Oh I love thrift stores

Posted 11-22-2012 at 12:35 PM by whitneywalters

It is always great to find a really amazing item at a thrift store. My husband and I both enjoy going to different second stores to see what awesome things we can find. Chris and I were clothes shopping for the kids and since we really only needed a couple of items we decided to check some thrift stores first.

The first place we went to we managed to get some really nice stuff for very little money. Our youngest daughter needed a coat for the fall and winter. We managed to find an adorable high end jacket for only ten dollars! The coat looks like it was never even worn and it so cute on her. We also scored a really cute fall set for our oldest daughter to wear for her fall pictures and it was only five dollars, I found a nice pair of blue jeans for me that still had tags on them for only ten dollars and my husband found a couple of nice shirts for three dollars a piece. I would say we made out pretty well.

My oldest daughter was also in need of some more winter clothes. She likes to wear dresses most of the time so when I needed to go to goodwill to drop some stuff off, I decided to look through the dresses they had. I found some really cute dresses and only spent a few dollars on them. We are planning to go to a bigger city that is close to us soon to look at a few more places. She still needed a few shirts and I would love to find a couple more dresses for her.

Diaper Swapers

Bedroom redo on a budget

Posted 11-20-2012 at 02:53 PM by whitneywalters

My husband and I have been living in our house for almost seven years now. Slowly we have been updating and redoing all the rooms in the house. I do not like having white paint, I love color and having different colors in every room. Since we have been doing our renovations slowly and on a limited budget our room took a back burner because we wanted to get the rooms done that other people would see the most.  Recently we redid our bedroom and I am so happy we finally got it done.

I had a very limited budget and had a lot we needed to do. We needed new curtains, new bedding, paint and decorations. I had $500 to get it all done. The first thing we did was find a color of paint we liked. We decided to go with brown and blue. Our carpet is blue and in good shape so we did not need to replace it. We picked a nice brown color for the wall, the paint was $30.

Next I started shopping around for bedding. The last two times we bought bedding we went to Wal-mart and just got something half way cheap. It ended up falling apart within a year so this time we wanted to get something a little higher end. I went to the JCPenny home store and found a really nice bed set on sale for $150 that was the perfect color combo.

They had matching curtains that are black out curtains for $70 and I found a nice curtain rod on sale for $20. All I had left was decorations. Before I went out and spent a lot of money I started looking around my house to see what I had that could be used. I found a cross that I had painted along time ago that looked great, two wall hangings from our wedding

Making the holidays great on a small budget

Posted 11-6-2012 at 11:55 AM by whitneywalters

My favorite thing about the Christmas season is buying gifts for those I love. I am a giver and I really enjoy giving great gifts at Christmas time but when you have a tight budget like I do, it can get tough. I have found ways to still make Christmas great for everyone though. Being on a tight budget doesn’t have to mean not giving awesome gifts, it just means you may have to get a little more creative about it.

1.Sales
-I know the big sale is Black Friday, I personally do not like going out for this sale, I don’t care how good the deal is, I don’t like the craziness. I do shop other sales through out the year. I actually start my shopping six months before Christmas and just store everything in a big tote. It gives me time to spread out my shopping and hit all the good sales.

2. Ebay, Listia and other auction sites
– I have gotten some great items from these sites. Listia is done in points instead of money and I did a lot of my shopping for my kids off there. I had a lot of old movies and video games laying around the house so I was able to build up a large amount of points quickly. I have managed to score some really good deals on ebay as well, it took a lot of looking and patience but it was well worth it in the end.

We built a sandbox

Posted 09-7-2012 at 10:31 AM by whitneywalters

My husband and I are  slowly doing a major overhaul on our yard. We are redoing all the gardening, adding more garden areas and building a nice big  play area for the kids. We live in two lots which makes for a large yard. We have four kids, the oldest three play in the sand box more than anything else and Amelia is starting to like doing it also. The little turtle sand box we had was just not big enough for all the kids. We did some pricing on buying a large one and decided it would be way cheaper for us just to build one ourselves.

A friend of ours came over one afternoon and helped my husband build the box part for the sand box. It is fairly simple, just the boards and we are going to cover it with a tarp until my husband can build some kind of cover for it. We bought sand from the local sand quarry and my dad hauled it for us in his truck.

My kids are beyond happy with their new sand box. It is 10×10 so there is plenty of space for everyone to play. We are going to have to buy one more truck load of sand but it will still have cost us under $40 to make it.

Making the Most of My Garden

Posted 08-30-2012 at 11:15 AM by whitneywalters

My family lives in southern Iowa and as everyone probably knows we are currently suffering from a major drought. Our garden took a huge hit because of this so I am doing whatever I can to make the most of the produce we are getting. This year we grew summer squash, zucchini squash, tomatoes, green, red and yellow peppers, beets, cucumbers, potatoes, pumpkins and dill.

Both of the squashes did really well even though it has been so dry. We have way more than anyone would need and I hate letting anything go to waste. We have been giving it away, making bread, cake, stirfry, adding it to pasta dishes, soup and when we get sick of eating I have been freezing it for later use.

As for the cucumbers, whatever we do not eat in cucumber salad or cucumbers with ranch, we make into pickles. We have made both refrigerator pickles and canned pickles. My family eats pickles like you would not believe so no cucumbers are going to waste here.  The dill was also used in the pickles.

Practicing Financial Self-Control

Posted 08-29-2012 at 12:00 PM by Krista

I wrote recently about being on a budget. It is only day two, and while it does feel easier there is a huge part of me that thinks: we can’t do this. I can’t do this. What is keeping to a budget, really? Besides allocating money for bills, groceries, gas and the like it’s really just about one thing: self-control. My husband and I are on an allowance system (I know—it feels like I’m back in the fifth grade!) and while it is bugging me, he is very nonchalant about the whole thing.

“I don’t really get that much, anyway,” he says.

Ha! I thought the same thing of myself until I actually started looking at the numbers. I scrutinized our account very closely and kept track for two months before putting a budget into place. What I found amazed me. I never realized how much money we spent on eating out. That first month, we vowed to cut back, and we did so—but then our grocery bill practically doubled.

Wasting Food

Posted 08-22-2012 at 09:52 AM by whitneywalters

This is a subject that I am sure all moms can relate with me about. My kids waste a lot of food and it is driving me insane. I have tried just about everything out there to get them to eat their food. I start with small portions and offer more if they are still hungry, I try hard to come up with healthy dishes that everyone will like, I have covered the plates and given it to them again the next day and I have even tried the starving children in Africa talk ( which got me nowhere since they just looked at me and said they would give them their food ).

I am also ashamed to admit that my kids are not the only ones that is guilty of wasting. I recently cleaned the fridge out and we threw out more food than I want to admit. I have a bad habit of cooking too much, then it goes in the fridge and we rarely use it again. My husband does take left overs to work with him but we still end up throwing out a lot. It has become my goal to stop doing this. There is no excuse for us to be wasting as much as we are.

The first thing I am going to do is start cooking smaller amounts at meal times. I am trying to make enough for that meal and one extra plate so Chris can take it to work with him. When we have soup I will freeze whatever does not get eaten that night in small bowls and then he can take it with him at a later date.

We Cancelled Satellite

Posted 08-20-2012 at 09:41 AM by whitneywalters

After months and months of trying my husband finally convinced me to pull the plug on our satellite. He had been making hints about getting rid of it for sometime now but our contract was not up until the beginning of July. My husband never has been much of a television watcher and when he did watch something it was usually on Netflix. The kids and I were watching it pretty often. I would turn Nick Jr on for the kids in the morning and they would watch it off and on until I turned it off for lunch. I filled the DVR with crime dramas that I would watch when the kids were sleeping.

My husband was trying to get me to see it was not worth the price we were paying when we could spend fifty dollars less each month and get netflix and hulu. Between those two he told me I should be able to watch pretty much everything I was already watching and we would be able to save a lot of money in the process. I knew we needed to find ways to cut back so I finally gave in but I was not happy about it.

A Party Fit for a Princess on a Budget

Posted 08-17-2012 at 12:57 PM by whitneywalters

My daughter Destiny loves to pretend she is a princess. She turned five August 4th and this year she wanted to have a princess party. We are still on a pretty strict budget so I went to work planning a party fit for my little princess.
We decided to have an afternoon party and skip the meal this time. We had cupcakes, punch and princess marshmallows.

Destiny wanted pink cupcakes with sprinkles, so I made strawberry cupcakes with white frosting and pink and white sugar sprinkles. I found princess cupcake liners at Hobby Lobby. The marshmallows were very simple. I dipped them in white chocolate and rolled them in purple sugar sprinkles. She also wanted pink punch so I made a simple punch from sprite, pink lemon aid and raspberry sherbert.

We wanted to have a gift bag for each little girl. I got on Pinterest and found an easy felt crown pattern and a diy ribbon dancer. I already had most of the supplies here. All I needed to buy was headbands, plastic rings, gift bags and I bought a package of princess rings in the party section of Hobby Lobby. My mom spent an afternoon helping me make

Birthday Bash on a Budget

Posted 07-19-2012 at 02:35 PM by whitneywalters

My baby girl just turned one. I wanted to throw here a really cool party but we are on a pretty strict budget right now. My mom and I are both pretty crafty so we went  to work looking up different decoration ideas that we could make together and save me some money doing so. I wanted to have an owl themed party and I found a ton of ideas online for cute and easy decorations.

We made her a  birthday banner for the wall,  I found all the supplies at Walmart and spent a total of $7 on them. Plus, we have enough stuff left over from it that we will be able to make banners for the other kids birthdays and maybe some stuff for Amelia’s scrapbook.