Consignment Sale Shopping: Spent $24 For 6 Items

 

Here’s what I picked up today for my six year old at our local Sweet Repeats Consignment SaleI hadn’t planned on going, but happened to see an outfit in her closet this morning from last year’s sale that I loved. So, when a neighbor mentioned the sale began today I decided to make a quick trip!  

 
I love the polka dot dress for her for church, and Reagan was in bad need of some jeans so I’m hoping for $4 these will get her through ’til next fall.

 

While I’ve found it quite a bit easier to swap clothes with a friend who has similarly aged children (if you can do that, you will save so much money and effort!), there are some things that don’t get passed on which I tag and take to a local sale. I’d love to hear your tips on consigning kids clothes if you have them!

 

If you’re looking for consignment sales in your area, check this out. If anyone knows of another link that lists national consignment sales I’d love to hear about it!

 

Keep It Simple

Almost Homemade Cinnamon Rolls ~ can’t imagine who took a bite before even putting the candles on ;)

I’ve been struggling lately with keeping up with all the things on my to-do list. My inbox is constantly full, my home is always in need of tidying, my kids seem to cry “mom“ every eight seconds that they’re home, and to say I’m just a wee bit overwhelmed these days is an understatement.  I absolutely love sharing Friday Fluff Ups with you each week, but right now I’m just a bit fluffed out. ;)

 

On top of that, my own expectations on myself are a wee bit ridiculous some days. I expect to craft like this, cook like this, blog like this, and did I mention we’re trying to sell a house too? Yesterday was my Caroline’s birthday, and I’ve always been a big birthday fest freak. While we have simple parties at home, I like to fluff them up a bit, love putting together a cute gift, and want my kids to know they’re oh-so-special on that day.

 

So when I realized this year that that all just couldn’t happen, I was disappointed (to say the least.) Then to add to my to-do list pile, I got a phone call that a realtor wanted to show the house yesterday.  I raced through the house getting every thing tidied up, stuffed popcorn that my vacuum wouldn’t pick up in my pockets (resourcefulness, right?), and through the trash can from our playroom in the car with me before racing out the door (this is the truth folks.)

 

Yikes.

 

So, this isn’t the year for big parties, but my girl seemed just fine with that.

 

I brought cookies to the bus stop to celebrate (thank you Target for that deal!)

 

She opened a few gifts

And for dinner feasted on her favorite fresh fruit along with her favorite cinnamon rolls for dinner. (We did have bacon and eggs too to round out the meal.) ;)

 

So what does any of this have to do with penny pinching?  There are seasons of our lives where we have to scale back and skimp on things to make way for even better things in the future.

 

There are times when we won’t have something big and fancy because really all we can do is something simple.

 

And really, those days turn out just fine, and sometimes simplicity brings even more joy.

 

I was disappointed for my daughter that I couldn’t pull off more, but she was so pleased with what we did do.  She loved her gifts (her favorite was the $5 Hula Hoop and $2 jump rope), gobbled up every cinnamon roll, and she really had just a wonderful day.

 

If you’re at a place in your life where you can’t do it all, it’s okayIf you can’t have a fancy party for your child because of finances, they will be just fine. Love on them instead. If you don’t have enough time to Pinterest together a whole new house, that’s okay too. Instead consider just cleaning it up.  Hopefully you (and I!) will get through this season of our lives, and who knows what will be waiting around the corner.

 

(There is an end out there, right?) ;)

 

We’ve Been To Disney!

Whew!!! My family is almost home from Disney World, and goodness, gracious, I’m worn out! I really can’t thank my friends Shannon, Misty & Susan enough for ALL their help running PPP while I was gone ~ this is the most I’ve stayed off the computer in the last four years, and it felt so good to be unplugged for the most part for the last few days.

Since we knew it would be harder to make a trip to Disney once we moved to Ohio, we wanted to sneak in a trip before our kids got any older. On Tuesday school was cancelled because of snow and ice possibly coming to Alabama, so we snuck out a day early and surprised our kids with a trip South! My oldest wasn’t all that happy about it (he really wanted to see snow, and we did miss that a bit!), but by the time the week was over I think he was okay with it. ;)

 

Here’s a peek at what we did while we were there . . .

Spent our first afternoon in Animal Kingdom

Then headed to the Magic Kingdom Thursday morning (I love that place!)

And of course rode It’s A Small World

My kids loved riding all the rides, but I think running around Tom Sawyer Island is still one of their favorites

On Friday we visited Epcot – my husband loves seeing how they grow things in the Living with the Land exhibit

And our kids loved seeing all things Mickey & Minnie

Ate lunch in Germany – so good!

And my girls loved checking out all the Kidcot stations where they got a stamp from each country. (That idea is brilliant ~ makes getting through the countries in Epcot so much more fun with little ones!)

We spent (a lot!) of time on the buses

And my Caroline (who turns 11 in just six days) asked to have her hair done at the Bibbidy Bobbidy Boutique at Downtown Disney as a birthday gift. (Folks, that place was a zoo ~ yikes! But she did look pretty cute.) ;)

Before heading out this morning we enjoyed breakfast at O’Hanas (probably our favorite meal) and are on our way home now.

 

Whenever I mention Disney I always get lots of questions about how to do the trip on a penny pinched budget, and I wish I knew some great secret tips. Really though, the best thing I can tell you is to have a vacation budget in place, and then wait for a decent offer from Disney.  We had money in our vacation budget available, so when my friend Susan mentioned that she’d gotten an offer in the mail for free dining about a month ago, we were able to hop on the discount!

 

Eating food at Disney is so just crazy expensive, and since we’re such penny pinchers when it comes to food I don’t think we could enjoy our trip if we had to shell out $75 for our family of five at every meal. My husband and I just tallied up what we paid for besides our room, park admission, and dining plan (which was free), and including the extra tips for sit down meals as well as a gift for each child we spent less than $150. For us, the dining plan (when it’s free!) is so worth it. Our kids even had enough extra snack credits to bring treats home from the park!

 

If you have any great tips on touring Disney on the cheap I’d love to hear about them, and expect to see oodles of penny-pinched deals tomorrow when I’m fully back to work. Happy Sunday! ;)

Snow Days in Alabama

Here’s a peek at what today looks like in Alabama…. We have had snow off and on the past 3 days! We had to play early, it’s supposed to melt soon. Here is a glimpse of our past few days:

This is the biggest Snow Ball Ever according to my six year old! 

And what good is snow without snow cream? Yummy! 

 

25 Days To A More Organized You Day 22: What To Do When You Can’t Keep Up

 

I had great intentions to clean out my bathroom drawers today, then underneath the sinks and of course finish up by tackling my kids bathroom cabinets.

 

Then life happened. ;) My kids were home on a two-hour delay from school, I had a painter and carpet cleaners working on my house, needed to get together a new nacho recipe to share (watch for the post tomorrow), the PPP site decided to quit for about an hour (ugh!) and my kids all have a slew of activities from 2:30-9 tonight.

 

Something had to give, so I thought I’d share this old post as an encouragement to you. My friend Shannon and I shared this thought when talking a few years ago,  and I’m betting a few other folks struggle with it just like we do!  Even if you’re a slightly un-organized mess like we are some days, God has a good plan for you. ;)

 

Do you ever watch another mom who seemingly has it all together and feel simply overwhelmed? Do you look at someone else’s cute clothes, cute shoes, cute kids and (of course) super organized life and think . . . Why can’t I be like that?

 

I know, I do that too.

 
Many days I look at my frazzled, worn-out, over-anxious, slightly-pudgy-self and all I can think is “I AM A MESS!” (And if you know me, you know that’s pretty much the case!) My kids are rowdy, my husband is fantastic (but also loud, boisterous, and slightly prone to holler at drivers that don’t drive correctly . . . ~ahem~), and I’ve managed to miss exactly three appointments in the last two months because I simply don’t seem to have a grasp on all there is to do each day. I’ll never be PTA president (ummmmm . . . which really is just fine by me), I barely keep up with the very few volunteer jobs that I do, and my daughter has convinced me that I’m the only mom in the whole school who doesn’t plan a weekly lunch date with their child.

 
But, you know what? I’ve come to the conclusion that it’s okay that I can’t keep up. My children are fed each day, my laundry is (usually . . .) caught up, no one has been eaten by the dust bunnies in our home (yet), and when my kids have a rough day, all they want to do is come home to hang out with me. (Mess that I am and all . . . isn’t that just nuts?) They don’t care that my clothes aren’t super cute, they don’t even notice that I own shoes (much less whether they’re highly fashionable or not), and they’re each pretty sure that they’re kinda cute themselves.

 

I’m never going to be that girl . . . and I have a sneaky suspicion that even that momma doesn’t feel all that on top of things herself. So instead, I’ve got to work on being the best (unorganized, chaotic, very excitable, and a wee bit nuts) girl that I can be . . . even if that doesn’t look like what I would choose most days in the mirror. Deep down inside, my heart wants to do good, desires to help others, and yearns to be a momma who shares a glimpse of God’s own heart with her children.

 
And my guess is that He’s not all that concerned with how I look on the outside or just how organized I am, but rather He’s taking a peek at the inside of my heart to see the real me (which needs so much more work than the outside even!) So, it’s really okay that I’m a mess (I promise!), because ~ thank goodness~ He’s got work to do on me yet.

 

 

But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. 2 Corinthians 12:9

 
Photo credit

 

What Do You Need In Your Kitchen?

 

Because I’ve been racing around just cleaning my house today (no time to organize anything!) I thought I’d re-post this and would love to hear your thoughts ~ leave a comment to share!

 

 

Do you really need fourteen mixing bowls in your kitchen. . . or could you survive with just three? Is it necessary to have 13 wooden spoons, or could just a few do the job? This is one of those questions I find myself constantly asking as muddle through my cupboards, and when a PPP reader asked for a list on the first day of our 25 Days to a More Organized You series, I thought it would be fun to throw together.

 

It’s so easy to see another fancy kitchen gadget or cute utensil and think we need it, but eventually those items can take over our kitchen cupboards, and force us to lose all sense of organization. Gadgets can also get pretty pricey, so whenever possible I try to pass them by!  But, there are a few items I’d have a tough time living without, and they help cooking each night in our home become so much more manageable.

 

Here’s a peek at what’s on my must-have kitchen list, but it may look different than yours (especially depending on how frequently you cook, and how many you’re feeding!) I’d love to hear your suggestions also . . . but here’s a start at what I’d be lost without. . .

 

I’d really hate to live without:

 

These are so nice to have, but aren’t necessities:

  • KitchenAid Mixer (really don’t need, but goodness I do love mine!)
  • Food processor or hand chopper
  • 4 cup measuring cup (if you don’t have a 4-cup measuring cup and have room for one, I highly recommend it . . . it really could be on my must-have list because I use it so much!)
  • Meat thermometer
  • Cast Iron Skillet
  • Large stockpot
  • Warming Tray (I don’t have this but have always wanted one!) :)
  • Bread Maker
  • Blender
  • Electric Grill

 

Things I can easily live without:

  • Toaster Oven (my husband just told me he wants one ~ eek!)
  • Panini Press
  • Chocolate Fondue Pot (we bought one of these forever ago and absolutely didn’t need it so we donated it a few years ago!)
  • Bagel slicer
  • Cake Pop Maker (these look cute, but there’s no way my cupboards have room for one of those!)
This is far from a complete list, and I’m betting you have other items you’d absolutely love to have or think are way more than you need! So, what are your must have kitchen products?  Leave a comment HERE to share . . . it’s always fun to hear your thoughts, and this is a great time to clear out those cupboards of any items you just aren’t using!

 

 

 

Looking for more ways to get organized? See previous 25 Days to a More Organized You:

 

This post does contain affiliate links which helps support this site.  See my disclosure policy to learn more.

How Cleaning & Organizing Help My Budget

My daughter’s tee-tiny bedroom – see more pictures HERE and read more HERE on how it’s taught me contenment

The last week as I’ve been tackling laundry, tidying our entertainment center, scrubbing the sinks and just generally catching up on my home, I’ve been amazed at how much more content I am with what I have simply by taking care to make my home the very best space it can beAs a girl who’s spent years thinking if only I had . . . “, I’ve been reminded that just taking care of what I already own can make even the tiniest space just enough. 

 

If you’re in a place today where you feel like your home isn’t big enough, your closets will never be large enough, or there’s just no way you can manage without a bit larger kitchen, bathroom, garage (or whatever), I encourage you to choose to do the very best you can to make the space you already have just perfect for you.

 

I promise from experience that our family has lived in a tiny home and one that’s plenty big, and there is always (always!) someone who has something bigger, better, fancier, and way more impressive than what I’ll have in my own home (and I really do love my  home!)  But, taking care to clean, organize, and “fluff” the space that you’re in (no matter the size), can make what you already have just perfect for you.

 

Take pride in what you have right now – whether it be your home, your car, or even something as trivial as the purse you carry, to make it the very best space you can have with the money you can afford. I promise it’s worth it, and choosing not to sacrifice what you really want for what you want right now will change your family’s future.
If you’ve seen this in your own life (or have struggled with contentment too), I’d love for you to leave a comment to share your thoughts!

 

 

Frugal Frozen Fun In Alabama

Thought you all might enjoy a peek of what we have to do for fun around here in Alabama. ;)   While the rest of the South was cozy warm inside watching the big game last night, my thirteen year old hauled buckets of water to the driveway so he’d have his own ice rink to play on this morning. I’m popping dinner in the crockpot right now, and will be back with more penny pinched deals in just a bit!

(our frozen “waterfall” out back – crazy!)


When The Unexpected Really Happens

 long term care insurance do you need it

Four years ago, one of the most unexpected things our family could imagine happened. In September of 2009, my (very healthy) father-in-law contracted West Nile Virus.  Within hours, he turned from a completely energetic seventy-year-old man (riding twenty-two miles on his bike for his seventieth birthday), to someone who no longer had use of his legs, and very limited movement of his chest and back  as well. (See his story here ~ he’s one of my favorite people on the planet and I’m oh-so-thankful for him!)

 

 

 

As you can imagine, our life stopped for awhile. Don spent the next eighteen months in several hospitals and rehab facilities hoping to re-gain strength, however the virus left him paralyzed and unable to care for himself.  I really can’t express in words to you just how difficult it was for us as we watched him, but even more so for he and my mother-in-law.

 

However, years before he became sick, my in-laws purchased a long term care health insurance policy which truly has given them so much more quality of life than they could have dreamed of without it. Thanks to his long term health plan, Don was eventually able to return home. Without the plan his only option would have been to remain in a nursing home, and while he was incredibly fortunate to have wonderful care in those facilities as well, there’s just nothing like being home.

I would love to think that sudden illness never happens, but have seen entirely too closely that sometimes we’re given little control over our own future. My husband and I have been discussing our own need to find long term care insurance, which really is just awful to even talk about. (Am I the only one who would rather pretend it doesn’t exist?) However after seeing firsthand how my in-laws quality of life has been so much better thanks to their policy, I know it’s something we’ll consider at some point.

 

Have you considered purchasing long term care insurance for your own family? According to statistics, 69% of people aged 65 and older will need some type of long term care after age 65 – and not having long term care insurance can cost your family anywhere from $300,000 – $400,000 or more. 

 

Dave Ramsey’s Endorsed Local Provider program is a great place to start looking for Long Term Care Providers, and they can help you find services in other areas of your finances as well, including investing, real estate, health insurance and tax services.  Find out how you or your parents could benefit from Long Term Care Insurance ~  click here today for free help!

 

This is a sponsored by Dave Ramsey’s Endorsed Local Providers, however all opinions are (of course!) my own.

 

 

New To Couponing? Let’s Get Started.

 

In the last week (possibly just since the New Year?) I’ve received at least twenty requests for information on how to really get start couponing.  So, if you’re one of those folks who’s determined to start your saving big in 2014, this is for you. Here are a few tips (and feel free to ask your questions below!)

 

Also, there are certain times of the year when specific items are significantly cheaper to purchase. Here’s the cycle that my friend Shannon and I have figured out are the best times to grab certain items (please leave a comment if you think of other items that go on sale seasonally and I’ll add them!)

  • Baking Supplies, Cooking Soups, Spices, Seasonings – November/December (Holidays)
  • Meat, Condiments – Summertime (Grilling Season)
  • Produce – Summertime (Stockpile things like green peppers and onions to freeze for winter casseroles, soups, etc.; freeze fruit for winter baking – strawberries, blackberries, bananas, etc.)
  • Cream Cheese, Velveeta, Canned Tomatoes, Dried & Canned Beans, Cheese - January, February (Super Bowl and March Madness)
  • Packaged Snacks, School Supplies – August (Back to School)

 

 

Also be sure to join Passionate Penny Pincher on Facebook to keep up with all the penny pinching deals!

 



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