Monday, April 6, 2009

Been to Goodwill Lately??

I LOVE my Goodwill store. It's my favorite place to shop. I buy our books there. I buy our clothes there. Shoes. Purses. Dishes. Toys. Yep, all from my Goodwill. Some goodwill stores are better than others and we have quite a few in our area that I don't bother with. I started out buying books there. Then I got the idea to list some of those books on eBay. I'd buy children's books for $.20 or textbooks for $1 or $2. Then I'd list those books and sell them for sometimes $20 or $30. I buy children's clothing for $1.99 each, baby clothes up to 24 months $.99, kids' shoes $1.99, men's shorts $3.99, purses $3.99, wallets $2.00, etc. My Goodwill store doesn't sell junk. We wear name brand clothes (Gap, Old Navy, Children's Place, Osh Kosh, Nautica, Polo, Lee, Levi's, Arizona, etc.). It was only a year ago that my kids realized the clothes we bought at Goodwill weren't new. So, if you haven't tried out your local Goodwill lately, you should. You never know what treasures might be waiting for you.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Like Marley & Me? Meet Bruce...

We have been blessed with the presence of a 6 month old Lab Puppy. He was so cute and cuddly when we brought him home to live with us at 7 weeks old. We named him Bruce after the shark in Finding Nemo (he had about that many sharp teeth). Well, now he's HUGE and wild and still cute, but not cuddly. If you've seen the movie Marley & Me you've pretty much seen Bruce. OK, this brings me to the real story...

This morning I let Bruce out in the back yard to go potty. He loves to run outside! So I came back in to fix myself a glass of tea and get my day started. When I returned to the back door to let him in, he was running circles in the back yard joyously carrying some great treasure in his mouth, completely uninterested in me. Unable to recognize this new toy he had, I put my coat on and went outside to see if he wanted to play fetch (which he usually does). Well, his new "toy" was an armadillo's tail. A smelly, been-dead-a-few-days armadillo tail. I don't know where the rest of the armadillo is. I don't know how his dead tail got in my backyard. But there I am, in my pajamas and coat and just-woke-up hairdo, chasing my dog and his rotten armadillo tail around the backyard at 6:45 in the morning and shouting (very ineffectively, I might add), "Bruce! Bruce! Come! Come here, boy! Bruuuuce! Get over here! Come!" You get the picture, right. I finally got him to drop the tail by tossing pebbles over his head. His fetching instinct kicked in and he dropped the stinky treasure. Did I mention that Bruce was my husband's idea?? I wonder if he had the armadillo tail in mind when he said to me, "We need to get a puppy. A lab puppy. It'll be so fun." Too bad hubby was out of town and didn't get to witness this morning's antics. I'm sure it would have made his day!!

Homemaking and Routines...

I have never been very successful at establishing routines and keeping my house in order. I've always struggled with knowing what to do when and having a simple enough system that would motivate me without making me feel guilty if I didn't get it all done. Homeschooling 2 kids with a toddler in tow while trying to run a household, go to nursing school and occasionally work at the hospital is a daunting proposition. The Motivated Moms planner helps me stay on top of my household tasks in a way that works for me. Granted, I don't get it all done. But I get more done than I used to and it reminds me of things that would otherwise be overlooked. There's a place for the every day stuff that I need to do, which helps me build a routine, and there are different jobs to do each day such as watering the plants, restocking the toilet paper, vacuuming the living room, cleaning out the fridge, etc. She divides all the jobs into little 5 or 10 minute chunks, which is really what I need. I might not have an hour to clean the kitchen, but I do have 5 minutes to clean the 2nd shelf of the refrigerator. Your house won't get clean all at once using this system, but you'll make steady progress that you can see and you'll have a sense of accomplishment with a record of what you've done each day towards having a cleaner, more organized home. Give it a try, you might like it. You can view some samples to see if it's what you're looking for. Here's a link: Click here to visit Motivated Moms.

Buy Now

New Coupons... has some new coupons added this week. Click on the banner in the right sidebar to print your own coupons. These can be stacked with store coupons at Target, Walgreens, and other great stores for some whopping savings! Try it, it's fun.

Wal-Mart Samples...

In case you didn't know, Wal-Mart has a samples page on their website where you can sign up for some pretty cool free samples. Check it out here. The samples change often, so be sure to check back with them frequently. I sure enjoy getting those little surprise packages in the mail every so often! The last one I got was Parent's Choice baby formula, enough for a whole day!

Coupon Shopping at Target is Fun and Easy

Our grocery spending can be little or much, depending on how much time and effort I decide to spend on it. Sure, it's easy to stop at the store on the way home from school, throw in the basket whatever looks good and swipe my debit card at the register. But seeing that $100+ total and getting that sinking feeling in my stomach because I know I just blew any chance of us being able to have any fun this week or pay extra on our debt or put any money in savings... You get the picture. I think most of us moms have been there. So, why not put saving money on groceries a little higher on the priority list and make it FUN while you're at it? What used to be a drudgery (grocery shopping) is now quite a good time when I can leave the store with a cart overflowing with necessary stuff AND some fun stuff, too, knowing that I've only spent a smidgen of what I'd have spent before. The other day I went to my local Target (which I LOVE) and got about $200 in groceries for $45.28: 7 boxes of the kids' favorite cereal, 3 jars spaghetti sauce, toilet paper, paper towels, trash bags, Cheetos, applesauce, cat food, mandarin oranges, Velveeta Shells and Cheese, Chex Mix, and tons more!! Our cabinets are stuffed to the brim with yummy stuff and a lot of the non-food stuff we need, too. I used a combination of Target store coupons and printable manufacturer coupons to do this and didn't even bother with clipping coupons out of the paper. If you'd like to print your own Target grocery coupons you can get them here. Happy Target shopping!!

Free Bowling for Kids this Summer!!!

Thanks to Kristi at Blessed by Saving for this one!! Your kids can bowl 2 games a day this summer at participating bowling alleys. All you have to pay for is shoe rental, unless of course you go down to Kmart and buy them some cheap bowling shoes, and then you pay nothing at the alley. Parents can buy a family pass for $23.95 and bowl all summer with the kids (up to 4 adults on the same pass for one price!) We'll be taking advantage of this, for sure! Can you say indoor summertime homeschool PE???? My kids love to bowl and I love FREE, so this is a win-win for us. Go here for all the details.

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Pop-Tarts Coupon

Here's a link to get a printable Pop-Tarts coupon. Enjoy!

How to find cheap college textbooks...

I don't know about you, but I HATE paying bookstore prices for my textbooks. I've been a college student for some time now and let me tell ya, those books can really eat up your budget if you let them. As a nursing student, I'm quickly finding out that there are a TON of books they want you to have (whether you're really going to use them or not). So, I thought I'd share some pointers with anyone who could use some...

  1. Try to get the textbook information from your college bookstore for the particular classes you're enrolled in. Either call them or visit in person (some bookstores will give you the info over the phone, some won't). Write down the book title, author, edition and ISBN from the back. Also write down any supplements that come with it and whether it's a required text or an optional text.
  2. Email your instructors to find out which books they actually require for their particular class and which ones you might be able to do without.
  3. Go online to and enter your book information. This is a great site that will show you tons of online bookstores that carry your books and you can comparison shop through that site.
  4. When you're done with the books, go back to, ebay or craigslist to sell them.
I usually save about 50% on my textbooks and sometimes I'm able to sell them for more than I paid for them at the end of the semester.