The everyday or almost everyday babblings of a Mama that lives along a Brook

Ways to Put More in My Pocket!


I have been MIA for a while because life has been very busy.  Both kids have been extremely active and reach new levels of parenting.

An update I guess is in order:

Mike and I have been doing out best to minimize our  technology addictions.  One example is we will be eliminating cable with in the next two weeks.  No we are not getting rid of TV all together, but we will no longer have cable.  We have found we barely watch it so why pay for it.  Instead we have investing in a Blu-Ray player and love it.  We have set up our Netflix on-demand account and are just waiting for 2 pcs to arrive in the mail this week to finish our connection of our Blu-ray player to the internet due to our modem being really old.  We will recoup our Blu-ray player cost in under 6 months and after that we have cut out monthly expenses again.  Yes Netflix cost but it is a lot cheaper than cable and I can avoid a good bit of commercial junk that is on TV.  We have also found we could change our cell phone plan to lower minutes and that has saved us more money!  YEAH!  Lately we have been all about saving money on our everyday things.  We have been thriving on it and loving the challenge.

I have started my summer veggie garden.  I decided we spent a lot of money on garden plant and we could easily grow some of them ourselves.  Not only would this be a financial savings but a great education for the kiddos.  We have also been talking about putting in a nice big garden this year with plenty of stuff to can.  I can’t wait, I am super excited about this.  Mike promised he would help me can the food as well, which is totally awesome!  Here are some pictures of our garden’s beginning:



Mike was awesome and built me some shelves in the basement.  I am super excited to stock them up and have a supply of food on hand.  But after organizing my cabinets and the grocery shopping trip right after the shelves were made I was able to stock them well and we haven’t even began to can!  Looks like we need more shelves.  By the way I did not pay full price for 98% of what is on the shelves.  I would say I didn’t even pay $50 for all the food!

Before organizing and shopping:

After organizing and shopping:


We have also been looking around the house to see what projects to tackle this year.  We have found a few and the best part is most of them are going to cost us almost nothing.  It is a lot of labor and minimal supplies.  I know you are asking how is that possible.  Well it is called demolition.  All the wallpaper that was in the play room and living room have no officially been removed.  We scored 5 gallons of paint for $50.  It is all good, but it was made as a mistake at Lowes.  It a shade of white (the paint is in the garage, so I am not easily able to get to find the name of it).  All we will need is paint for the trim.  I am pretty sure it will be a blue or red, just what shade I am not sure.  Between our living room and play room there is an arch.  Though it is beautiful it makes both rooms small and the play room (currently a dinning room) kind of a useless room.  So our goal is to eliminate the arch and make it one big room.  Looks like we will need to put up a small amount of drywall (to patch the wall and ceiling where the arch wall was. and maybe a support beam (this will be determined during demolition). Then it is paint time. I am super excited.  I am ready to have a nice size family/living room.  I have a lot of painting to do this year.  Our kitchen and dinning room (currently an office) has a yellowish/off white flat paint for trim and the doors.  I hope to change it all.  Our trim shows all the dirt.  I am very tired of cleaning up dirt off the bathroom door where little and big hands and paws (and puppy noses) touch it.

Well it is 12 pm and I have mom’s group tomorrow at 9:30, so I guess I should attempt to get some sleep.  Good night.


Menu Monday – 2/7/11

Well this is not the normal Menu Monday. I honestly am not sure what I want to make this week. But we decided instead of traditional grocery shopping that we would do a trip to BB’s (discount grocery store in Morgantown PA) and stock up again. We where hoping to stock up on can goods, but the selection wasn’t there so we got other stuff and I am happy with our purchase. If you click on the picture it will enlarge.

We spent $49.94 above and below is what we got and what we paid. Sadly we somehow lost a bag before we even got to the car. We think we left it at the register and well the next guy got it. It included at least $3.29 worth of items (at least 2 items that I can remember). So all the items in the above picture should only be $46.65 or less if we are missing more than I can remember. It averages $0.73/each (I used the $49.94 and the 69 items we brought home. So technically it was better. Since I can’t remember what I am missing for sure I went with the price I paid and what I brought home.)

Top Picture
Stove Top (8 bx) – 4 for $1.00
Scalloped & Julienne Potatoes (7 bx) – 3 @ $0.70/each and 4 @ 2 for $1.00
Instant Potatoes (4 bx) – 2 @ $0.70/each and 2 @ $1.00/each
Popsecert Popcorn (2 bx) – 2 for $1.00
Ronzoni Rotini Healthy Harvest Whole Grain (1 bx) – $0.60
Barilla Whole Grain Rotini (1 bx) – $0.60
Saltines (1 bx) – $0.69
Cheese It Whole Grain Crackers (1 bx) – $1.49
Cheese It White Cheddar Crackers (1 bx) – $0.50
Zatarins Crab Cake Mix (1 bx) – $0.50
Quaker Chewy Chocolate Chip Granola Bars (1 bx) – $0.99
Crystal Light Skin Essentials Drink Mix (3 bx) – 2 for $1.00
Lunch Crackers Peanut Butter (1 bx) – $0.99
Lunch Crackers Cheddar Cheese (1 bx) – $1.19

Lower picture
Minute Main Lemonade Juice Box (1 pk) – $1.49
HK Anderson Pretzel Snack Bags ( 3 ea) – $1.49/each
Brickles (like Doritos) (3 bgs) – $1.49/each
Butter Puffin Corn (1 bag) – 2 for $1.00
Grated Parm. Cheese (1 each) – $1.49
Apple Juice (1 bottle) – $0.75
Canned Peaches (4 cans) – $0.59/each
Canned Gravy (10.25 oz each) (4 cans) – 2 for $1.00
Jar Gravy (2 jars) – $0.79/each
Canned Gravy (14 oz) (2 cans) – $0.70/each
Maxwell International Coffee (2) – $0.99/each & $0.50/each
DelMonte Spaghetti Sauce (4 cans) – $0.99/each (i use when I make homemade sauce)
Whole Tomatoes (28 oz cans) (4 cans) – $0.60/each
Tomato Puree (28 oz can) (2 cans) – $0.60/each
Crushed Tomatoes (29 oz can) (2 cans) – $0.60/each

90-95% of the above is good until at least June 2011, but most is good until 2012.

We love BB’s. I can’t wait until Mike finishes my basement shelves and our plan is to then stock up of more stuff, like can goods. Our goal is to never have to shop for just the weeks menu and to always have stuff on hand to make. It might require creativity but we can do it. And we also want to be able to pass the savings along to others once we are stocked up and they are in need of some groceries. Once we get the shelves done then he needs to work on getting my freezer in my basement somehow or we need to find an inexpensive one that we can buy and then sell ours. I want to start putting our grocery savings into purchasing our meats and being prepared that way as well. And I want to be able to make recipes and freeze them. I love to put food in my freezer and the plan this year is a big garden and to put a bunch up. Now that I have a bit more time to tend a garden and to put food together I hope to have a nice full freezer and pantry to feed my family from.

Why I do Swagbucks and how to make it work for you…

How would you like to put get stuff for free. I am serious. Sounds too go to be true, we Swagbucks is amazing and very true. I decided I would like to turn more people on to them and the best way to do that is this put my winnings on my blog and my tips and trust me I am not pro at this.

What is Swagbucks?
It is a search engine similar to Google BUT you earn swagbucks!

What can I do with the swagbucks I earn?
Get all sorts of stuff, but my personal favorite is the $5 amazon gift cards. But you can get many other gift cards, clothing, movies, music, stuff for the kids. But from what I see the $5 amazon gift card is the best way to go.

Ok so now I am interested but still seems to good to be true and I probally would have to spend all year earning enough swagbucks for a $5 gift card.
WRONG! I joined in January 2010 and so far I have earned 18 $5 amazon gift cards, yep that is $90! I am not lying!!!

What have you done with your Amazon Gift Cards?
What have I received with my $90.  I have received $119.03 worth of stuff for $29.03 out of pocket (well actually $19.03 since I purchased a $20 gc for $10 from another site at one point). Here is what I have gotten!

I will be posting more over the next week about Swagbucks to explain how it works even more and how you can quickly earn swagbucks with out a lot of time and energy and going out of your way.