only for the food items. I just wanted to show you what all I got at Target. The non-food items comes out of our "laundry" budget. So if you're curious I spent $15.96 on the non-food items.

Target had a really good deal on cereal. Kellogg's cereal was on sale for $1.99, and I had a bunch of cereal coupons from Coupons.com. The Eggos were on sale for $1.75, and I had (3) $1 off coupons. I really just looked off of Money Saving Mom's blog for the Target deals she posts.

Total spent at CVS = $3.50

I had some Extra Care Bucks that I used towards this purchase and also combined that with some coupons I had printed out from Coupons.com.

Total spent at IGA = $4.61

Lots of good cereal deals this week, can you tell? IGA had an in-store coupon if you bought 4 boxes of GM cereal, you would get $4 off. I combined that in-store coupon with some manufacturer coupons from coupons.com.

Total spent at Walmart = $23.20

Walmart had our favorite spaghetti/pizza sauce on sale this week for $0.88! I decided to stock up on that price! I also had a coupon for the refried beans and the tomato paste.

That's it for this week, how did you do?

June 16, 2010

Kids Bowl Free All Summer!

If you have kids and need an extra something to do this summer, probably when it's raining out (which we've had plenty of days like that!), you could sign up to have your kids bowl for free all summer long! Just sign up here, or type in www.kidsbowlfree.com, and enjoy each and everyday of bowling with your kids.

Also, if you're more curious to see if you have a participating bowling center in your area, click on this link to find out. We will be frequenting the Old Orchard Lanes in Savoy. Once you sign up and confirm your email address, they will send you weekly coupons that you can use everyday of the summer! How great is that?

Let me tell you that our boys have never bowled before, they knew what it was, but had never participated. So when I signed our family up, they (especially Z-man) loved it! Of course, once they found the arcade in the bowling alley, it was a different story. But all in all, I'm glad that I signed up because now there's an extra activity to do with our family for free.

June 14, 2010

Multiple Garage Sales

This weekend was a hit for us and garage sales around our neighborhood. The only bad thing was that it's getting hotter earlier in the mornings. So we only ventured out a couple days and made sure it was only for a couple of hours.

There were a couple garage sales on Friday that we went to, and here's what we came home with. Lots of clothing! What didn't get pictured was a handful of toys that the boys bought for a quarter each. So total spent for the items below was $2.

And the amount for the items below was $6.50. (The Christmas outfit was $4!).

So then on Saturday morning, we figured that we would go out garage sailing again. :) I love my family! (And once again I was unable to get a good photo of the boy's treasures). Here's what we came home with:

(Lots of PJs that will be good for them to wear in the winter too!)

Total spent for the PJs was $3!! What a find!! I think I should also calculate in that the ladies holding the garage sale were very much under the influence of the heat, so they gave me a deal on the PJs. I think they just wanted to get out of the heat and into the shade. :) No complaining here!

Did you find any good finds at garage sales this weekend?

June 11, 2010

Grocery shopping this week = $37.57

This week, grocery shopping was kinda on the fly. Whenever I got a chance to go to a grocery store or drug store, I took it. So this is out of the norm for me to hit up 5 different stores for spending our weekly $40 grocery monies.

I took Grandma Jo out to run some errands and she wanted to stop at Big Lots, and they had a huge rack filled with bread priced at $1 each. We've been running out of bread like crazy lately, so I took this opportunity to stock up a bit. Total spent below, $5.

Walgreens had a deal this week if you bought 2 Kellogg's cereal for $5, you got $2 back in Register Rewards. So I had a coupon for the Kashi box, and spent only $1.08 for the picture below. I also want to note that I had two coupons to get the Always pads for free, and I used some previous Register Rewards to knock the bill down some.

The boys and I went to a super cool park nearby a Walmart, so we just stopped in there to pick up some free wipes, and here's what we came out with. (The Pampers wipes were $1.97 and we had 10 $2 off coupons). We will donate the wipes, since our boys are almost out of diapers. :)
Total spent for the picture below, $19.18.

County Market had a couple of great items this week. The Oreo's will come in handy for a couple of events coming up where I need to bring a dessert. I think I might make a couple Oreo pies! Yum! Total spent for the picture below, $8.31.

I'm not sure if this falls into our grocery spending, but we've been drinking it like water since it's so hot out! We had 4 BOGO (buy one, get one free) coupons, and they were $1 at Target, so we spent $4 on the picture below.

And who can say "no" to free strawberries from a friend? We froze half of them for smoothies and gobbled up the rest! (Thanks, Debbie!)

Total spent for all the grocery items this week was $37.57! Stayed under budget again! I love that. How did you do this week?