Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Learning to be frugal

My mom and I have been spending a lot of time reading websites and blogs on how to use coupons and save money. These days it doesn't seem you can save enough money and the cost of feeding a family of 3 (will be 4 in not too long) isn't getting any cheaper.

I'm still learning but last week I managed to get $20 in coupons and had a few price match sales. I felt pretty good about my savings. I even managed to get a few things for free (with coupons and/or price matching).

It's almost become a job for me to sit and go through the weekly ads from Walgreens, CVS, Brookshires and Krogers and then go through my coupons and and make my lists of what we need or what we can get for cheap/free (to stock up or donate). Some weeks are better than other weeks of course, always depending on what's on sale and what we need.

My hubby went shopping with me last week and I think he was surprised (pleasently) to see how much time/effort I put into trying to save money. I think he was also surprised to see what I was able to buy and what I managed to get for cheap or free!

I thought I'd share a few websites I visit regularly. You never know how much you can save/get with just a little time and a little effort!

http://www.bigtent.com/group/buzz (how to shop for free website..cost $1 to join..keeps out spammers).


Monday, September 21, 2009

Fun frames!

Last night, while trying to get a fussy baby to sleep I decided to play with my phone. I realized that my phone has some really cool "frames". Here are my test subjects and their pictures. I thought they were pretty funny.

This is how I picture Mikie if he were part of the disco era!

My beautiful baby getting some MUCH needed rest!

Lane and his funny face. He always sticks his tongue out!!

This is Lane if he were in an aquarium! This was his favorite picture!
So who knew my phone could be so much fun? I can't believe all the cool things I can do. See what happens when you're really tired and trying to stay awake? The joys of parenthood :)

Netflix vs. Blockbuster

I have been an avid user of Netflix for probably 2 or 3 years now. I love netflix since our local movie rental place (mom and pop kinda place) only has a few dvds and they rent them by the night. Most nights I have no idea what's going to happen and can never count on the fact if I rent a movie, I'll get to work it that same night. Our blockbuster is in marshall and I try to only go to marshall on Friday's (save on gas and such).

I noticed on frugalcouponliving.com that she found that blockbuster was offering a 6 week free trial of their service and thought I'd sign up. I wanted to see how they rated compared to the netflix and which would was the best rental for me.

Let's start with netflix.

If I mail a movie out on Monday, they usually received it Tuesday and ship out my next movie that same day and I usually have it Wednesday. That's pretty good. I rarely have any problems getting a movie late (maybe a handful of times in the entire time I've been a member). I've never had a movie lost in the mail and I've only received 1 movie damanged (which I did not have to pay for). I've lost one movie (I'm convinced I threw it away) and I paid the fee and was sent out another movie promptly. I pay 15.07 (with tax) a month for 2 movie rental (unlimited). I've watched several online through their streaming and mostly pretty good quality and I've had no problems with that. I give them an A+.

Blockbuster is next.

I was able to find the movies I was interested in, so the selection seems pretty good. I liked the idea that I could return them to the blockbuster store, but what I think they fail to mention is that you can only do it 5 times in a month. They may not be a problem for some people, but if you can get unlimited rentals, why not be able to return them unlimited as well. I received my first movie about 3 days after i signed up. I mailed both movies back on the same day (to the same place in two different envelopes) and one was received the next day and the other took 3 days to get there. It took them 1 day to mail me a new dvd for the first return and then it's taken 3 days for the 2nd return. They defintiely aren't nearly as fast (and maybe they aren't worried about that since they have the actual store to make money from as well). Price wise, they are more expensive, 16.99 (without tax) for unlimited rentals. I haven't found that you can watch any movies on their site yet either, but I believe you can download one to your box for a 24 hour viewing..

I know that Netflix dvds go to Coppell, Tx and blockbuster to Dallas, Tx (both are very close to either other).

My overall review is, I'll stick with Netflix after my six week trial is finished. Blockbuster is nice, but at this point in time (and in my opinion) doesn't compare with the service I receive from Netflix, nor the price.


Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Adjusting to a new life style!

There has been lots of changes the past two weeks. Julie, is of course on her own schedule, which makes things harder for me. I'm such a planned person it's hard for me to just "go with the flow", but I'm managing! She has become a sleep fighter. I was really hoping she wouldn't get that trait from me, like her brother did. Ahhh my mother is just jumping with joy for the fact I got another one "just like me". We are working with it and I'm finding a few tricks that seem to help!

Lane is enjoying school! He is up at 7am (usually without me waking him) and most days he gets up and gets dressed, brushes his hair and teeth and watches tv until it's time to go! He eats breakfast at school with his class and then we pack a lunch. He gets the best of both worlds! He has many friends, most of which he talks about, happen to be girls. Why am I not surprised? Today he told me they learned about ears. He is supposed to use his ears to listen! I said it was a wonderful thing that God gave him ears so he could listen. He surely thought so!

Mikie had to have a root canal yesterday. It took 4 hours to do it and it was long sitting with Julie waiting for him. He had to take a pain pill last night, but he's feeling better today. He goes back next month for a crown. The dentist is working with us and isn't going to charge us until they do the crown. It's going to be about 1600 and since we don't have insurance, we'll be paying for it all. Ahhh.. the joys. He has some more dental work that will need to be done, but will have to wait until we can pay this off first. Then I'll need to see the dentist.

This weekend is labor day weekend. We have nothing planned, but to spend time with the family! Rebecca, my best friend from Ohio will be here next Tuesday. Lane's birthday is next Friday and we'll have his party next Saturday at Pump It Up in Longview. He's really excited! I can't believe he'll be 5. Where does the time go!

I'm hoping to start scrapbooking again some during the day. I need to catch up on Lane's (of course) and start on Julie's. One day I'll be closer to having some complete albums!