Wednesday, March 31, 2010

350 miles to Salt Lake City

I'm biking/walking from Boise, ID to Salt Lake City, UT. That is 350 miles! It is a huge goal for me! But, let me explain...

When I say bike/walk I mean it in a virtual sense. I will actually be using a treadmill and an exercise bike. So far I've logged in 33 miles!

I originally set a goal for 300 miles by June 11th which is the day we leave on vacation and the first day the kids are out of school for summer break. I hope by adding on the extra 50 miles I am not pushing my luck! Today I rode for 10 miles. I walk a lot less often because I can only walk for up to two miles due to the weakened Achilles tendon that is recovering from a partial rupture injury.

Frugal Tip for Saving Money

For years, I've procrastinated setting aside some time and getting online to figure out what all this coupon madness is all about. Finally, about six weeks ago I made that happen. I immersed myself in reading about it, going out and putting it to the test at multiple stores and have reached a point where I feel that I get it for the most part.

My last shopping trip I spent $22 and saved $87. NICE! I loved paying only .18 cents for three bottles of balsamic vinaigrette, .26 cents for a package of Band-Aids, .45 cents for a 24 pk. of Cottonelle TP, 13 cents for body wash, etc...

Of course, part of the real saving is stocking up on things as they go on sale for rock-bottom prices. My grocery budget is still the same (for now) as I am stocking the pantry and other storage. I've been told it won't be long before I will be able to allocate some of that grocery budget money to other things, that will feel great since I recently took a big grocery budget cut. So, if you've been wondering how to save $$$ on groceries, check out my favorite beginner's website...

She has an amazing post called Ten Days to Become a Krazy Coupon Lady. Go ahead, click it... it's like finding money!

It also helps to find a coupon expert blogger who lives in your hometown. I like as my new coupon homegirl. She posts the deal and I follow. It makes it simple by taking up less of my time. (By the way, if you get an error when you click on just click on the tab home and it will take you to the right page. She recently made a blog host change and is getting some glitches fixed.)

I will admit that it does take time, but time well spent when it comes to saving money and building food storage. It is also feels good to be using our resources in a way that we get more for the same amount of money. It is a sense of control that is really empowering...

If you've been on the fence about trying out coupons, I say go for it!!

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Catching Up....

I teach Primary at church, it's like Sunday School. The kids are six years old and I really enjoy teaching them. I try to keep things interesting because it makes it fun and keeps them quite. I am also thinking it helps the kids to remember the lessons.

Here are some ideas I used around Valentines Day.

First: this was my gift to the kids. It is a bag topper stapled to a sandwich baggie. You could fill the baggy with anything. I chose this big heart for the message, but one of the kids is allergic to all types of sugars and he had to have pretzels in his. The clipart of the Savior was found at and the blue heart is a Microsoft word clipart image.

Second: Lessons are best when kids can participate. I had several "case scenarios" that the kids had to tell me if they were good choices or bad choices. I typed the red numbers in Microsoft Word and used a circle punch to cut them out. Laminate, if possible, and place on a tray. Put a cookie on top of each number. The kids select a cookie and answer the question that corresponds to the number underneath the cookie they chose. You could use graham crackers or even felt cookies like these. This idea would also work well for Family Home Evening.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

A new St. Patrick's Day Tradition

Shame on me... life got a bit complicated. Lots of doctor appointments going on here. Specialists, new diagnoses and all the fun stuff that comes with those.

Awhile back our 11 year old complained that I did not ever celebrate St. Patricks Day. Apparently it is not enough to wear green. I had to get a bit more creative, like I do for other holidays. Of course Family Fun has some great ideas. That's where I found this one. It was simple and the kids enjoyed the new tradition! Instead of buying all the fruit individually, I bought a fruit bowl at Wal-mart. I figure that saved me a ton of money since it is not peak season for much of the fruit right now. The "clouds" are canned whipped topping...

A rainbow and the treasure at the end of it....