Monday, February 25, 2013

Game Night- Organized!

I'm baaaccckk!! We packed up and headed to Florida for a week of family, fun, and sun. We spent lots of time with family, hung out by the pool, and said "Hello" to Mickey too. How quickly those 9 days flew by and we were faced right back with reality. We have been back home for a week now- and I've become very unmotivated. Cleaning, organizing, and decorating were the last thing on this momma's mind. The sun finally came out yesterday and while it was still very chilly, that sun was all the motivation I needed to get my butt back into gear. So I spent my Sunday off from work doing what I do best- cleaning, and I even threw in an organization project too!

Our mudroom has been a blank canvas since we moved into our freshly built home. While it is a cozy little nook in the entry of our home- I'm blessed to have it. I've pinned so many mudroom ideas on Pinterest over the past year or so, and finally convinced the hubby to create my dream board and batten treatment on the wall. This happened about 6 months ago, and while the basework is complete....lots of finishing touches need to be made. My husband built an awesome bench with a large amount of storage space. This space has become our catchall- shoes, board games, items that need returned, pet items, etc. After cleaning our main floor I decided to tackle the bench. I started by emptying everything out to start with a clean slate.

I sure did create quite a mess.

Once I had the space all emptied, I vacuumed it out and then cleaned it with my homemade vinegar cleaning solution (recipe to be posted in an upcoming post). Once it was squeaky clean I decided to pretty the boring white wood up by adding a layer of contact paper to the base. This will make it much easier to wipe clean too.

Much prettier- isn't it? After looking at the pile of goodies that came out of the bench I decided that we had an overabundance of board games. The lightbulb came on and I decided to turn the bench into storage for all of our games. This works perfectly for our friday night game nights that take place a couple steps away at our kitchen table.

 So I went through and pulled out all of the games and puzzles that our kids have outgrown and added them to the garage sale pile. I then added all of the games back into the bench, puzzles on the left, games on the right. much better!
Oodles and Oodles of board games keep the kids from getting bored. Bringing the family together around the table for fun is an added bonus.

Puzzles are perfect for quiet time and individual play.
When the fun and games are over, we simple flip the lid back down and carry on with our day. The game storage is a perfect solution to keeping our collection organized. You wouldn't believe how this freshly organized space brought the attention of our kids- you would have thought it was Christmas day.
Once the finishing touches are put on our mudroom I'll be back with a full breakdown of the exciting project. Until then, I hope you enjoyed this little sneak peek. How do you keep your board games organized?
P.S. Money Saving Monday will be back next week!


Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Money Saving Monday- Week 7

So this week was AWESOME, almost too AWESOME! I have practically been consumed with couponing this week. Giant Eagle was packed with deals- almost so much that I've been a little overwhelmed with posting all my finds! And then comes,! I have a love-hate relationship with CVS. Usually at the beginning of each year, I get on a couponing kick and decide to step it up a notch and start getting back into the swing of things with CVS. 2013 hasn't disappointed, I find myself spending lots of time at CVS. Almost TOO MUCH TIME and TOO MUCH TIME = burnout. So while I am going to continue snatching up some CVS deals, I'm gonna take it slow. Slow is good!


On to my weekly Giant Eagle stockup.

I didn't stay within my $15.00 budget this week.  The deals were plentiful and I figured that I've done great on the past weeks to allow for a splurge this week.  I spent almost $25.00 for all of the above.

I snatched up 5 bottles of Red Hot Sweet Chili sauce....AKA "Mommy Sauce" as my 4 year old calls it. This is indeed the greatest creation and this mommy sure does love it. My favorite taco sauce!

I got 4 cans of Hormel (no beans- the hubs HATES beans!) on the cheap!

 These 4 chex mix and 2 rolls of Bounty Basics were free...yup you heard that right- FREE. 

2 bags of Ludens, 10 tubes of Blistex, 2 Reach toothbrushes, 4 dental floss, and 2 Cover Girl Mascara all for about $7.50.

6 boxes of cereal for under $5.00. The Peanut Butter Toast Crunch is AWESOME- my little ones loved it too!

My boys love GO-Gurt! Anytime it is on sale I stock up, and usually have a few boxes in the freezer too! The Yoplait light yogurt is for me, and I love taking it to work for a quick breakfast.

Didn't I do great this week? I was pretty happy. I'm heading back to hit the last day of the Giant Eagle sale tomorrow. I'm gonna get a few more chili's and some more free chex mix! 

Happy Tuesday everyone!


Saturday, January 26, 2013

Homework made easy

Having a busy family of 5, including 3 kiddos with big age gaps, means lots of different activities and tons of homework. Without some sort of organization homework would never get done, supplies would be spread throughout the house, and important paperwork would more than likely end up in the trash. To stop all the chaos I created a homework drawer right in the busiest part of our home- the kitchen. About a year ago, I picked one of the biggest kitchen drawers I had and then went to town creating the perfect space. Throughout the year this drawer has worked AMAZING- I've changed things up a little along the way and now it functions perfectly for this busy family. Take a peek.

Our daughter is a freshman in highschool, our middle son is in 1st grade, and youngest is in pre-school. They are learning everything from Alegbra to simple math, visual design to coloring with crayons. This drawer multi-tasks perfectly for each age group. I try to maintain an afterschool schedule for the kids, which includes incorporating quiet time. Quiet time = Homework time. Our quiet time happens right at the kitchen table, lasts about an hour, and usually falls right at the time of meal prep so this mama can be nearby to help with any homework questions.

I purchased two different size plastic cutlery organizers from Ikea. I paid roughly $5.00 for these guys. The larger organizer I used as is, the other I added some removable organizers to. I LOVE.LOVE.LOVE. school supplies, so during the back to school sales that take place July-August I stock up for the year. I went to my school supply stash and filled the organizer with everything needed to make completing homework a breeze. I then took out my handy labeler, which is also housed in the homework drawer, and labeled each bin. Everything has its own space, so everything stays organized.
I added colored pencils and crayons to the removable organizers, this way the kids can just grab the whole organizer and bring it to the kitchen table. Once quiet time is over, the organizers fit right back into the Ikea organizer, and life is good.
I created a blank paper binder, which holds extra loose leaf paper (wide and college ruled), handwriting practice paper for my little one, and a stack of blank printer paper for drawing and coloring. My little guy rarely has pre-school homework, so he spend quiet time coloring in the coloring books that are stashed in the front flap of the binder, working on worksheets I've printed online, or just creating artwork with crayons and stickers. I have found lots of printable worksheets on Pinterest. Check out my Learning board for some of my favorite websites, and make sure to follow me as well.

I added 4 folders to house all the paperwork that comes through the door. Each kid has their own folder, and mommy and daddy share one as well. This has worked perfectly to contain all of the paper clutter that comes in the house.

When quiet time is over, everything goes back into the drawer and the drawer is closed for the night. And our house stays perfectly cleaned and organized. A mom can dream, right?



Monday, January 21, 2013

Money Saving Monday- Week 6

Welcome Back! I finished my weekly shopping early this week, boy does it feel nice! I came in under my budget too!! Woohoo!! Here's what I got this week at Giant Eagle!

I ended up with 8 packages of Tyson Grilled & Ready Chicken Breast Strips, 2 containers of Daisy Cottage Cheese, and 6 microwaveable cups of Uncle Ben's Chicken Flavored Rice. 

Daisy Cottage Cheese was on sale for $1.99, I found coupons for .50 off one in my coupon binder which doubled will take $1.00 off. Each cottage cheese was only .99 cents!

These Tyson Grilled and Ready Chicken Strips were BOGO. They came out to $1.99 each and with a .55 cent off coupon doubled, I paid only .89 cents per package. These guys are heading straight to the freezer! 

The Uncle Ben's cups of Rice are regular price at $1.00 each. I had coupons for $1.00 off 2. These ended up being only .50 cents each. Love the ease of these for lunches at work!

My total for all of these items was just $12.10. Just remember these deals are only good through this Wednesday, January 23rd.

Looking forward to next weeks sale starting January 24th??? Go here to print out the Chex Mix and Hormel Chili coupons! You will be able to get the Chex Mix for free and Hormel Chili for just .45 cents a can!! Make sure to print them ASAP, before you know it these coupons will be gone!!

Happy Shopping!!


Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Money Saving Monday- Week 5

Our basement pantry is busting at the seams. I had a pretty good stockpile before I started the Money Saving Monday series, so with all the newly added goodies- I've got to find some inspiration (or pinspiration ) for an organized pantry.  I see a purging and organizing project in the near future, followed by lots and lots of pictures! This week turned out to be a great stock-up week at Giant Eagle. I printed lots of coupons, headed to the store, and stuck to my $15.00 stockpile budget. Read about how I budget for our stockpile here .

I know...can you believe that I came in under my $15.00 budget for all this? I got 24 boxes of Betty Crocker fruit snacks, 4 Pillsbury Cinnamon Rolls, 6 Pillsbury Biscuits, 4 Pillsbury Crescent Rolls and 2 tubs of Heluva Good Chip dip.  All of this and my total out of pocket was: $13.94. I still came in $1.06 under budget.  Here is the breakdown below:

Don't these cinnamon rolls look yummy? They will come in perfect for a special treat for the kiddos. These were on sale for $1.00 each at Giant Eagle. I printed coupons here for .50 cents of 2. Doubled this comes out to $1.00 off 2. These worked out to be just 50 cents a piece.

The crescent rolls were on sale for $1.00 each as well. I found coupons here-with a .50 cent of 2 coupon doubled to 1.00- these worked out to just .50 cents a piece as well. I got 4 for a total of $2.00.

Grands Jr. biscuits were on sale for $1.00 a piece as well. I found .60 cents off the purchase of 3 coupons here. Doubled these coupons make these goodies $1.80 for all 3 or just .60 cents each. You are probably wondering what we will do with all of these biscuits/rolls. FREEZE FREEZE FREEZE!! I've been freezing all of these products for years now and have never had any issues. Just let them defrost in the refrigerator and you will be all set to go!

Have you ever had this chip dip? Love it!! A close runner up to my all time favorite Lawson's Chip Dip!! I printed .75 cent of 1 coupons several weeks ago here, which made these guys only .17 cents a piece after the double coupon. You can still go here to print a .50 cent off 1 coupon which would make these dips only .67 cents each thru Wednesday at Giant Eagle!

My favorite stockup deal of the week is the Betty Crocker fruit snacks. These guys are on sale for $2.00 a piece. If you purchase 4 in one transaction, they have a $4.00 instant savings. That makes them 4 for $4.00. I found some awesome coupons in my coupon binder for .75 cents off 2 which doubled makes them 1.50 off 2. After coupons 4 boxes of snacks comes out to only $1.00- thats only .25 cents each. AWESOME!!! I'm going to stop back tomorrow to get another 24 of these snacks. They are perfect for preschool snack day, tball snacks, lunches, car rides- the possibilities are endless!!

Check your coupon binders and print out the coupons for the pillsbury items and head to Giant Eagle before Thursday to stock your pantry as well!


Monday, January 7, 2013

Money Saving Monday- Week 4

Welcome back! This week I found 3 deals that I stocked up on, and again our pantry and deep freezer were very happy! I've been couponing for about 4 years, and get burnt out from time to time and take a long extended break. We eventually eat through our stockpile and have to start from square one again. I'm hoping that by blogging my coupon stockup trips that I will hold myself to continuing the savings...and not get burnout! It's so nice to be able to head straight to the pantry to get all the supplies I need to cook dinner instead of heading straight to the grocery store! By stocking up weekly on certain products that have a great savings I'm able to stockup while saving money! And saving money makes this mama happy!

Before I get started, I wanna tell you about a cool new app that allows you to earn cash while buying the products you love! It's an app for smartphones called Ibotta! You can see all about it here:

 It is so easy to use! I signed up a few days ago and already have $12.25 in my account. The more you redeem the offers, the more offers they add. Most of the offers are things that I already buy at the grocery store, so it works out perfectly for me!! Better yet, once you complete your first transaction you will be credited $5.00 by following through a friends referral. And each time that you refer a friend you will get a $1.00 added to your account as well. Sounds like a win-win to me!! Hurry over to and signup today!!

This week I ended up under my stockup budget!! To read about how I fill my pantry check out my blog post here. I cant wait to share my basement pantry and deep freezer organization with you soon!

I bought 10 cans of Hunt's Traditional spaghetti sauce. They were on sale 10 for $10.00 and also qualified for an additional .10 cent fuel perk bonus when 10 were purchased. I found coupons on the inside cardboard packaging of the cheap frozen banquet meals (look for the boxes that advertise $4.00 in savings) so I purchased 10 frozen meals in prep for this weeks stockup. The coupons were for .35 cents off one can of Hunt's spaghetti sauce, doubled made this .70 cents off per can, for a total price of only .30 cents per can!! Not only did the 10 cans only cost me $3.00 but I also earned the additional fuelperks! Double Win!!

Next up were these Bob Evans fully cooked Sausage Patties. They were on sale for $2.59 each. I found coupons over here for .75 off each. Doubled these coupons came out to $1.50 off each for a grand total of $1.09 per package of sausage. Not too bad!

Last up were these frozen boxes of Green Giant vegetables. The coupons that I had were for .60 cents off when you purchase three. Doubled this came to $1.20 off of 3. The veggies were on sale for $1.00 each, so after the coupon I paid $1.80 for 3, or .60 cents each. 

Total out of pocket this week I spent, $ 12.76 for 23 items! I think I had a pretty good week!!


Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Money Saving Monday- Week 3

Welcome back for Monday Saving Monday Tuesday. The holidays have certainly put a bump in our normal everyday schedule. They put a bump in post office schedule as took 6 days for my coupons to arrive in my mailbox. Let's hope we all get back on track now that the Holidays are over! 

 Did you make any New Year resolutions? I'm hoping to have a less is more kinda year...less stress, less spending, less weight. I'll keep you updated on my status along the way! I wish everyone a healthy, happy, and unforgettable 2013! 

 Lets get to the goods........

This week I not only added some goodies to our basement pantry but also to our deep freezer.

Super Pretzel's were on sale for $2.00 at Giant Eagle. I had coupons for $.50 off 1- which doubled to be $1.00 of 1. I bought 10 boxes for a total of $10.00.

Betty Crocker Instant potatoes were on sale for $1.00 each. With a $.50/2 coupon doubled these came out to just 50 cents a box. I stocked up with 10 for a total of $5.00. 

I stuck to my budget of $15.00 this week and got 20 new items to add to our stockpile! I've already checked out the new ad starting Thursday, I'll be stocking up on spaghetti sauce, Chef Boyardee, Green Giant Frozen Veggies along with a few other goodies. Be sure to stop back next Monday for all the details of my shopping trip!

Clean, Organize, Decorate has a Facebook page!! Make sure to head over and like it! Look for a giveaway later this month, all details will be posted on our Facebook page only!