Sunday, September 20, 2009

Girls - Summer/Winter Clean Out

It's starting to get cold here. My girls were putting on tank tops and I would make them go back to their room to change. So Friday when they were in school I spent my 3 hours of alone time cleaning out their draws wearing my cordless headset. I did both the girls room and my son's room. Unfortunately, I only remembered to take photos of the girls progress.

This is the before photo. This is what the draws looked like before I even started. Yes, this is the way I saw it when I walked into their room. Sometimes they forget to close their draws which really drives me crazy.

I took out all their clothes. I did a draw at a time. Take everything out and then put everything back in. Checking for sizes as I went. All 4's went into a bag to give to their cousin. All 5's I kept. If they were summer clothes I took them out and put them in a box. If they were winter they went back into their draw.

First draw on left: Dance/Gymnastics. I put in 2 baskets as that's all I had but will need to get another basket at dollar store to put the gymnastics stuff in. Naomi does Dance and has advanced to the purple class so to the left is her dance basket. In the middle is the tights the girls share. To the right is Victoria's Gymnastics outfits.

2nd Draw on left: All shirts with long sleeves. I tried to sort them by color. Pinks all together, blues, red and dark colors, purples and then whites. I know that my kids will probably distroy this but that's how I have it set up for now.

Bottom draw on left: All pants. I tried to put all legging type pants in one pile and jeans in another pile. Since my girls share their cloths I put everything together.

Back to the top draw on the right: Luckily I already had the baskets in this draw. Socks, undies and more tights.

Middle draw on right: All skirts. This draw is a bit broken so I put the skorts in here. The girls love to wear skirts which are really shorts so I put them in here so they can wear them but really wouldn't like them to wear them since it's getting cold. Again this draw was sorted by color. We had a lot of pink so pink is in the middle. The skirts to the left are purples and the ones to the right were brown and orange.

Last but not least here is the bottom draw on the right. PJ's. After I pulled out all the 4's we were left with just a few items and most of them is summer. So it looks like I need to get them some pjs. Does anyone know a sale somewhere? Nanny are you reading this?

Here are the summer cloths. The smaller box is size 5. These will be put away until next summer. The bigger box is size 6 clothes. Both summer and winter. These were given to us from our cousins or friends. These will be put away until they are wearing that size.

Hello cousin Amanda. Here's a bag for you the next time we see you.

As for my son. I took out all his clothes as well. I gave to his cousin 4 big bags of size 4. We are left with lots of 5's. Small amount of summer 5's and no 6's. If he grows we have nothing to wear. Anyone have donations size 6's? Will be looking at sales in the next couple of months in those sizes.

Cleanout is accomplished!

In summary we need the following:
Girls: Coats, tights and pjs size 5
Boys: Coat and anything size 6

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Kitchen - Zone 2

Are we in the kitchen again. Told you I always wind up in the kitchen and hardly ever get to any other room. While the kids were in school I decided to do a mission. The mission was to look up. What do you see? Well, I looked above my refrigerator. This is what I saw.

What is up there? I found lots of tools (hammer, screw drivers, nails), light bulbs, bags of candy from a party, beads that the kids can't play with unless supervised, my cordless headset, bingo games, eye glasses, and garbage. I even found some money (coins) which I added to the kids allowance basket. Not to mention a lot of DUST!!!!!!! See photo below. Gross!

After about 1/2 hour I was able to get rid of everything except my cordless headset. So now this is what you see. Tools were moved to the garage. Light bulbs moved to bathroom closet and toys moved to the toy shelf. It's off for a much needed nap.

Friday, September 4, 2009

Coupon Shopping

Everything. You can save lots of money just by clipping and using coupons. I love to save money. I am an avid coupon clipper and shopper. I save from $25 to $110 a week just by using coupons and planning. I used to have the newspaper delivered each week and spending $12 on the paper only to clip out like 4 coupons per week and tossing the rest of the newspaper in the garbage. It was producing more recyclable garbage then it was saving money so I canceled my service.

So where do I get my coupons?

I now use my $12 to purchase coupons that I can actually use for the month. When I purchase coupons I normally purchase 4 or more depending on what the product is as most stores will allow 4 coupons at a time. I never pay full price for the following items: laundry detergent, toilet paper, paper towels, tooth paste, shampoo, maxi pads, and cereal to name just a few items.

There are 2 places that I frequent for my coupon shopping.

1. Coupon Clippers: There is a minimum purchase of $3 before shipping and handling so I order $4 worth at least once a month. Shipping is fast. They also have a facebook account so you can become a member and they will send out updates when there is new coupons available.

2. The Coupon Carry Out: There is no minimum purchase. They send you e-mails when they update their incoming coupons. Shipping is fast and great customer service.

Other sources I sometimes use to get coupons are EBAY, I search google for printable coupons, I swap with friends and I also go to the library for their coupon swaps. Check your local library to see if they have any service like this.

Coupon Swaps at libraries. How they work is you bring in all your unwanted coupons. As I clip out my coupons I clip out everything on Sunday. I make 2 piles. One to give away and one to save and file in my coupon box. I put the give away into a zip lock back and I carry it in my pocketbook until I get a chance to get to the library to give them away. I drop them off and then I sit and collect the coupons that I can use. In the summer it was quite difficult to do the coupon swaps at the library with the kids but now that they are in school I hope to get to the other libraries as well.

Sunday is the day I do my bill paying so I also include going through my mail and clipping out coupons. I also look at the flyers for the upcoming week. I look at the sales and I try to match my coupons with what is on sale for that week. When it is a good deal I will purchase 4 items of the same thing stockpiling my pantry items. I also take advantage of the buy $30 get $ back deals. Sometimes they can be really worthwhile especially if you can reduce that $30 by using coupons.

I also participate over at ebates. Every time I shop I go to that website and then click on the store I want to shop at. Each time I shop I earn money back just for shopping. Each store has a different percentage that you can earn back. It's amazing. So far this year I have earned $100. The money gets directly deposited into my paypal account quarterly which I then roll over and use to purchase my coupons. Join by going to the ebates link above and I will earn referral fee.

Your local supermarket may even have online specials. Shoprite has a family program where you earn points just for using your price plus card. I have earned $2 coupons back for this. I also buy coke and I participate in the coke reward program by entering the number from the cap. I have earned free magazine subscriptions this way plus free subway cards just for entering the numbers. When I was using diapers I earned tons of stuff from as well.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Getting Ready for School

My children will be starting Kindergarten tomorrow. My mom got them all new backpacks for their birthday. Naomi has the pink one, Justin the red one and Victoria has the purple one. If you look very closely you will see name tags that I made hanging on them. I used my sizzex machine to cut chipboard, then I modge podged paper on top and then laminated them. They are hanging with ring clips on the outside. I also laminated their bus pass and hung it on the ring clip as well.

This was their entryway spot before. It was a total mess. I pulled everything out and started from scratch.

This is what it looks like now. Their shoes are under the shoe rack. There are only 3 jackets hanging on the hooks. 3 backpacks sitting on the shoe rack. In the black bag hanging I have all my Sesame Place stuff (season passes, popcorn bucket, drinks, shirts). Under that are their home depot aprons. Speaking of home depot the kids workshop is this Sat. Wonder what we will be making this month.