Thursday, December 10, 2009

Saving money this holiday season

Don't you find that you spend money without even trying, during this time of year?! Sometimes, I spend money without even leaving the house!! The kids come home with this and that thing to send money in for, from school all the time. It can get overwhelming. Now, factor in Christmas shopping and man, the money flies out of the account!! So... I have been trying to do things like, go to the dollar store more, and going directly to the clearance section in every store. They all have them and you can find some GREAT deals!! you have to go there first and sometimes only go there, skipping the rest of the store. Why pay full price. I have also been studying my grocery circular and circling things i need. I went today to Shop and Save for the thursday save $10 off $50. The cashier actually asked me if I wanted to do 2 separate transactions to save twice...um yeah!! They usually make you leave the store and come back in. I also brought coupons, and only bought things that were on sale or I had a coupon for it. I saved $20 off the bat with the S&S promo, I saved an additional $8 with coupons and saved another $55 by shopping at shop and save and buying the items on sale!!! LOVE it. what a great feeling!!! Both the kids were in dier need for new sneakers, so we went to the mall and headed for the clearance section at a cool store called Jouneys for kids. they have cool skateboarding stuff there, so Chase was all over it! He found the brand he'd been begging me for, which is $59 for a pair of shoes...we found many options to try on at the clearance section for $19.99 same brand!!!! And Brooke found her clearance sneakers for $9.99. Man, this is addicting!! Today I printed off a $5off coupon from herehttp://www.moneywisemoms.com/2009/12/hallmark-gold-crown-5-coupon.html and will couple it with a 40% off coupon on 1item i got in the mail yesterday to get something, for someone for Christmas. Do any of you have any money saving ideas to share with me? It is almost like a game to see how much you can save. Oh yeah, tomorrow, my friend Julie and I are going to a movie for $5 at AMC theatre. They offer movies for only $5 if you go m-f before noon!! I plan on seeing most my movies this way! Don't forget to leave me some more money saving ideas that you have!

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Firetruck + horse + Santa = fun!
























































Today we took the kids up to a local shopping plaza to see Santa. It was about 30* and windy, so we froze our behinds a little, but it was worth it to see Santa arrive in a big firetruck!! He greeted the crowd and then proceeded to the horse drawn carriage, where each family got a turn to ride with him around the parking lot. This was so much more of an intimate experience for the kids, than just sitting on his lap. They sat on either side of him, and had a sweet conversation as we rode in the big white and red carriage. Brooke told him she wanted a Baby Alive doll and Chase, a snowboard. Santa asked questions about whether they were being good and keeping their rooms clean. He told Brooke to make sure to look under her bed, to see if it was clean (does he know everything or what!!) He asked Chase what he would do, if we didn't get any snow. He said he would just ride his skateboard instead. Fun. The horse was just beautiful, and of course, I felt sorry for him, that he had to pull us all around...After, we went to Starbucks for some hot cocoa -compliments of grandma and grandpa D. Here are some pics. My favorite, is the one where Brooke and Santa are looking at eachother.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Decorations





































Love, love, love this time of the year!! I just adore sitting and looking at the Christmas lights at night. So much, that I have been falling asleep out in the family room the past few nights. That part I don't like, because I have wierd dreams and am not at all comfortable, but for the life of me, cannot get up to go to bed. Sad, huh. Anyway. We usually tend to put the same decorations in the same places every year. This year, we mixed it up a little. Our tree is in the living room in front of the large window, and I have to say, I love it there. You can see it as you drive down the street. We spend a lot of time on the computer, and it is right by our desk, so that is nice. In the family room, we still have plenty of lights with our light up snowman, 2 lighted wreaths, and some lights on the fireplace. The hall bath even gets its own lighted wreath. Our neighborhood has lots of houses with lights too this year. Looks so pretty. What have you done around your house this Christmas season that you are enjoying??

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

ADVENT TREE







A few weeks ago, I came upon a really neat idea, from another blog. I have been gathering supplies ever since, to create my very own. It is an Advent tree, that has goodies in marked boxes that the kids will open on the corresponding day in December. This morning's treat wasn't that exciting...they ALL can't be riveting....it was a pack of gum for each. Some days have candy, others, holiday socks, mechanical pencils, chapstick, those washcloths that expand when you add water, or just a note for a free cone at McDonalds. I still have to get stuff for about half the boxes, but today being Dec 1 (YIKES) I had to get it up and going. The kids seem very excited, and they have to search the tree to find the correct number for the day. Chase asked if one is a flat screen tv. Yeah. He did ask which one is the most expensive. I told him it is box #25. It is priceless. His guess was a heart that I kissed - cute. It is actually the baby Jesus from our nativity that they will open on the 25th and place in the manger, since He is the biggest, most important gift. I wonder if they will figure it out by the 25th. I bet Brooke notices that He is missing from the nativity scene..we'll see. Here are some pics of it so far. Excuse my yucky refrig in the backround. I took some brances from the back yard and spray painted them with leftover paint from the bedroom furniture. Then placed florist foam in the bottom of my vase and stuck the branches in. Added some berries, my mom gave me for color and then decorated the boxes and numbered them. Hung them with ribbon. EVERYTHING I bought was from the dollar store!! We used to make chains out of paper and the kids would pull off a chain each day to count down to Christmas day. What do you all do??

(IN)COURAGE -SO great...check it out!

CHASE

CHASE

BROOKE

BROOKE

DEWEY

DEWEY

SPANKY

SPANKY

our family

our family

My CUTIES

My CUTIES