Monday, June 27, 2016

Ways We Save

A friend blessed me with a bag of apples.

While in Delaware we were given one and a half full size bags of Bic razors.

I was also given two quart size bags of soda can tops for me to continue making bracelets that pop pop and mom mom had been saving for me.

We found luggage for our ride home for 9.00 (three suitcases such a blessing!) at a local thrift store having a 50 percent off sale.

We only spent $3.50 on a small gift for my husband for father's day.

(Many other things happened on our trip (difficulties and blessings) but I am still working on that post. )

A friend gave us a ride to our eye doctors appointment (I previously sat with her at the vet's office and helped with dog/baby, so it was sort of a trade, but she did more of the work because she took my kids swimming since the appointment was near her in laws place that had a pool.)  That same friend (THANK YOU LORI) was sweet enough to take me to the grocery store.  I earned $.10 in gas rewards.

My husband and I were both able to order a complete set of eye glasses for no cost out of pocket.

Our car is currently broken down, but I found out that my kids have a secondary medical insurance which will cover transportation to their appointments next week!

I earned 5.00 selling an item on a local swip swap group.

I have been working Bing and Swagbucks like it was a part time job.  I did cash out for $5.00 to Walmart.

Our bank has a rewards system for when you use your credit/debit card....I used the rewards to get my son a birthday gift and only had to pay 2.82 out of pocket.  (His birthday isn't for a couple more weeks but I wanted to allow time for shipping.)

Oh and my meal worms have successfully bred so I am just waiting for the babies to grow to use for food.  We have also put all of our lizards (some of them eat the worms) and their habitats up for sale, but no takers yet.

Fed veggie scraps to beetles and baby worms.

Used baking soda and two drops of Dawn dish detergent in the dishwasher in place of my cascade platinum packets.

I boiled toothbrushes that we had used when sick instead of paying to replace them all.

We received a refund check of $2.61 in the mail for overpaying for a prescription.

We have kept the thermostat at 80 and used fans when necessary. (trying to stay at a monthly bill of $170.00 or less)

Since the car is broken down and we aren't sure when we can repair it, I was able to speak to our car insurance company and reduce the coverage to state minimum savings us $50.00 a month while we cannot drive it.

I also cancelled our lawn service saving us 55.00 but we have to find another way to cut the grass.  (we don't own a mower and our weed eater is missing the battery charger.)

How was your week?  Did you try an new ways to save money?  As usual I will be sharing over at the

Sunday, June 26, 2016

What we are eating

Ok. my grocery budget from now until what looks like July 28th was $124.00.
I say was, because I have spent it already.  We used some of it to buy snacks to ride home on the train, and to bring home some scrapple to my husband.  (we can't really find that here in Florida)

My husband did spend 7.00 at the grocery store before we got home, so i guess our grocery total is 131.00 so far.

I thought it might be fun, and educational to keep track of what we eat and see how far we can make it all go.  Now when I shopped I went to a grocery store that was a little more pricey, I had to go where I could get a ride to because our van broke down the day after we got back.  (Thank you for the ride Aunti Lori!!!!)  I did earn .10 in fuel points for the purchases.

  Monday 20th (day we got home)
Lunch:  Scrapple

Dinner: hot dogs chopped up in macaroni and cheese for dinner.  (we already had the hot dogs and mac n cheese from a previous purchase.)

  Tuesday 21

bkfst: Pancakes (choc chips for those who wanted them)
lunch: cups of soup or sandwiches
dinner: baked chicken legs with spaghetti noodles covered in olive oil and shakey parmesan cheese

  Wednesday 22

bkfst: grilled ham n cheese
lunch: whatever you could find
dinner: cheese omelets with scrapple

  Thursday 23
bkfst: eggs
Lunch: cups of soup (pp)
Dinner: sandwiches

  Friday 24
bkfst: cereal and milk
Lunch:  Hot dogs
Dinner:  fend for yourself

  Saturday 25
bkfst: Pancakes (choc chips for those that wanted it.)
Lunch: Tuna on Toast with a slice of cheese if wanted, and pickles and iced animal crackers. (pickles pp)
Dinner : rice with ground beef and peas mixed in served with a side of gravy (rice and peas from a pp)

  Sunday 26th

bkfst: Oatmeal with brown sugar and cinnamon (pp)
Lunch: hotdogs
Dinner : Roasted one chicken leg quarter and put meat over salad items from grocery trip.

dessert: brownies, chocolate cake, Popsicles (all from a previous purchase.) Whatever snacks we brought home from train ride were gobbled up too...I was sick the first day we were back so nothing got rationed or supervised.

We drank water, crystal light, hot tea, coffee, and kool aid left from train ride as well.

It already looks like we are going to need more bread, toilet paper, and milk.  We will see. Did you have anything good this week?

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Saying Goodbye is Never Easy

On June 7th, we got the call that the person I have affectionately called mom mom Bella on here before was entering hospice care. We had just returned from Wisconsin only two to three short days before.  On June 8th, my kids and I got on he Amtrak to go and have whatever quality time with her that God would allow.

Many things happened during the course of our time there, and I hope to share more about that in the upcoming days or weeks.  The short of the story is that Belinda Reed was a wonderful mother figure to me...and a beyond exceptional grandmother to my children, (and if you know our story) she didn't have to be. Though we had some quality time before she passed, my heart still broke at the news that he earthly life ended early morning June 20th as the kids and I were traveling back to Jacksonville on the Amtrak.  She had no doubt that her soul would would be with Jesus.  We talked about that alot.  I know she loved dearly the family she leaves behind. She fought a long hard battle with Ovarian Cancer for at least 4 years. Life won't be the same without her, but I am glad she is free from the pain.

Monday, June 6, 2016

My current situation

Looks like this.....
I need to put things away from our road trip, (ahem, my hubby was nice enough to "unpack" the bags for me this morning in the manner that you see above as he needed underwear for work)....which turned out completely different than planned.  I will tell you that after this trip that MJ is a horrible house guest :(  

The family we went to see was completely wonderful.  We went to meet the beautiful Brown family, and if you don't know Mrs. Brown posts over at

We have been talking via text/phone for a while now.  They relocated from Pennsylvania to Wisconsin.  We had never been to Wisconsin, we were super excited to go and saved our money.  The trip there was not too eventful, we saw cities, and wonderful countryside we had never seen before. On the way we stayed in a small hotel called Regency Inn in Eddyville, KY.  It was a wonderful hotel.  The staff was friendly and they served a simple hot breakfast in the morning.  We drove about 20 hours and made the trip out to meet this wonderful lady and her family.  They so blessedly opened their home to us. 

We arrived at the Brown's shared a wonderful meal of chicken, carrots, and some wonderfully yummy mashed potatoes.  (They have a beautiful home....Dawn, you should totally do a home tour.)  The second day got off to a good start. Our kids had spent the evening before exploring, and playing etc.  Half way through the second day I thought I was just tired. So I went to lay down, and took the normal medicine I take for my stomach.  I was called for dinner but then my nightmare began, I became very ill.  Gross stuff came from what seemed like every imaginable place in my body, I spent most of three days in bed ill. I don't know what I contracted, but it was unkind to me.  I had trouble feeling better, and then my baby girl got it.   So we cut our trip short.  We left on Thursday and began a long trip home.  We left Thursday and didn't get home till Saturday.  My princess slept with a fever alot in the back seat.  I was so worried that our illness would spread to their family. Though it was circumstances beyond our control, I felt terrible about what had happened. I am sure I made a terrible first impression, and I wonder why things like that seem to happen to  us.  In my mind I caused so many moments worthy of a Life Unscripted post. 

Anyway....I don't have beautiful pictures to share and tons of fun events, but I did enjoy getting to know our new friends.  We did get a day where we got to go thrift shopping together, and we shared a lunch out.  Our hosts were so loving and kind, even took my kids out to a local spot called Knuckleheads to play while I was down for the count.

We got back from our trip on Saturday the 4th at about 1:30 EST.  My daughter and I seemed to be recovered now, and so far the boys have felt weird but nothing has progressed.  Now this Monday afternoon we have some thunderstorms going on due to whatever tropical storm is coming along.  I hope everyone stays safe and enjoys summer. 

I invite you now to share your worst road trip house guest memories...with me.....please make me feel better........leave a comment below :)