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Up to My Elbows in Organizing My Kitchen Cabinets & Pantry

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Thanks to all for the positive and funny comments regarding my upcoming (and dreaded) visit from my nutty MIL, LOL! I appreciate it very much.

To get off my negative post yesterday and get a more on a positive thing going on, I am still decluttering and organizing my kitchen cabinets and small pantry. My pantry is a slanted small space under my staircase that we have fitted with some store-bought shelves to keep my awesome grocery store buys in.

Our kitchen was remodeled years ago (I insisted as the kitchen was the most ridiculous room in the house the way it was built) and I made sure that our cabinets went all the way to the ceiling for extra space due to our home and all rooms being so small.

It's a challenge to organize my house as there is limited space even for organizing items (crates, containers, etc.) so I have to be extremely organized or things are lost or there simply is no room for everything.

I literally have taken all contents out of my kitchen cabinets this week and made sure that all similar things are put together and all items are numbered (not literally everything in my cabinets, but most things) with what needs to be used first so that those that expire sooner will get used sooner.

It also lets me get a good eye view of what I need to stock up on the next time my store has super doubles or what I don't need to buy. If I had a spacious, wide pantry it would be much easier to see at a glance what I have, but as it is, I have to do it the hard, exhausting way from time to time.

I'm also pulling out lots of items to give my sister in law and mother in law when they come to visit this Saturday to share with them and all the other family members of my husband.

Yesterday in the midst of all this going on, as well as homeschooling the kids, cleaning the house, handling the homeschool group issues, organizing all this crazy chaos, I managed to try a new soup recipe for the family that used up some of the surplus items I have in my cabinets. It was a creamy tomato parmesan soup recipe that I found online that I put in my crock pot. I used fat-free evaporated milk (which I have tons of) instead of fattening cream to save unneeded calories for my family.

Of course my daughter wouldn't touch it since she won't eat tomatoes of any kind (except for pizza) so I found a hidden item in my cabinets for her and she was happy too.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

KISSFAN1 1/21/2012 4:58PM

    Catherine - LOL, I felt like my house was the equivalent of doing 3 people's homes. There was a LOT of stuff to rearrange. At least now I know what I have.

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KISSFAN1 1/20/2012 1:41PM

    Inflated - Stay safe. When there's bad weather it's definitely a good time to get things like that done inside. We won't be getting any snow or ice here, but supposed to get rain all day tomorrow.

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KISSFAN1 1/20/2012 1:39PM

    It just about took all the energy I had left to get myt pantry and ktichen cabinets straightend out, I hope to not do that again for a VERY long time.

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INFLATED 1/20/2012 4:03AM

    I need to do that too. Saturday may be a good time because we are to get an ice storm tonight into Saturday.

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ANAIS57 1/19/2012 4:26PM

    ok... come do my house next...k? emoticon

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STORMTMB 1/19/2012 11:30AM

    It sound like you've done a lot at home to be organized and to make the most of everything you have. Great job.

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THEATRE1SM 1/19/2012 9:32AM

    Wow! Sounds like a lot of work but well worth the effort. I have to empty my kitchen and collect all the pantry items from around the house about once a year. I'm short and my husband is tall so he'll put things on shelves I can't see and I'll store things in bottom cabinets he doesn't know are there. If we don't ask each otehr we end up getting things we don't need. Congrats on finding a good recipe to use with pantry items.

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Dealing With Constant Criticism & Organizing Again

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Well who called me yesterday to say she was coming to visit Saturday, but my MIL? LOL I have to always get my tough wall up when she has anything to do with us since she is always making very derogatory comments to me and my husband (she does the same thing with his sibling's wives/husbands) and as a result, no one wants to be around her.

I'm sure I'll get insulted 100 or more times while she's here about every possible thing she can come up with, but at least I know what to expect because she's very predictable, LOL! emoticon

I did have sweet revenge when she asked me what size jeans I wore on the phone yesterday. Really, you're asking me a personal question like that? I asked her why she wanted to know and she said because she had some size 10 jeans that were too small for her. This is the same woman who insulted me greatly when I was overweight and she had lost a little bit of weight and made sure that I knew I was overweight (as if I didn't realize that already). She and her sister ganged up on me and her sister crowed forever about how much weight my MIL had lost and how small she was and of course they commented about how much I had gained. I wasn't jealous that she lost weight, I was happy for her because of her age and there are always things you have to worry about (diabetes, etc.) when you're overweight, but I didn't appreciate how hateful they were to me putting me down because I was overweight.

When I lost weight and got to my goal weight (we don't see each other that often because they live in another state) I never mentioned that I was losing weight or had lost weight when she insulted my weight over the phone and made ugly comments about it. I just let it ride since she was coming to visit.

You can imagine the look on her face when she had to eat her words, LOL. She kept insisting that she was smaller than me the entire time she was here(what?????) and that the clothes that were a size or two too big for me that I offered to give to her, my SIL, and anyone else in the family that lived in the state they do, were going to fall off her because she was quote "smaller than me". I tried so hard not to laugh because the whole thing was comical as could be. Even her daughter had a hard time keeping a straight face.

Her daughter was the sane one and kept telling her that the clothes I was passing on to them would have to go to someone smaller because they were too LITTLE for my MIL. Seriously, she is so cool (my SIL), I love her to pieces!

Back to what I was discussing, my MIL said that she had some size 10 jeans that were too small for her (what, you mean you actually gained weight like I did years ago???!! How dare you do something as terrible as I did, but of course I never made a snide remark or boasted that I was so much smaller than her now!) and I had to pleasure to finally be able to tell her that HER clothes were too big for me and I wasn't lying like she did nor was I delusional, ROFL.

Why did I get pleasure in that? Not because I'm superior to her because I'm smaller than I was the last time she came up, but because she is so hateful and purposely ugly to me. She intentionally sets out to insult anything about me that she can and always has. She will hit you where she sees any weakness or venerability and can be beyond cruel and does it on purpose.

I don't go out of my way to get revenge and be ugly back to her because I don't want to be like her, but sometimes she just falls into "payback" all on her own doing, LOL.

She loves my children though, so I will say that she is a doting grandmother to them when she visits although she is starting to insult the children as they get older (definitely NOT cool with me). She insults my son's weight now and mentioned that he looked like his cousin who she guessed was around 300 pounds! emoticon emoticon What??? Seriously??? I just told my son in front of her that his grandmother just told him that he looked like he weighed 300 pounds! How ugly is that when she's no skinny minny herself?

So there's my rant for the month as I know after Saturday I will be highly irritated after she leaves because she will find numerous things to insult about me, the way I raise my children, my lack of a job outside the home, etc. It will all be okay because I don't have to see her often since we live in different states, I know she is dealing with a very negative view of herself, and I don't have to stoop to her level.

I'll just take a big long breath (and maybe a swig of whiskey? ROFL, Just kidding I hate alcohol) and put my big girl panties on and face the negativity that is coming my way Saturday.

To get off that negative rant, I am organizing my terribly disorganized pantry and really got it looking very nice yesterday. I still have lots of organizing to do (remember I have lots of free or cheaply purchased food items that I got at super doubles and double coupon stores) because my space is limited and I have to number all the products so the ones that expire first are used first. All someone has to do is look at the number I wrote on the product with a Sharpie pen to know which to pick next.

I have all the same items put together (vegetables in one area, bbq sauce in another, etc.) and while I'm organizing I'm pulling items to give my MIL, SIL, and any other family members who live in the same state as them to help them out financially.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

KISSFAN1 1/24/2012 9:10AM

    I know it comes across like I let her (my MIL) get away with things and it's true that I do for awhile. I have nothing to do with my mother because she is very emotionally abusive to me and I finally put my foot down a few years ago and took a stand and don't allow her to do it anymore.

I don't call her or make any contact with her at all other than sending her birthday and Mother's Day checks. I don't send mushy cards (actually I don't send her cards at all) but just send money. Other than that, if she wants contact with me she has to call (since I was the one doing all the work in the relationship for years and I finally had enough and quit) and she doesn't.

My father calls me but he is the only parent I have contact with unless they occasionally come to visit. I don't visit them anymore because I am tired of being blamed for things that I have nothing to do with (I don't even live in the same state so not sure why they blame me for things that I have no idea about and am unaware of). If they want to see the kids or me, they have to come here on my turf. I refuse to drive hours to visit and be emotionally/mentally abused anymore.

My MIL we don't visit anymore either (she's also in another state) because my husband gets the same treatment (well not quite as bad as my mother's treatment of me) so he put his foot down as well and quit visiting.

I got very unlucky in that I have very narcissistic mothers in my life (mother and mother in law). Life is too busy and difficult for me to get abused by them so I just don't call or visit either one anymore.

My MIL I let get away with more than I do my mother because she is NOT my mother. I don't let her attack my family though (including my husband) and will call her on it in a minute. I let her get away with more towards me because I know she will hang herself eventually and run her mouth about me in front of others. I shock her from time to time by confronting her in a calm and dignified manner on her bad behavior and it shocks her because she doesn't know how long she will get away with it, LOL. It's a gamble on her part so I'm happy to play the game with her as it can be amusing although irritating as well.

Luckily I don't have to deal with her often except when she calls or visits (again I quit calling her because all I got when I called was being told about all this free time I had since I stay at home home and homeschool and wasn't doing enough). I was trying to keep in touch with her since my husband refuses so she would know about the kids and what they were doing, but once again, every time I called I got ridiculed and told how I wasn't doing enough because I didn't work outside the home and how people were lazy who didn't and how they had all this free time, etc.

We just leave both sets of families alone and yet it's funny how we still get attacked and blamed for things that we are not even a part of or aware of, but it shows us how abusive they are and why we avoid them all at all costs.

Comment edited on: 1/24/2012 9:13:12 AM

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MOM23JS 1/22/2012 5:32PM

    Wow, I don't know how you do it. I refuse to allow anyone in my life that treats me in a negative manner including my own mother who could be your MIL, which is why I don't talk to her. There is nothing wrong with standing up for yourself and your family by firming letting her know that the way she is speaking to you and about your family is not acceptable.

There is a saying- You can't control who walks in your life but you can control what window you throw them out of.

Throw her and her negative words out the window!! You are better than that and sometimes just by telling someone that their behavior is not acceptable is all that needs to be said.

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KISSFAN1 1/22/2012 9:44AM

    Sorry to hear you have such a bad MIL as well. Yeah, it takes lots of energy to be that mean and rude. I don't understand why other than I do realize she has a very low self esteem, but how can you be happy making others miserable around you because you're miserable?

Hugs to you!

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CIRANDELLA 1/21/2012 8:52PM

    What?? You mean my MIL has a twin sister on the loose?? That's grossly unfair - to YOU!!! :::sigh::: They have to really work HARD to be this obnoxious, don't they? I takes effort :( You deserve better; I'm sorry she's such a witch..

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KISSFAN1 1/19/2012 6:47AM

    KCupton - I didn't see your post until I posted my last comment. Thanks for the book recommendation and sharing the relationship you have with your brother. Oh yeah, I don't let it get to me too much (my MIL) because I realize she is very negative because she has very low self-confidence. It's the only way she knows to make herself feel temporarily better (putting others down).

I try not to take things too personal, but it does grind my nerves when I get told that I don't do anything because I don't work outside the home. Excuse me? I guess all the work I do homeschooling, raising the kids, cleaning, saving money (which enabled us to pay our house off 15 years early on one small income because I work so hard at it) doesn't count.

I know she's just jealous that she has always had to work outside the home because her husband (first husband, which would be my husband's father) would quit jobs and didn't make much money. They had 4 kids so she had to work to keep food on the table. I admire her for doing that and for stepping up when her husband didn't, but she is just very resentful of everyone, especially the spouses of her children. Unfortunately she acts ugly to her children and now starting to do the same thing at times with her grandchildren.

I won't let her involve my children in that caustic tongue of her and will stand up for them in a second, but let her act nuts regarding me unless it is something that I get tired of hearing and then I say something to her so that she knows that she needs to explain her ugly comments, LOL. It always shocks her when I do that for some reason. :-)

Comment edited on: 1/19/2012 6:48:50 AM

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KISSFAN1 1/19/2012 6:39AM

    KarateKid - Thanks, it's either laugh about the situation or cry, so I just try to laugh about it! The comments she makes are so over the top and crazy that I literally sometimes have to bite my tongue not to laugh. Although her too small clothes are too big for me, I'm sure she will let me know much smaller she is than me this weekend. I'll just smile and let her be delusional and just plain crazy!

23Kaiya - I love organizing too, and it's something I have to constantly keep up with since my space is limited and my stockpile is large! emoticon I hate using something that has a long ways to expire and find out later that something else expired because they weren't numbered or arranged together and were difficult to find, etc. so I try to have a big ole organizing party once things get in disarray.

Of course they get in disarray when I have a week of super doubles (coupons are doubled up to $2.98 total) and get lots of awesome buys!

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CTUPTON 1/19/2012 6:38AM

    Just for your own mental health, have you looked up MIL jokes on the computer. And there is a TV show now I think. My brother (older than me) does what your MIL did. My sister and I have come to expect it and we make jokes now. We used to end up in tears. Now it is a topic of conversation and we can laugh. No matter what we did, he'd tear us apart. And, my husband used to have me in tears, too. I finally learned to joke about it. He has now had a stroke and won't do anything to help himself. If I try to encourage him to brush his teeth, do his hand exercises, whatever he gets mad. At first I cried and wished he'd let us remind him or encourage him. Now I told him I will pick on you to exercise and you can bluster and even yell, but I will do it anyway. We made a joke out of it in front of his therapist. It took me many years to not let his stuff hurt me. Have you read the book Dance of Anger? You need to change the "dance" with your MIL. She isn't going to change most likely, but you can change your reaction. Then the repetitious "dance" can't happen. Pray for guidance and peace especially when talking to her. Also all the 12 step programs say you cant change the other person. You can only change yourself. Good luck! Hope you can find your own peace about this. Chris emoticon emoticon

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KISSFAN1 1/19/2012 6:33AM

    Stormtmb - He tends to just ignore her at all costs instead of saying a lot. He has told her that he refuses to visit down there anymore because she blamed him for her divorce (man she married who was 32-34 years younger than her and left her for another woman) among other things . I have no idea how my husband was involved in their divorce since we don't even live in the same state as her and don't visit. She's just plain nuts!!!

Then again, she blamed her divorce on her other children too who avoided her and her MUCH younger husband at all costs. She's told me that my father was strange (I had to say something to her about that comment), that I pretty much do nothing because I don't work outside the home, etc. She's something all right! LOL

He is working this weekend, which means once again I am the one who is stuck with her and all her insults. Yipee!

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KISSFAN1 1/19/2012 6:28AM

    Inflated - Be glad, be VERY glad, ROFL!

Cooleyfam - Yes, it is very difficult, but my only saving grace is that I don't live near her like all her other children/grandchildren do. Because my husband refuses to be insulted by her anymore, he doesn't visit or go down there but once in a blue moon. She instead comes up here, which means I get put down in my own home. Yippee, can't wait! LOL emoticon

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KISSFAN1 1/19/2012 6:22AM

    Thanks for the support everyone. My husband just ignores her and doesn't visit anymore because of the constant criticism we (and everyone else in her eyesight, LOL) receive. She and the rest of my family and my husband's family all live in the same area in a different state so we just quit visiting because it was a long drive down to get insulted and put down, so why bother anymore?

She's extremely rude and "ugly-acting" and therefore her family avoids her at all costs. Of course she blames her family and tells them they never visit although they live near her or in many instances they live right on the same land. Well, duh!!! There's a reason!!! emoticon Lucky for me I don't live in the same state so I don't see her as often, but she calls and is very rude usually when she calls so I still have to endure her.

I'll survive her visit, I just needed to get the dread of it out of my system before the big event, ROFL!

Comment edited on: 1/19/2012 6:25:26 AM

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INFLATED 1/19/2012 1:06AM

    I am glad she is YOUR mil and not mine, joking! Praying for your patience, you're going to need it! It would be funny to have a decanter of iced tea and when she starts, say, "I need a drink!" and down a shot glass of iced tea. She would really gossip about you then! LOL!

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STORMTMB 1/18/2012 9:41PM

    I have no idea how you can remain civil with your MIL. I would hope that your husband would speak to her about how she treats you. Good luck with the upcoming visit.

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KARATE_KID 1/18/2012 3:38PM

    LOL - love your sense of humour. Like they say, living well is the best revenge.

Hope all goes well.

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23KAIYA 1/18/2012 2:52PM

    I love to reorganize closets, pantries, etc. I always feel accomplished. As far as the gloating over her gain and your loss after she gave you so much grief, that's human and it feels so good! LOL

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COOLEYFAM 1/18/2012 11:05AM

    Sorry you have a mother-in-law like that! I bet it's hard to deal with. I personally don't know cause mine is awesome. I wish you the best of luck and patience!!

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The Financial Legacy I Want to Leave My Children

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

I blog a lot about financial money savings, organizing, etc. because since I hit my goal weight (and below my goal weight that I first chose) last year, bought a new wardrobe, make-up, etc., I don't have as much to focus on and to set goals for.

Of course I need to focus more on exercise this year which I hope to do, but I need something to work harder on and fine tune even more, hence the reason for all my blogs on saving money and organizing.

The kids have been wanting a PS3 game here or there, which if you have one or have looked at prices, you know that they are not cheap. Sure we could buy them used, but I find that Game Stop and places like that charge too much money for used games. As an alternative, I watch prices on Amazon and local sales flyers and found a cool site online that lets you track when Amazon and other stores lower the price on items you want to purchase. Not only that, they also show the history of prices on those items so you know if you are getting a good price on something.

One game that my children wanted was the Harry Potter Lego game (years 5-7 or something like that). Best Buy had it for $29.99 this week, which I discovered was lower in price than any past or current history price at Amazon. My daughter and I had to go out for piano lessons yesterday so we stopped by Wal-Mart and price-matched the game there. I had a few other things to get there so I didn't have to go Best Buy and saved time and money. That particular game was $49.99 at Wal-Mart so it was a savings of $20!!


The kids got money for Christmas so they are splitting the cost between them and they are learning lessons in the process of how to be patient and think through your purchases. $20 here and there adds up to hundreds or thousands eventually.

I had a coupon for 25% off items not on sale and 40% off one item not on sale for Michael's Craft Store so we stopped by there as well (in the same vicinity as Wal-Mart) so my daughter got some containers of acrylic paint there for 33 cents each, ribbon rolls for 33 cents each, and some scrapbook paper that was on sale for 20 cents each. I told her that if she was patient and waited for sales on the items she wanted, she could afford to buy more. I bought her one small item that was not on sale and got 40% off that and she got 25% off a paint palette tray that was originally only 99 cents so 75 cents was better than paying $1 at the Dollar Tree, LOL. (Hey those quarters add up too).

Hopefully these lessons will stick with them and when they are older and out on their own, they will do even better at saving money than their mom, LOL.

My husband and I haven't mentioned paying off our house to anyone (well except for me talking about it on here, but that's it) but his mother called and was telling my husband that one of his brothers and his wife had paid their house off, which of course is super awesome!

My husband told her that we had too and she was so shocked she couldn't talk for a few minutes, LOL. The reason for that she is super critical of me not working outside the home (she makes caustic comments to me often about how she doesn't know how women stay at home all the time and do NOTHING). I've been telling her (and my husband has too) over the years about how I save the money that my husband makes, but she ignores me and acts like I'm lying.

Well, the difference between my husband and I and my BIL & SIL is that their house was much cheaper than ours (not putting them down, just saying that to prove a point of how we have managed to pay off debt by my saving money) and they have no children at home like we do. We have had zero help with our bills like they have had help with and we also homeschool so all our books & educational outlets are paid for out of our pockets.

Again, I'm very proud of my BIL & SIL for paying their house off, that is beyond super awesome, but I think it shocked my MIL because she thinks I do nothing with my time and that my husband does it all and I just am lazy staying at home (she's pretty much said to me many times, LOL).

My husband's other sister and brother are NOT financially responsible and struggle to make ends meet although one has been given a free home for decades since she got married, and another one has been given free land to put his mobile home on and been helped financially many times (as has my SIL) over the decades although they make way more than my husband and I do.

No one has children living at home (we had our children later in life than they did) and all their children are married and on their own.

I'm not trying to be negative towards my in-laws at all, just stating that what my husband's brother's wife (the one who paid their home off) and I do is important and it shows that it's not always what you make, but what you do with what you make.

We have always made less than everyone, still have two kids at home with those expenses that come with having children including paying for braces, etc., have had zero help from relatives (not that we want it or ask for it, because we don't), we have no support at all with emergencies since we live in a different state, and yet we paid our house off 15 years early on one small income completely by ourselves.

I hope it doesn't sound negative what I'm trying to convey and doesn't sound like I'm crowing about our accomplishments, I'm just saying that it is possible to pay for things that are important to you. We don't eat out all the time like they do, we don't take vacations every year, we don't waste a lot of money and try our best to save as much as we can while still enjoying life (hence the game my children bought recently).

My in-laws children are repeating the same patterns as their parents and I don't want my children to be financially ignorant. I want them to know how to save money and buy only the things that are most important to you (on sale of course) and save the rest.

I don't want them to waste their early years of money making on stupid things that you can't see (like eating out, etc.) but of course when they're on their own they have to make their own decisions. Hopefully they will learn from our examples and will remember that mom and dad were able to do things that most thought were impossible since I didn't work outside the home and we did it all without help and without expecting anyone to bail us out.

I think it's so important to teach your children these lessons so that hopefully they don't learn the hard way. I wish I had saved more money than I did when I first started working and can think back on things I purchased decades ago that were stupid as could be, LOL.

What I do is important and I won't let my MIL or anyone else make me feel it isn't. Rock on all stay at home moms (and those that work out of the home as well) and those who teach their children financial responsibility by their actions!


  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

KISSFAN1 1/18/2012 8:46AM

    Inflated - That's a hard situation for you to deal with it sounds like. My husband was never really frugal at all (remember that 2 of his 3 siblings are in financial trouble) but it was me to be honest who has allowed us to have what we have. He works hard and it is because of him that we have money coming in to pay for the things we buy, but it is me that stretches the money he has made and has allowed us to pay our house off 15 years ahead of time (again he had a huge part in it as well with him having a job to pay it off, LOL).

When one partner is going against the other in financial situations, it's hard I'm sure. Luckily my husband realized that all the effort I put into doing all that I do was worth it when he saw that we were able to put money in the bank even on one income.

My BIL (who paid his house off) was able to do that because his wife is very frugal. My MIL did NOT teach my husband nor his siblings any financial education at all. I am bent and determined whether they reject my instructions when they are older or not, to teach my children how to save money, not waste it, and pay for things that are most important (housing, cars, etc.) vs. things that are not tangible.

I can't control their actions when they are adults, but they sure can't ever say that they were never taught financial planning, etc.

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KISSFAN1 1/18/2012 8:37AM

    SCHNEBL - LOL, thanks so much! Yeah, she's very negative but I know it's because she has a lot of inferior complex issues going on. It's still not easy living with her ugly comments (that she also hands out to my husband, but she talks to me mostly since he's usually at work when she calls), but I try to endure. It does get the best of me at times though and I'm not ugly to her, but I let her know in a calm way that her comments are rude and uncalled for.

And guess who's coming to visit this weekend? Yep, you guessed it! LOL

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INFLATED 1/17/2012 9:05PM

    My parents did not buy on credit. I have never had a credit card or used one. My husband got credit cards and put us into debt early in our marriage. He also borrowed money from people he knew and didn't pay them back. When I met him, we paid back his friends and debts that he owed the; the credit cards came after our kids were born and he finally realized what I was talking about after paying high interest rates on unpaid balances after he missed payments.

He still will get what he wants, when we need other things and it upsets me, but that is how he is. My daughter took money she got for her birthday and went to Goodwill and bought herself a fake fur coat for school. She is frugal too. My son is like his father. In high school, our son wanted a computer and I told my husband to take out a loan and make our son pay the loan, then give him the computer. He wouldn't do that and bought a computer for our son. My son got angry and threw the keyboard one day. He didn't appreciate the computer because he had not earned it. Next, he asked my husband to co-sign for a car and my husband did. My son didn't keep up the payments and we had to pay $8,000 for a car that was repossessed. He is behind on his bills now and yet he took an economics course at the local college.

My kids are 29 (son) and 32 (daughter). I used to pick up aluminum cans so we could have a little money for "wants." I take satisfaction in being frugal. Our son lives with us, so what does that say to a girlfriend? He has one, but I wonder where the relationship will go. She is still in college, he quit taking classes. As you said, you can teach them, but it is up to them to apply what they have learned.

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SCHNEBL 1/17/2012 11:18AM

    You go sister! I know I don't comment much on your blogs but I always read them. You are an inspiration to me! Never mind your cranky MIL....she sounds like a big ole ball of negativity! You know what is best for you and your family always! :)

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KISSFAN1 1/17/2012 10:16AM

    Wow, thanks for the feedback you guys! My parents were frugal to a degree, but didn't sit down and teach me things. I sort of had to learn them on my own although I will admit that my father used coupons for fast food (my mother never did) and so maybe I got my first taste of coupons there. My mother never used coupons, which granted they weren't as prevalent back then as they are now.

My parents did pay cash for our cars that we purchased, but they were able to because my parents inherited the house and tons of acres of land from my paternal grandmother. They never had a mortgage and never had to shop for a house, so I got all that experience on my own.

My mother did cook a lot although she worked out of the home for as long as I can remember, and I was the oldest so I was left responsible for household chores and taking care of my younger sister. My father hunted so he saved money that way on meat.

My mother would buy marked down items and put them in our freezer, but she never used them much so that money saved was actually wasted. I'm not saying I've never wasted money because I've had my share of doing that too, especially in the past as I was learning along the way on my own.

I discovered coupons when I was single and divorced because I had no choice but to find some frugal ways of saving money. I learned how to make do the hard way and my children may have to do the same, but they are actively being taught HOW to save money and the methods they can use to do that by me vs. the hard way.

Whether they decide when they are older to follow that advice and example is up to them, but they are definitely being taught so they don't have to learn the hard way on their own, LOL.

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STORMTMB 1/17/2012 10:00AM

    Like the previous person, I was not taught about money. My parents said that women should focus on home-making and my husband would handle the finances. I am 44 and have never married (no kids either). I made a mess in my 20's because I was ignorant; I hadn't been taught about budgets or anything. I learned this stuff the hard way. I've heard of some parents who even let their high school age children write checks and balance the family checkbook so they have an understanding of the expenses of running a household.

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THEATRE1SM 1/17/2012 9:31AM

    On behalf of kids who were not taught about money and savings and patience, I want to say thank you. Because I never learned any of the above when I got to the "real world", I seriously screwed up my finances and in some aspects my life. I'm now fast approaching 40 and have a better financial sense but am still digging out from under decisions I made in my 20s.

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KISSFAN1 1/17/2012 8:01AM

    60Sixty - That is so cool that your daughter thanked you for teaching her how to handle money! You rock!!! It is such an important thing for parents to teach their children. My children may refuse to follow my example when they are older and out on their own, but when it comes to the nitty gritty and they run into a financial situation they will have the skills to get by. They may choose to ignore it and reject it but they will KNOW what to do while they are living at home with me so that they have that knowledge to fall back on.

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60SIXTY 1/17/2012 7:55AM

    My [now 34 year old] daughter thanked me a few years back for making her learn to use money appropriately. Out of her friends, she was the only one with a job before she got out of high school and almost the only one with a job before age 21.

She learned to spend the money on necessities as well as occasional fun items and activities.

Comment edited on: 1/17/2012 7:56:52 AM

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Found More Bargains Yesterday

Monday, January 16, 2012

I went to Mighty Dollar (the one not going out of business and the one I really love) yesterday and would you believe I bought 2 men's razors (NOT disposable) for $1 each? They require 2 batteries but my son tried one and my husband said it was great so I bought 2 more while they still had them in stock.

One thing I have learned about that store is that if you don't get something while it's there, you might find them all gone the next time you go (found that out the hard way more than once).

I went by Aldi's (grocery store) to pick up some much needed fruits and veggies and a few other things since they are normally the cheapest store in my area for those items. I got strawberries for $1.69 a package, a bag of navel oranges for $2.50, etc.

There is a Good Will store nearby so i stopped by there last to see if I could find my daughter some craft books or other items and ended up finding a small wood piece that would be perfect to put her ink pads on for only $1.99!! When I spotted it I expected to see a higher price but was so happy when I saw that price tag. I cleaned it up when I got home and much to my delight her ink pads fit perfectly. It has 4 or 5 different shelves on it, no doors to hinder you putting things on the shelves and it was a pretty pink color. We may eventually change the color to black to match her other storage items, but for now it's great.

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KISSFAN1 1/17/2012 7:00AM

    Inflated - That is awesome on the laundry detergent deals you got in the past! You definitely have to take advantage of deals when they pop up like you obviously did.

We don't have this particular store in my area anymore, but we used to have a grocery store called Winn Dixie. They had marked down these detergent sheets (really strange idea but they came in a package with about I'm guessing 12 or 15 large squares filled with detergent when they got wet in the washer). I had tons of coupons for these detergent sheets and got them free and probably had enough for 1 year or more of free detergent.

It's harder to find certain things for free in quantity like that, but I keep looking!

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INFLATED 1/17/2012 2:28AM

    I like to go to Dollar Tree. We don't have any other dollar stores around. I bought a meat cleaver there for a dollar and I use that thing all the time to cut roasts for stew and to chop potatoes and carrots.

When I worked at Big Lots they had a cart of boxed laundry detergent and I got it at 75% off. I had enough for three years. I was going to buy a second cart full but someone got it before I did. If you had a beauty shop or a business that used towels, that would have been a super buy. I used to do markdowns for the store and call my husband to come buy things I had marked down. I worked evenings and he was home to do that. I got bags of charcoal and socks, all sorts of things that helped us to save money.

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KISSFAN1 1/16/2012 12:30PM

    Imjustfluffy - Wow girl you rocked the thrift store! Awesome buys and you should be so proud and hold your head super high up for all the great deals you got! emoticon

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KISSFAN1 1/16/2012 12:29PM

    Thanks so much everyone! I'm trying hard to think "beyond the box" of what an item can be used for. I forgot to say that I also got one of those coated wire-type toilet paper holders (vertical kind you put on the floor) and got to thinking that it was so tall that a wrapping paper roll might fit on it. Much to my delight it did and was perfect! emoticon

The best part, I only paid 99 cents!

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IMJUSTFLUFFY 1/16/2012 12:01PM

    Good going!
I hit the thrift store & got in on the dollar a bag sale & got a fluffy robe in my size that went to floor with zipper! It took up a whole bag itself but so worth a dollar! It will keep my ankles warmer than my present robe does & it was "like new"! Also, got several items in another bag for hubby & I including a light Polar Tech jacket, decorative tees, work shirts etc. In another bag I got 3 pair of nice shoes one pair made in England are hiking boots which fit perfectly & so comfortable! I was thrilled!

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STORMTMB 1/16/2012 11:19AM

    You are really creative. When you see items on sale, you're able to figure out how to use them for different purposes! Undoubtedly your children will learn this skill too.

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MOMNGUITARMAN 1/16/2012 8:49AM

    You go girl! That is so cool. I love getting bargains. It makes me happy and I feel like I am doing a good job for my family when I get good products for next to nothing. emoticon

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My Money Saving Shopping Trips Yesterday

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Yesterday I did indeed do my frugal shopping and errand running as I mentioned I would do Friday. Luckily most of all the shopping I had to get done was located in the same vicinity of town so no crazy running all over the world, hence, saving gas money and time. I also packed a lunch to take with me so I didn't have to buy it (I hate paying for food that I don't get at the grocery store, LOL).

If you keep up with seasonal sales items and when they go on sale, you know that January is typically a time for winter items to start to go on sale. As expected, most of the items I bought my husband and son for Christmas (robes, pajama pants) at JC Penney's were marked down even more now. I bought my son two pairs of flannel pajama pants for $6 each at JC Penney's yesterday (I originally paid $9.99 but had coupons when I bought them before Christmas).

The robes I bought for $20 (on sale for $30 and I had a $10 coupon so paid $20) each before Christmas are now marked down to $15. Did I lose a little money by not waiting until after Christmas and after the new year? Of course, but those were things that my men wanted and they have been enjoying using them all this extra time.

I did get my son the pajama pants cheaper since I only bought them for my husband when they were on sale for $9.99 (again, I also had coupons so they were cheaper than that for me before Christmas).

I bought myself two nice pairs of cargo pants yesterday while there as well that were marked down to $12 each and I had a $10 rewards coupon so paid $14 or so for two pairs of nice pants that are normally around $44 each.

I went to Hobby Lobby and bought some much needed cardstock paper/sticker storage for my daughter's craft supplies that were 50% off (I waited until they went on sale and luckily I caught them on the last day of the sale).

I went to Ross Dress for Less and bought a Martha Stewart punch (for scrapbooking/card making, etc.) that was only $4.99. I've seen the same punch for $15 at Michael's Craft Store and Hobby Lobby! emoticon It was the only one there, but since she only has one punch (Fiskars brand that we bought for only $1 at Mighty Dollar) due to their high cost,I bought it as soon as I saw it to put in my stash of things to give her for her birthday in March. Woo Hoo!!

I went by Harris Teeter (grocery store that doubles coupons every day but occasionally has Super Double and Triple coupons from time to time) and got some awesome deals on much needed items. I matched up sales, coupons (doubled) and electronic coupons that I saved before I went shopping and saved some major money there.

Today is coupon day in the newspaper, so I'll be cutting and sorting and filing my coupons as well as hopefully making a run to my favorite Mighty Dollar to see what new $1 items they have for sale today!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

KISSFAN1 1/16/2012 7:13AM

    nflated - I wish I could give you ideas/advice on how to help with your situation, but it's not any of my business how you and your husband run your household, pay for things, etc.

We are an one-income family with 4 people (2 adults and 2 children) so things are different for us in that my husband leaves all the shopping up to me (well the majority of it) and trusts that I will do a good job of stretching the money that he makes (as well as the little bit of money I bring in from selling things around the house).

The only suggestion I can give (without overstepping my boundaries, and I'm probably already doing that, LOL) is that maybe you guys can discuss with each other that you are better at the grocery shopping due to you looking for deals to save you all more money of your husband's paycheck for other bills and that you'd like to give it a try and help your husband out so he doesn't have to do that job?

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KISSFAN1 1/16/2012 7:08AM

    Stormtmb - Thanks, I really HATE paying full price for anything and I try hard to make sure that when I do purchase something that I am getting a good deal on it. Prices on food are changing so fast nowadays (is that a word?) that I don't even keep price books anymore. I just try to remember what a good deal is on that particular item in my mind and not pay more than a price I would see for instance at a Dollar Tree store or somewhere else local.

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INFLATED 1/16/2012 3:32AM

    My husband and son that lives with us, both work. It takes all of my husband's check to pay bills. He will shop for things he wants and leave the grocery list at home. He doesn't tell me when he is going and we didn't go grocery shopping this past week. He gets paid twice a month and then I don't know when we will go or when there enough money to buy anything. Sometimes he will lay a bill aside to pay it and if I spend what I think is extra in the checking account, we would have a service charge when the bill is paid and probably insufficient funds. It is a nightmare.

There was a good ad last week at a local grocery store and I circled things with a pen in the store flyer, but did not add them to my grocery list because I wasn't sure we would go shopping. This week's ad was not near as good. When we don't shop and get sale prices, we pay more for the things we need.

I wish it would be like it used to be, where they would give you cash back for coupons instead of taking them off the total bill. I used to stash that money away.

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STORMTMB 1/15/2012 10:22AM

    You do such a great job of knowing the prices and effectively using sales and coupons to get really great prices! Good for you!!

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