Thursday, February 18, 2010

Free Yogurt from YoPlus!

Thank you to my thrifty friends on DiaperSwappers.com (if you haven't already, check out the awesome Thrifty Families forum!)  for this great deal!

www.yoplus.com and sign up to receive the Betty Crocker newsletter.  You must be a new subscriber.  Hurry before the deal is gone!

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Why is it that snow makes me lazy?

I started wondering this with our last snow storm (we are currently on number three for the year so far and already expecting two more in the next WEEK).  Well, I think I've figured it out.  We are completely snowed in.  There is no coming or going.  So I KNOW no one will be visiting or dropping by for a while.  I guess that's why I have been so extremely lazy and unwilling to clean. 

Our house is a disaster.  If I hadn't left my digi camera on my desk at work, I would take a picture of the crazy mess - inside and out....

Oh well, back to my blogging.  If you are in search of a method that works for cleaning up and clearing out, check out FlyLady.net.  It really is a good system.  Now if I could get off my bum and stop being so lazy during this winter weather to start cleaning....:)

Thursday, February 4, 2010

An Oldie But Goodie - 50 Free PhotoCards from SeeHere.com

Just thought I would repost this.  You can get 50 free PhotoCards from SeeHere.com (FugiFilm).  Just use code NEWBABY at checkout.  You can mix and match so be creative until your heart's desire!  I can't wait for the baby to get here in March.  I have already started plotting on her birth announcements!  And I'll probably throw in some Birthday invites for Gavin as well :)

News about the House

Okay so I got really fed up with all the delays about our loan modification.  I'm tired of waiting on the "analyst" to get back to me.  I finally got someone who understood it's been way too long waiting on a dang decision.  We now have three months worth of trial payments.  They actually went up about $50, but I'm thankful we are getting somewhere with this loan modification!  We now have to seriously cut out all unnecessary expenses and the hubby may have to find a skill he can do on the side.  I am going to start trying to recruit more clients to do websites for.  I have been slack on promoting myself lately because we have been so busy with the kids lately and all their extracirricular activities...

So our first trial payment is due on March 3.  I'm excited, but also nervous.  I have to mail in the payment which means I should do it at least a week and half before the due date.  I HATE having to mail things because it usually slips up on me...well, I guess I will just have to put on my big girl panties and remember to remember.  HeeHee...

That's really all about that.  Now I am back on a super tight budget with no wiggle room at all.  I hope you all will keep me in your prayers.  It's not always easy being thrifty, but I know it's better right now for our family's finances!

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

You should be swaggin! Proof is in the Pudding, folks!

I am getting this pack n' play for the new baby! It is essential because of course, Gavin (who will be one in March) is still occupying the crib.

Graco Pack n' Play

Swagbucks is making it possible for me to get this with only $10 out of pocket! Man, do I love Swagbucks!!!!!!!!!!!!!


 

How?  I earn Amazon giftcards by searching on Swagbucks
Right now I have accumulated $55 worth of Amazon gift cards.  So I can either wait to get $10 more to completely cover my purchase or go ahead and spend $10 out of pocket.  Since the baby is due in a month, I think I'm going to shell out the $10!  If you haven't signed up for Swagbucks, you should do it now!


Free Things for Your Gratitude?

Seriously!  Write companies of products you frequently use, or want to try.  Complain if it is legitimate.  Praise is welcome too!  Companies love to hear you rave about their product, especially if they can use it as a testimonial.  Most will even send you coupons for free products or discounts on their products.  I have gotten freebies from companies like DIAL (soap), HINES (ketchup), DANNON (yogurt), CAPRI SUN, and many more.  Sure it takes a little time, but to me it's more than worth it. 

Here is a thread from AFullCup.com.  Check it out, ti's got a lot of useful links from companies who do send out coupons when you contact them.  (I did not write this thread, so I do not assume responsibility for it!)

On another note, check out sites like DiaperSwappers.com, ClothDiaperNation.com, and AFullCup.com for thrifty advice.  This is where I have gotten most of my tips and hints along the way.  Such great advice from great women has really helped ease the transition of overspending to barely spending anything!

Teach Your Children About Money NOW!

As a child I pretty much worked for nothing and had everything handed to me.  Granted my parents didn't overinduldge me with expensive video games and gadgets, but still I can't remember ever having a chore that I was responsible for.  My husband on the other hand was overinduldged and it still affects his work ethic to this day.  He got anything and everything he wanted without being held accountable for ANY of it.  He went through FOUR cars as a teenager and if he messed up and totaled one, another was quickly purchased for him.

I DO NOT want my kids raised in this manner.  I don't mind buying them things on occassion but lately it's been expected everytime we hit a store.  I got so tired of it I implemented chores and a "PayDay".  IF they do their chores, they get a dollar per day they do them.  I know it's not a ton, but they have the potential to earn $7 a week.  Since we are so broke right now, that is a lot, especially when you multiply it by two children.  IF I have to do their chores for the night...well, they owe me a dollar per night I have to do their work.  So far, so good and it gives me a little break from all the daily responsibilities around here. 

I am hoping that from this they will realize that in order to have things they want, they do have to put in work behind it.  I hate to think of them not being able to cope in the "real world".  I hate that my husband is so unrealistic about our finances that he still tries to overinduldge them with things they don't need.

If you would like to do this as well, check out this site.  It allows you to make your own FREE chore chart for your child.  Mine really enjoy checking off their task each night and figuring out what their "PayDay" will equal up to at the end of the week!


Making Use of Unused Baby Food

Our family gets WIC (Women, Infant, & Children) which is a supplemental food program for families with children who are "low-income".  It's a great program and provides our family with formula, milk, cheese, cereal, beans, tuna, baby cereal, juice, and jarred baby food.  We have tons of the jarred baby food left over as my son did not want to eat these.  They are taking up quite a bit of room in the cabinets and quite frankly, getting on my nerves as we are already crunched for space!

I hadn't figured out what I could do with all this baby food until a few days ago.  After buying the YoBaby yogurt, I realized I could be saving money and just making my own!  Well, partially making my own.  I bought a big container of plain, organic yogurt and started adding the fruits to it instead of buying it already mixed.  My 11 month old loves it!  I also found it's a good way to sneak in those veggie baby food varieties that he is not so crazy about and he doesn't even bat an eye!

Just wanted to share.  I'm sure I'm not the only one who finds it hard to find uses for these leftover items.  Also check out these recipes for things you can do with that leftover Rice or Oatmeal cereal.  If all else fails, feel free to donate to your local food pantry.  We get so much milk I usually give half of it to the grandmother of one of my son's teammates since they don't have a lot.

 

Great Deals at Avon Outlet

I sell Avon. It's been a real blessing in my life. It gives me on average about $400 in additional income a month after it's all said and done - sometimes more! I wanted to pass these great deals onto you fellow frugalistas.

Check out my online store at www.youravon.com/jacquelineleonard and click on OUTLET. There are tons of great deals. My personal fave is clearanced out right now - Pro to Go lipstick in Limited Edition colors for ONLY $2.99! This is normally a $10 lipstick and of course it's full sized! They have other great deals like body washes for $1.29. Use promo code KISSES for free shipping on any $5 order.



Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Swaggin' Has Gotten Me Far!

Okay, I know most of you fellow frugalistas probably have already heard the buzz about Swagbucks.  IF by chance you haven't it's definitely something worth checking out. 

Here's the jist:

It is a search engine.  Search for things you'd be searching for anyway and earn swagbucks.  Once you earn enough Swagbucks you can cash out for useful things like gift certificates to Amazon.com or even cold, hard cash from PayPal.  It doesn't take a lot.  Just search and win.  You can also refer your friends, family, followers, whoever and earn dollar for dollar what they earn!

Sound too good to be true?  Well, it's not.  This is not a get rich scheme.  It's a simple program that rewards you with things you can use.  I have already cashed out my Swagbucks for $175 worth of Amazon Gift Certificates.  I'm still earning and planning on buying baby gear for our March baby! 

I don't know about you, but it really does help out when your budget doesn't allow for things like a new baby's playard.  Check it out...I mean, really...What do you have to lose?

Search & Win

About My Family

We have been struggling for months on end. It seems like as soon as we moved into our home, my husband was laid off and we fell behind on every bill we have. I hate living like this. I know our family is not the only family who is in debt and struggling everyday to pay the bills and provide for their family. It's rough. I'm here to share my journey and I'm hoping to bring our family through debt free.

My husband became employed the first of this year. We are both working from my family owned & operated business and even the business is having a terrible time due to this economy so still, we are struggling. There are days there is no work and my husband is off. There are days when I am out due to the terrible winter weather here in Virginia. I'm not optimistic on the upcoming month as far as having money to cover all of our bills.

Currently we are in loss mitigation with our mortgage company. This means we are working with them to avoid foreclosure and get a lower payment on the loan until we can afford something more. This has been ongoing since October and has really put a lot of stress on me. I really feel as though I am carrying the burden alone. My husband reminds me of a teenager who has no sense of financial responsibility and having to nag him about every penny he spends really makes me resentful. I absolutely hate feeling like the nagging wife.

We are expecting our third child together in late March. He has a ten year old daughter from a previous "relationship". So basically, I feel as though I have somehow failed my children. I keep on trucking though. I want to be able to provide for them financially and teach them how to make wise decisions for their own financial future.

This is my diary. A daily dose of my journey. I am determined to make it through this rough patch victorious. I am delighted that you want to join me!