Been a busy week

Surprise after dinner. Dinner was nice last night. The kids pigged out on pizza and pasta and I did too but I did eat some salad just for good measure. Charlie of course paid for everything even though I came prepared to pay for our dinner.

Oh the surprise, well he had some really neat costumes for the kids. My little angel is going to be Tinker Bell while my oldest is Captain Jack Sparrow and my little hand full, well he’s a little stinker so he’s going as a skunk!! I loved the costumes and so did the kids. I know Charlie paid a small fortune for the costumes because they weren’t the cheap kind you get at most department stores. There were more like the costumes you get from a costume store. The kids are going to have a blast Halloween night. Oh yeah,

Putting up the tree this weekend

The kids have been bugging me like crazy wanting to put our Christmas tree up. I just haven’t had any time with all the overtime I have been working to be able to buy the kids Christmas presents this year. I am so thankful that I still have my job because I know so many people that have lost their jobs lately it’s scary.

Anyway, I had this weekend off (an act of God made that happen) and we’re finally putting up our tree. My mother got us a really nice artificial tree one year after Christmas so I wouldn’t have to spend money on a live on every year. Besides, it just doesn’t feel right to me to kill a tree to honor the birth of Jesus Christ. Do you know what I’m saying?

Now once we get the tree up, the kids are going to be asking where the presents are. I got to start working on that too. What to get for who for under the tree.  There’s always clothes and underwear. They hate to get that!!!!

You are not going to believe this

I got a great deal on a Wii for my children for Christmas. I was on Craigslist and someone had a new one they had bought for their teen-aged son and he just really messed up so they sold it to me for $25.00. I was totally shocked since these things cost at the cheapest I’ve seen $235.00.

I didn’t want to ask them what he did but it must have been pretty bad. I really dread when my kids hit those teen-aged years. My oldest is a teenager but my mother is raising him so she has most of the headaches with that. I remember my teenage years, especially since I had my first at barely 16 years old.

Anyway back to my excitement. Now I can ask other people to get them some of the really cool games they have for them. It came with a couple of games too. So the whole thing was just nothing short of a blessing for my children and me. I just hate that it took a teenager messing up for my kids to benefit. I honestly hope and pray that what ever it was he did, that he learned a good lesson from it and will be a good boy from now on.

Time to find a pumpkin

jack-o-lantern (free clip art)
jack-o-lantern (free clip art)
Today the kids and I went to a local pumpkin patch to find the perfect pumpkin to make a Jack-o- lantern from.  We found it and the darn thing cost $25 dollars. Needless to say, I couldn’t afford it. As we were walking away with one screaming and crying “I want THAT pumpkin” and the other two with long faces, a kind older man heard what was going on.

As I was getting everyone in the car, someone tapped me on my shoulder. It was the gentleman that had been near enough us to hear the children cry and me say “I just can’t afford $25 for a pumpkin.”  There he stood with that pumpkin in his hands saying “Here, this pumpkin really needed to go home with your kids. It was crying when you left it so I had to get it for the kids so they all could be happy.” My children started hooting and hollering and each one gave the kind man a big hug and said thank you.

There I stood with tears in my eyes. This kind soul was my guardian angel at that moment and I could plainly see it in his eyes. I gave him a hug and told him that he had no idea how much I appreciated his selfless kindness. He told me his name was Charlie Benson, gave me his phone number and told me that if I needed anything to help with the children for Christmas, to please let him know. He didn’t have any family to spoil and would love to adopt my children as his grandchildren if that was okay. He then asked if he could call from time to time to just speak with them and hear how their day or week had been.

I’m a bit nervous about giving him my number and I hate to say it but I will check him out before I allow him to be much of a part of my children’s lives. You can’t be too careful in this day in time but my heart tells me he is what he appears to be, just a kind old man with no one who wants to help. I sure hope so because my children would love to have a ‘Grandpa’ to spoil them all.

Help when it’s most needed

Credit Card Counseling is everywhere in these economic times but there are more options than getting with a company that focuses on debt consolidation. Most of those types of companies only help you with counseling or others only help you to find refinancing and still others get you into a service where you pay a certain amount per month and owe less in the end.

Well they are hard to find, but there really are companies that help you with all of the above and financial planning too. In all reality, financial planning is the best way to get out of debt and stay debt-free while you plan for your future at the same time. Getting debt-free won’t happen overnight; it may take years, and it takes a lot of discipline to spend your money wisely. I know that sounds impossible but financial planning really can help.

Happy 4th of July

Independence Day (free clip art)
Independence Day (free clip art)
There is a local semi-pro baseball team that has the best fireworks every year. It doesn’t cost much to go watch the game either. I love taking the kids every year to see the ball game and the fireworks. It’s almost become a tradition with us. Before the game, we go to the park for a cook out with my family. We have hamburgers and hot dogs, potato salad and make home-made ice cream too.  By the time it’s time to go to the ball game, we’re all stuffed and so that helps save money at the game. Hot dogs are EXPENSIVE at ball games.

I can’t believe people still don’t have health insurance

Health insurance (free clip art)
Health insurance (free clip art)
I am very lucky – I get health insurance from the company that I work with, as a benefit. But a lot of my friends and relatives don’t have that, and they struggle to find affordable health insurance. I can’t believe that so many of them still don’t have any health insurance at all! I’m recommending to them to check out the information I found on the nc health agency web page to see if they can help them get affordable health insurance. Nobody should have to go without medical treatment!

Saving on groceries

groceries (free clip art)
groceries (free clip art)
I read an article on MSN Money central about feeding a family on $100 a week.  If I spent that much a week on food, I wouldn’t be able to pay all the other bills before now so I’m used to being tight with groceries.

There are better way to save money on food than they talk about.  I buy a lot of chicken and hamburger but we still eat well.  We have a little garden and Grandpa has a big garden so we home can and freeze a lot of vegetables so we don’t have to buy that many vegetables.  Mom is great at making different things with the same old meats.  You just have to find recipes that everyone likes and use your imagination a little.  I’ve learned to be a pretty good cook from trial and error mostly, and a lot of help from Mom.

Using coupons helps a lot, too. I have a “coupon-swapping” friend, Joann, and we try to get together at least twice a month to trade coupons. I enjoy catching up with her, and we always find we save a lot of money by swapping off the coupons that we clip from the papers.

Sick of Doing Laundry

Around here I try to get the laundry done just about every day. I don’t like it to build up and become a nagging problem, but I also try to make sure I run a full load so I’m not wasting water and electricity.

Most days I can do one load of colors. I have to let the white things add up for 4 or 5 days before I have enough to make a full load. Usually whatever day I do the whites I will also get all the bath towels and sheets rounded up and just do a couple of extra loads of laundry that day.

Today I am looking at four piles of dirty clothes, towels and sheets and I can’t help thinking that it would so much nicer to spend the day outside getting my garden started. But I need to make sure all the clothes get clean instead.

Coupon clubs

All of my friends are now doing coupon clubs. They trade coupons, clip coupons and print out coupons constantly. They save thousands of dollars a year doing it and manage to get so much stuff for free its unbelievable. I have decided that it is time for me to do so as well. Yesterday, my friend Tracy got ten tubes of toothpaste for free, as well as a lot of other stuff, and only spent about seventeen dollars. That is a big deal. She told me that I can find coupons here on this site.

Now I am joining the different coupon clubs she has recommended to me like the find deals here one she sent me. I will recommend all the sites she gives me to anyone who wants to save money. In today’s economy we have to save wherever we can, because inflation has gotten so high. It is very difficult for some people to make ends meet with the prices as they are. A gallon of milk costs more then a gallon of gas half the time and gas is so expensive now too. I have friends who have given up the second vehicle for their family because of it.

I can only hope that anyone who want to find deals here does so and make their lives a little easier because of it. It is already making a difference in my life even though I have just started to do this. My friends call it extreme couponing. I think that is a great name for it myself. After all, when u only spend fifty dollars for two hundred dollars worth of stuff that is extreme. Give it a try and see how well you do. It certainly cannot hurt to try it.

I have been able to buy a lot of stuff I normally cannot afford. I no longer have to shop at the discount stores all the time, because I can go to the regular grocery stores and spend less money by using coupons and the sales they are having together. It is amazing how easy this is. My kids are much happier now as well, since I can get them all the snacks they want as well as stock up on other products we use. All you need is a little time and effort to be successful in this endeavor. Have a great day.