Monday, July 20, 2009

Frugal Check In - Back to School!

Ok, I have to admit the summer hasn't been great for my frugal-wannabe status. I found myself, last week, with a stack of coupons (of course, the best having expired) that I hadn't bothered to clip since school got out at the end of May, and realized that I didn't think I had done a proper grocery run since then either. So, I forced myself to sit down and weed through the stack an organize them and make a grocery and CVS list - to coordinate with sales and needs for the next week+. It felt good to start getting control again. I am a person that needs lists, and rules, and boundaries!!! Whew, that feels better - especially when I have tangible evidence of my organization paying off with my savings.

The one down side is that when I really took a look at last weeks paper it brought the hard and fast reality that our summer is almost over when I saw all the Back-to-School sales! Unfortunately, we live in a area of the country where school administrators have decided that sending kids back into the classrooms in early August when it is 678 degrees outside is a good idea. Our 1st day of school is August 12th and we are one of the last to return in the area (insert eye rolling, pshaw noise here). When we lived in NY we didn't return to school until after Labor Day and I loved it. It felt natural and it wasn't 678 degrees, but I digress and don't miss the NY taxes.

Sooooo...back to my original point, frugality! I like to buy school supplies for the entire year and keep a supply shelf stocked so that I am not having to frantically locate a report cover at 10:00 p.m. on a Thursday night (yes...yes, this does happen!). I also don't want to spend a house payment gathering all these supplies. For those of you who have children, you know that those lists of supplies have continued to grow each year as costs have risen. I definitely don't begrudge the purchases because I am aware that teachers receive next to nothing (if anything) for supplies and most spend a great deal of their own money providing supplies - even with the long list of requirements from parents, but I also have 3 children and need to manage this expenditure carefully. I imagine parents are really eyeing how to cut costs this year, more than ever. When looking over the Sunday paper last week I saw several CVS Back to School sales that, after Extra Care Bucks, were FREE and Office Max had some amazing "loss leaders" so that got me rolling. Yesterday, I again scoured the Sunday Paper and headed out this morning to pick up the great deals to be had at Walgreen's and new loss leaders at Office Max. I love sharing good deals so here is what I have managed to get:

  • 50 mechanical pencils
  • 2 pairs of scissors
  • 2 bottles of glue
  • 2 rulers
  • 3 protractors
  • 44 ink pens
  • 10 highlighters
  • 3 packs of cap erasers
  • 3 rolls of Scotch tape
  • 44 #2 pencils
  • 3 compasses
  • 3 pencil sharpeners
  • 10 2 pocket poly folders w/ prongs
  • 6 binders
  • 10 report portfolios
  • 24 2 pocket folders
  • 8 composition books
  • 3 sets markers (washable)
  • 3 sets colored pencils
  • 16 sheets poster board (white)
  • 6 packs 100 count index cards

Are you ready for my grand total?

$25.03 (including tax)!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I do have a few things left on my list but feel pretty certain I will manage to get school supplies for all three for less than $50! I am doing the happy dance today to be sure.

OK, how are your frugal efforts this summer?

Monday, July 13, 2009

Because I like Pink!

Last week were were on the Isle of Palms for a week of relaxation and rejuvenation but on our way, I spotted this little gem...
Oh, yes...she is!!!!
So, I just had to share because, well...

I love PINK!
Oh, and a Land Rover here and there isn't bad, either!

Friday, July 3, 2009

You can't take 'em anywhere...

A couple of weeks ago, I mentioned that DH and I were going to tour the Southern Living Idea home located in Dahlonega, GA and I got many comments an emails telling me how lots of husbands don't like doing those (like my DH (dear husband) used to be). Well, maybe that is because the average husband doesn't act like a goof ball during the tour...
Yes, yes...that is my DH laying on the Master Bed in the Idea house.
Oh...and it gets better...yes, that would be the Master Bath Tub.

Gardening Update...

I haven't really mentioned much about my deck garden this year, so I thought it was time for an update! This year I have done non-hybrid tomatoes, which is a first for me. The down (or up) side is that apparently they grow much taller than the hybrids I have done in the past so I have tomato plants that are taller than me!
Oh, and since I have about 12 plants we have tomatoes at all stages of ripening.
Another 1st for me is doing zucchini on the deck. The verdict is still out on how well this experiment is going but the zucchini has provided a lovely visual accent!
Gorgeous zucchini bloom!
Some of my ripe tomatoes; man, I love summer!