$75 weekly for groceries

If you are willing to work a bit and have some patience you should do very well on $75 a week. The patience thing comes in because you have to be willing to wait for sales and not just buy something because you want it today or tomorrow. When I want to I can feed my family of 5 (kids 12, 9 and 9- 10 in 2 weeks) for $50 a week and less. You have to be willing to eat frugal type meals. One of our favorites is potato soup. For me it is almost free and Dh loves it.

I am making it tonight with free (gleaner) potatoes, free milk (powdered that someone gets and hates so she gives it to me), free ham- I did a service for her and she gave me some extra ham. The only thing I have to pay for the the margarine, and pepper. We will also have free bread (in trade for eggs), and cauliflower (gleaners) or veggies that I canned last fall.

For dessert we are having cantaloupe- it was given away by the grocer to gleaners because of a few soft spots. By the time it’s peeled no one will even notice.

We rarely have steak and prawns and that type of thing. I do work hard all year procuring food for my family. A friend raises pigs . She sells most of them (she doesn’t eat pork) and we get 1.

All we pay are the cut and wrap fees- usually about $100 for a whole one. We get several hundred pounds of pork for this. During the year we do things for her. This year we bought and raised about 30 chicks for her so they are past the tender stage- I also help her with some other things like canning. it all works out well for everyone.

She says it doesn’t cost much more to raise the extra pig. She raised 6-10 so she gets their food at a greatly reduced price. She also is able to get foods from a warehouse- things we buy in the salvage stores like open boxes of cereal rather than just dented so she can feed them almost free.

They are considered unusable for people but fine for livestock. If you do hand crafts you could trade it with people for foodtoobut these are a little more extreme. You can do it (feed your family) at a low rate just by careful shopping. I haven’t for a couple months as I have been preoccupied with family problems but I am back in the saddle.

LOL you are not crazy

I took a 3 month old last year. We drove 1000 miles with 3 kids including the baby. We had a great time. The Orlando parks are very friendly to babies. You can “baby swap”.

This means you take the baby to the exit of the rides, which most times is air-conditioned. Some new rides even have special rooms for this purpose. Then your husband takes the kids on the ride. After they are done, they meet you and you get first priority on the next ride. YOu can take 3 people back on the swap so my 2 older kids got to ride everything twice with no extra waiting. ( Once with Dad, once with me) they loved it!

I loved it too because while they waited on line, I could rest , nurse , or change the baby without having to waste time. Also, having the stroller was a huge help. We carried a collapsible cooler with ALL our food and drinks. Then we didn’t have to wait in line or spend money on the food and it was always with us.

We carried the baby in the sling when she was fussy and some rides you can even take her right on in the sling. We never paid for parking. We parked at “boardwalk” Disney’s new shopping complex. From there you can take a boat to Epcot and MGM. I would recommend “Doing Disney Like A Pro”.

I got the book at my library and it had tons of great tips on avoiding crowds, prices, good things to do, etc. the Boardwalk tip came from there. Oh yea, the kids liked to get autographs from the characters. We picked up a cheap notebook at a drugstore. The autograph books in the park are $5. It goes without saying , don’t buy anything in the park if you can avoid it. You can get Disney stuff at Walmart or anywhere in Orlando. We had a great time and barely spent a cent besides our tickets and hotel.

I’d love to hear tips on this as well

We have a trip planned for late March, early April of next year. We will be staying at the military hotel, Shades of Green, so that will be a big savings on accommodations and they have duty free shopping as well as discounts on tickets if you are military or civilian working military.

I think our hotel rate is $85 and the rooms are roomy. We are trying to decide whether to drive or fly as we will be a family of 6 by then and my mom is going too. I will be taking a 4 month old as well and could use any tips on that as well. AM I CRAZY?????

We planned this before we planned the pregnancy. LOL

Thanks in advance.

Vacation help/tips

I am asking for help from all my fellow mates. We are planning next years vacation for Disney. I know the biggest budget buster in the world. I am looking for tips advice anything you can dish out.

I do a few reward programs and I thought I would get food GC’s to help out. I want to start planning and saving now so I don’t blow the budget like I did this year.

HELP ME OH WISE AND WONDERFUL FRIENDS! I will be in your debt. If you want to e-mail me privately as to not clog up the list go ahead. Thank you Thank you Thank you!

Well, an update for those of you interested

My husband has been working on the non-working car all day. With a little help from a friend who ran to the parts store for us (5 miles away), we have it up and running. The timing is still a bit off, but we can fix that when we get down to my parent’s house.

*So* we are headed down there in a bit (my husband literally did a happy dance when the car started!!), then tomorrow we have a lot of running around.

The plan:

  • Go down and pick up the boys, drop all the kids off at their grandparents so they can spend the day at the fair.
  • Pick up a tow dolly and head back up here and pick up the van (after borrowing my grandfather’s pickup).
  • Tow the van down to my parent’s house and start looking for a new engine.
  • Hubby heads back up here (have I mentioned it is a 3 hour trip between here & my parent’s?) to work on Sunday – firefighter, 24 hour shift.

Dad and Hubby spend the rest of the week pulling old engine and *hopefully* putting in new one. So, that’s the way it stands right now. I’d appreciate your continued prayers as we drive down tonight.

Hopefully the car will get us there with no problems.

And please pray we find the engine we need, in good condition, that’s not too expensive. Thanks for all your prayers.

How do you know how much is enough?

Mine are DD12, DS9 and DS9 and 11 1/2 months. I want them to have enough so as not to be teased yet not have so much that they do not wear them and end up tossing them. We do not have people of near ages to do the hand me down thing except that DS9 -11 1/2 is smaller than DS9 and gets his yonger brothers hand me downs if they are good enough.

I am thinking 3 pr. of jeans and 5 tops for each of them. I usually let each of them pick out $50 worth of clothing and I buy the underthings , coats and shoes.

Thank you.

I bought my older daughter 5 pairs of shorts – 3 jean, 2 kahki and 5 solid color shirts, she also had 2 other shirts received as birthday. I also just bought her 2 more shirts because they were on sale at Target. She also has a brownie uniform she wears once a week (actually two uniforms, but one was bought with cookie credits since she sold so many cookies). And she gets t-shirts for different things, Day camp, resident camp, dance recital, etc that are actually worn more than the other ones!

We also need dresses for church – I usually buy those at a resale shop – They each have 3-4 so it doesn’t look like they are wearing the same dress every week. I only get fancy hand me down dresses since my niece is a tomboy and she gets one dress a year for all dressy dressy occasions – these are usually too dressy for every day church wear (our church is actually fairly casual, I’ve seen adults in shorts and I wear pants, but I work in the nursery and am on the floor – but the group of girls my daughter’s hang out with dress up and I don’t want them to feel underdressed, so they wear decent dresses, some nicer than others, but they never look under or over dressed) I have never bought blue jean pants – I get TONS (we probably have 10 pair in each size) that were handed down.

If I was buying though, 3 would be plenty. My rule on things that look the same- buy 3 – one being worn, one in the laundry, one clean in the drawers. (sheets, towels, etc are the same way. Undershirts too since it’s hot here and aren’t needed that much). Socks and underwear are a two week supply (usually two packages, so that can translate anywhere from 10-14 depending on the brand) since they go missing so often (usually under the bed, in the car (socks, not the underwear!).

My 13 yo is the only one I have to worry about

Everyone else has millions of hand me downs. He has 2 pairs of jeans,1 black, 1 blue, 3 pairs of jean shorts, and 2 pairs of Dockers. About 8 shirts and 2 nice shirts. He he would ever slow down his growth spurt I might get three pairs of jeans. I homeschool them so they dont see the same kids everyday. My 9 yo has about 6 pairs of shorts and wears the 3 denim ones over and over. Sometimes I will forget to watch them so he has to wear a different pair….grin.

I have three girls, ages 7, 5, and 2. I get a lot of hand me downs from my sister who has a 10 yr old girl. By the time my 2 year old gets the clothes, they are worn out. So, I’ve been getting more (probably not really spending more, but she’s getting more clothes, they are just not as expensive) for her than the other two.

I take everything I have and see what each child needs – usually my older needs more than the middle child, who rarely needs anything, but does get a few new things for Christmas and Birthdays that are purple since she insists on wearing purple every day. Then I make out a list of what we need to make a complete wardrobe for the new school year.

We do 90% shirts and jeans or jean shorts so it’s easier to match, but some of the hand me downs are printed shorts or sets and it makes it hard to use those. My dad gives me $100 per child for school clothes each summer (he thinks that makes him the worlds greatest grandpa when actually they would really just like to spend time with him – they don’t see him except for maybe an hour every month or two.

When my mom was alive we saw them every day, his new wife doesn’t want to do the grandkid thing with kids that aren’t hers apparently – sorry, I’m a little bitter). I actually spend some of it on me and dh, and spend about $150 on all three getting the fill in stuff.

Hubby is moving us

Hi Everyone, I usually lurk but wanted to get some advice. DH got out of the military on a single parent hardship. We were dating at the time and married shortly after. He went down to sign up for the reserves and came home and announced he is going active duty Air Force (he was Army before). Since I’ve been on this list I’ve paid off all bills except our car and our mobile home.

We bought a chest freezer and its PACKED. The pantry is full. We are looking at moving in Oct. (Don’t know where yet) We are in the middle of adopting a baby from China (next April?). So I put away $900 a month for the adoption. I’ve been paying double on the car and mobile home. We owe about $6000 on each.

My question is should I keep paying double? Just pay the minimum until we move. We will sell the mobile home. Plan on taking the car with us and then after it’s paid off save up enough for a mini-van. We had planned on selling our mobile home and then buying a house. Now we will be in base housing and am not sure if we should put the money from the mobile home in a savings account, try to invest it?

Any suggestions??

And I thought I’d share my frugal wedding. We bought Bride and Groom T-Shirts, drove to Vegas and got married at the drive through window for $25. We gambled $8. Took food in a cooler and ate it in our room. I had torn my Achilles tendon a couple days before the wedding so DH had to wheel me around Vegas. We caught the free shows in the casino. With hotel, gas etc it came to under $300. My rings are diamonique from QVC. Everyone thinks they are real. My mother had a fit saying we would be in debt forever after seeing my rings.

I’ve never said a word…lol

It’s done

My family room is clean and organized- i threw out 3 bags of stuff ( none in good enough shape to donate or i would have ) etc I even have extra space left on the shelves that I use for toys etc – I used bins from the $ store to sort things into trains- blocks – Barbies, etc., etc and I just hope that I can persuade the kids to use them to LOL!!

Of course my most recent method of teaching them to do it right the first time has worked out well with their dressers

If ya shove the clothes in any old way when Mom cks it SHE doesn’t fix it – SHE dumps every drawer in the middle of the floor and ya get to start all over LOL!!! should work with the toys too once they see i mean bussiness LOL!!

I do feel so relieved that this is done – i have been wanting to do it the last month but kept putting it off- next in line – the attic ( AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH)

Heartbroken

I don’t know what to say… Our two vehicles in the last week have both died. We have an 88 Dodge Caravan and an 88 Plymouth Reliant station wagon. The wagon died first – we still don’t know what’s wrong with it.

And yesterday, the van died. The crank shaft broke and the engine will need to be replaced. It is pouring rain outside, and my husband is walking home from the mechanic’s carrying his tool box and whatever else he could carry (3 miles).

I don’t know what we are going to do. Our Emergency fund is practically non-existent because of an incident earlier in the summer. Our 2 boys are at camp, and will need to be picked up tomorrow (200 miles away) and we have no way to get there…

I have no idea what we will do. Please, some prayers would be very helpful while we try to figure it out.