Thursday, October 26, 2006

A Visit With My Nephew

My little nephew Knox came to visit for a few days last week. This was his first overnight trip away from his parents. He was very brave and we enjoyed having him here for several days. It is so much fun being an auntie!

Knox loves balls! He also looks so cute sitting in there!

Is it an ogre? No, it's a Knoxster wearing Shrek ears!

Auntie Mary Ann reading Knox his favorite book, Chicka Chicka Boom Boom.We wouldn't have survived those few days without it!

Sunday, October 22, 2006


Isn't it great that God knows our needs and takes care of them?

I've been going through my winter clothes and trying to get some semblance of a fall and winter wardobe going. It's hard to know what to wear during these months down here in South Carolina. It can be long sleeve and sweater weather one day and shorts and t-shirt the next!

But I have noticed that my winter clothing isn't in the best of shape. I only have a couple of long sleeve shirts and some look pretty bad. So I knew I would have to replace them some time soon. I asked God to help me find the right clothes at the right price, since He always knows about those things better than me. I hadn't thought any more about it until a friend brought a small bag of clothes to me at church today. Some I won't be able to wear, but at the bottom of the bag were two long sleeve shirts that will be perfect for fall and winter. The great thing is that I already have a shirt of the exact same style in different colors, so I already know that they will fit right and be modest.

As for the right price...who can argue with FREE!!

God also answers prayer and works through our own stupidity. Here's an example:

Over Labor Day weekend, Eckerds had a special going along with the Pepsi Company where you could buy 4 -12 packs of select Pepsi products for $10. The ad included a rebate form to send in to receive a rebate of $10. So I would get 4 packs of drinks for free. Not bad, huh?

Well, unfortunately, Eckerds sometimes misrepresents their sale items and gets things mixed up. Their ad pictured Aquafina water bottles as part of the deal, but the fine print on the rebate form didn't mention Aquafina as one of the qualifying products.

Well, I didn't read the fine print and purchased 3 12-packs of Aquafina and 1 Sierra Mist, since we drink very little carbonated beverages and almost nothing with caffeine.

I cut off the UPC symbols and sent the rebate form in, all the while feeling like a frugal and smart little homemaker. Then I read this post and realized that I had made a mistake by not reading the fine print. I was sickened to think I had just spent $10 that I wouldn't have spent otherwise and I felt like I had wasted some money. My husband helped me to calm down and look at the situation as a learning experience and I was thankful that it was only $10 and not $20.:-)

I also prayed about it and asked God to work it out however He thought was best. Then I put it out of my mind and only thought about it as a reminder to always read the fine print!

So imagine my surprise last week when I received a $10 rebate check from the Pepsi company! I certainly wasn't expecting anything and I was taking full responsibility for the error. I am thankful that God worked it out this way and you can be sure that I will continue to read the fine print and only submit rebates for items that I am assured are the ones that the rebate is for.

Just thought I'd share two little praise stories from my life this week! Thank you, God for your faithful provision!

Friday, October 20, 2006

25 Ways I Save

I saw this over at Like Merchant's Ships. Here are some ways that I am able to save money:
25 Ways I Save
1. Cook primarily from scratch.
2. Drink water almost exclusively; very few juices or soda beverages.
3. Shop with a list. And discipline myself to stick to that list!(Sometimes harder than others.)
4. Plan menus.(This helps me to make my shopping lists.)
5. Plan my errands for one trip. This saves gas, time and money. I don't like to shop all that well anyways, and if I am doing a whole mornings worth of errands, I am more ready to get my business done and head home!
6. Stay at home a lot!
7. Use what I have to cook or create crafts.
8. Pray before, during and after I shop.
9. Cultivate a contented spirit.
10. Take time to use coupons and rebates. This way, I get a bunch of stuff for free!
11.Buy basic clothes that I can mix and match.
12. Shop at thrift stores and yard sales.
13. Have a list for thrift stores and yard sales.
14. Limit my thrift store and yard sale shopping!!! (Are you with me here?!!!?)
15. Use the envelope system for budgeting. You can see where all your money goes.
16. Pay with cash. Cash is harder to part with than money you can't see. When the cash is gone, you need to wait to make a purchase.
17. Spend less than $2 a pound for most meats by watching the sales and marked down shelves.
18. Stay in tune with my needs vs. my wants.
19. Make some of my own cleaners.
20. Limit use of disposables.
21. Budget a certain amount of money for Christmas each month. This helps me to shop all year for gifts, saving me money and time when I can think more clearly, as opposed to the hectic holiday season.
22.Use less laundry soap than called for. I haven't noticed a difference in how clean the clothes are.
23. Keep a well-stocked pantry and freezer. Sometimes, it may take a little creative thinking, but I can usually come up with an edible meal without going to the store or ordering a pizza.
24.Being willing to branch out and research new frugal ideas and not being afraid to learn new skills that will benefit my family as well as improve our quality of life and budget.
25. Looking at our frugal lifestyle as a fun, rewarding and challenging hobby rather than having a "pity me" attitude.

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Works For Me Wednesday-Kitchen Clean-Up Tip

Once again, it is Wednesday and time to share something that works for me! I love to cook, but the clean-up is another totally different subject.I am a really messy cook!

I especially hate cleaning up pancake and waffle batter. You know how it always drip, drip, drips on the counter and everywhere when pouring it on to the griddle or waffle iron? I used to use a regular wet rag to wash it up, but really hated how slimy, nasty and generally disgusting the rag would look and feel when I was done. So now, I just lay out a piece of wax paper under the mixing bowl of batter. When making waffles, I put out a huge piece of wax paper to put both the batter and the waffle iron on to catch all the drips. When done cooking, all I have to do is lift up the paper and toss it. This goes against my normal reluctance to use a lot of disposables, but it's so easy and definitely works for me!

Thanks again to Shannon for hosting Works For Me Wednesday!

Previous WFMW Posts:
Flu and Cold Season Preparation
Sewing tip
Have birthday cards ready
Menu Planning
Stamps in your mailbox
Stir Fry tips
Keep Aldi Bags In Your Car
Sacred Space and Bible Basket
MYO Mixes
Organize Receipts and Bills
Remember Your Tithe Check