Tag Archives: sam’s club

Strangers Did My Grocery Shopping This Weekend And I’m Glad!

**This most may contain affiliate links to products and/or services that we use. These links are provided at NO EXTRA charge to you, and in some cases they may offer a special discount or offer, but we may receive a small commission from any purchases made through these links. 

This might sound a bit scary to some of you as it did to me, at first. Last year I started doing a few ‘Click n Pull’ orders from Sam’s Club  and I loved the ease and convenience of the whole process. Not to mention the time (and $$) it saved me by not walking the whole store every time I needed something. (Don’t you hate it when stores move something and it takes FOREVER to find it? I’ve found that stores have been rearranging EVERYTHING for the holidays and I spend so much time trying to find our ‘regular’ items it’s not even funny!)

Well, some of you may already be familiar with the Grocery Pickup service offered at some Walmarts but I hadn’t had the chance to give it a try although I really wanted to. After shopping with all of the kids last week and realizing how hard it is to get around some of the stores this time of year I figured now is as good a time as any to give it a go. Continue reading Strangers Did My Grocery Shopping This Weekend And I’m Glad!

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Finding Peace Amongst The Dirty Socks, Grocery Lists, Stuffed Animals, And Buffalo

**This post may contain affiliate links to products and/or services that we use in our home.

How’s your day going? I hope you said it’s going well but if it didn’t you may be having a day like mine. I’ve been busy, too busy on too many things… you probably know how that goes when you try to multitask. Sometimes multitasking can be great and you can accomplish a lot but then there are those times that nothing seems to get done.

I’ve been working on our next unit study using  ‘The Little House On The Prairie‘ written by Laura Ingalls Wilder. We had so much fun with our last unit study Little House In The Big Woods Adventure that we decided to keep on going. This is A LOT of work though but I want my kids to have fun learning so it is well worth it. To be honest I’m having a blast doing this with them too.

This next unit study is going to be so much fun! I have found so many projects, crafts, and fun activities to go along with our studies. We will be studying about so many things like prairie animals including prairie dogs and buffalo. Then there are the Native American studies that we will be doing along with continuing our state studies. We will also be touching a little bit on stars and constellations as the kids have really been interested in this topic lately. One of the girls asked to do an herb study too so I am trying to work on that as well.

Of course I have a lot more than that included in the study and I still have to finish up our Life Skills section. This time I am hoping to do it a little differently but still plan to include some fun activities like baking some molasses cookies, sewing sun bonnets, and memorizing some bible verses. I think I will have some camping tips, information, or other activities in this study as well so we may see a Weenie Roast and S’mores in our future! I’m not sure what other fun activities I will find to go along with it as I haven’t really even started this section yet and I plan to start this unit next week! AHHHH!

You can check it out and use some of the activities to go along if you plan to read this series with your kids too. A good majority of the resources I link to are FREE because I really like FREE stuff. Some of the links are affiliate links to things we are or will be using.

I am slowly working my way through the books and coming up with lots of fun stuff to do. It has been such slow progress because of so many unexpected interruptions. The biggest being the impromptu trip to Pennsylvania due to the passing of my Mom-mom. I am still not quite over that as much as I felt I should have been by now but I know everything takes time.

Then on top of that I have a houseful of kiddos running around. There are so many chores, like the never ending laundry, and so much cleaning that I need to catch up on I get overwhelmed at times. Not to mention I have to feed these little monsters at least three times a day! No wonder I can’t get anything done. Another issue this week has been our internet… yes, again. It seems that no matter what I do I can’t get it to do like I feel it should. We don’t have a lot of choices so I’m kinds stuck with what I have for now but I do plan to research options… really I do when I get a free moment… lol.

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Continue reading Finding Peace Amongst The Dirty Socks, Grocery Lists, Stuffed Animals, And Buffalo

Simplify Your Life: Step 7 Pay Off Those Debts and Bills

Pay Off Those Debts and Bills

Money is a big cause of stress in many people’s lives. So it would only make sense that getting rid of debts and bills can help us to simplify our lives and reduce stress. Credit cards and online shopping make it is so easy to buy things and accumulate debt without realizing it. We see something we want and we buy it and then we regret it when the bill comes in.

If we can learn to live a bit more frugally then we can learn to buy less, want less, be more eco friendly, simplify our budgets, and reach our financial goals of being debt free. We can’t do a lot about what has already been done but we can work towards simplify our lives to prevent the stress from these debts and bills.

One way we can do this is by setting up automatic deposits and payments. You can have your paychecks automatically deposited and you can also set your bills on auto pay. By doing this you can get those bills paid while preventing late payments. If you want to save a little bit more then you can even go paperless which will help to cut down on paper clutter and mail.  All of this adds up to less stress and a simpler life as there are fewer things to worry about.

I have found that I can not only simplify some of my shopping but save time and money while helping the planet by using subscription services and the convenience of online ordering for some things like cleaning supplies, household supplies, groceries, essential oils, and other items. My favorite place to use are:

Now if you have already overspent and just don’t have the money to cover the bills then that is another story. That can lead to a lot of stress. You can set a budget and work on learning to only buy what you need. You may also want to look into ways to bring a little extra income. Many of these places I listed above also offer affiliate or referral bonuses which can help out too.

I really like the simplicity of the Wealthy Affiliate program. It not only teaches you the ins and outs of affiliate marketing but helps you to set up your own website. With the company’s ‘pay it forward’ attitude there is a constant supply of support from other members who have been right where you are right now. Go ahead, check it out, and sign up for your FREE account right now.

Congratulations!

This was the last step of my Simplify your life series. I hope you found some of the information useful. If you implement these easy steps into your life you will find you have more FREE time for quality moments with your friends and family. Good luck!

Have you thought of starting your own blog to make a little extra money? Check out 3 Steps to Start that Blog You’ve Been Dreaming Of for some great ideas to get started.

 

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Monday Madness, Motivation, and Multitasking Mishaps

Hey there!

How’s your day going? I slept in a bit late even though I had all intentions of getting up early. That didn’t quite happen as I did wake up several times but couldn’t manage to pull myself out of bed.

I am still very sore from our Father’s Day weekend, cleaning out the closet, and from yesterday. We did get up a bit early yesterday as Mr. Awesome had a surprise planned. I fixed some yummy pancakes for breakfast on our new griddle and after eating we loaded up in our van. (I am including a few links to previous posts as well as some affiliate/referral links that help to support our blog.)

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I can never get everyone in the pictures. And if they are they won’t look the same way.

Our first stop was the movie theater. We got to see the new Jurassic Movie, ‘Jurassic World’, and it was pretty good. The kids, especially the boys, love these movies and I think we own all of them.

After the movie we went to meet a friend of his who had a couple of younger kids. They had a pool as well so our kids got to practice swimming some more and are getting much better at it. They want to swim without life vests but I’m not comfortable with that yet. (Sorry/Not Sorry kiddos. I’m planning a water safety post soon. By the way have I shown you the cute, but modest, little swimsuits I found for the girls? If not, check them out here and here.)

We also had a small cookout and it was very nice to meet some new people and spend the day with them. The kids were exhausted when we left and so was I. I was actually exhausted before but did my best to hang in there as everyone was having so much fun.

So that’s my excuse(s) for not getting up early today but I will try my best tomorrow. It shouldn’t be too hard to get up earlier than I did today … lol.

After getting dressed I decided I should go throw some clothes in the wash. I wanted t get my clothes washed as well as the wet stuff from yesterday. Getting up late isn’t going to ruin my day and I am determined to get this house sorted this week.

So I headed to the kitchen to get a glass of water and my Vitality Vitamins. (Yesterday was my first day taking them so I can’t really say how they work for me yet.) Mid gulp something outside the window catches my eye. I knew what I thought I saw but I thought maybe my imagination was a bit overworked.

It was kinda one of those Tweety Bird moments when he says:

Only it wasn’t a puddy tat I tawt I taw. I turned my head away and then looked back again for another peek. Sure enough my eyes were correct, it was a snake. I tried to get a picture of him climbing the outhouse but it was too blurry.

Ewww…. not the best way to start my morning. Granted it was just a black snake and they are usually a good snake to have around. Unless you are deathly terrified of snakes and he almost gives you a heart attack like he has done with the neighbor. I admit I have been terrified of snakes before and am not very fond of them but I will try to tolerate ‘good snakes’.

Nice, deep breath before I head outside to see where he was headed. Of course by this time Mr. Black Snake was headed down the path towards me. (Hehe… this sounds like a line from one of the kids readers ‘The Adventures of Mr Toad’, maybe?)

My puddy tat came to my rescue and walked right beside me the whole way. When Mr. Black Snake saw me and puddy tat he turned and went the other way. He is now somewhere under the outhouse. Out of sight out of mind? Maybe. This kind of reminds me of a story I just told Mr. Awesome about the ‘pet’ black snake we had when I was young. He was much bigger and lived in the outhouse and he scared me more than once.

I did get the laundry carried out and started. So I came back to the house to get breakfast ready and have a cup of coffee. I also realized that in my distractedness I had forgotten to carry out the laundry supplies that I had set in the kitchen over the weekend.

My first mishap came when I tried to make my coffee while pouring cereal for the kids. I set the mug under the spout and waited for it to fill. Then while waiting I went about pouring cereal in bowls and milk into cups.

When I went back to grab my coffee all I found was a mug of hot water. I hadn’t loaded a coffee pod. I did get it right the second time around though.

When it was finished I added a couple squirts of this French Vanilla Syrup I found at Sam’s club. (If you use this Sam’s referral link we both get a little something.)

Ahhhh…. much better. So, cup of coffee I hand I decided to write this quick post which has turned out to not be as quick as I thought it would be. (Another mishap was thinking that I had posted this earlier and then realizing that I hadn’t.)

Some of the kiddos are super grouchy and I’ve had to set the phone down several times to deal with issues and help find a missing shirt. Plus the boys keep forgetting that their clothes are now in the closet. I’m thinking I will go back to hanging up their outfits so they can just pick out something to wear instead of digging through all of the clothes every morning.

Then Ms. Isabella had misplaced her hair tie and was wreaking havoc on everyone instead of just asking for a new one. (Everyone thinks she is so sweet and innocent but she can be a little terror when the mood hits.) We were able to find a suitable replacement pretty quickly as the bathroom is still fairly well organized.

Hair bows, shirts, and clothes found they were able to sit down for breakfast. I enjoyed tried to enjoy the few minutes of quiet and tried to think of what all I need to do today. This list includes:

  • Grocery shopping
  • Make the grocery list (preferably before the shopping)
  • Make tea (after the grocery shopping as we need more sugar)
  • Weekly Home blessing
  • Daily chores
  • Hang up the boys’ clothes
  • Get outfits ready for tonight
  • Club Newsletters, emails, and updates

As usual the sight of me sitting down means that chaos will start. (This also happens frequently when I enter the bathroom or make a phone call.) Someone got more cereal than someone else, someone has more milk than someone else, someone is wearing someone else’s shirt, or someone looked at someone wrong, etc, etc… you get the point. The joys of motherhood, right?

Needless to say I feel a headache coming on so we are going to need to find a way to change some attitudes, real quick.

Getting back to my plans. The FlyLady missions for the week are in the Living Room and include:

  • Sofa Diving
  • Decluttering/Dusting Knick Knacks
  • Dusting door jambs, pictures, moldings, corners, etc.
  • Cleaning baseboards
  • Cleaning under and behind the furniture
  • Hot Spot Fire Drill!

If you read my Kleaning Missions in the Living Room you know that we tackled a lot of these areas last month. This means it shouldn’t take us long at all to knock these out which will leave us more time to focus on other areas that need our attention.

I am determined to get these homeschool cabinets organized as I have a ton of empty boxes sitting in the living room. We also have more and more new items for next year coming in on a daily basis. I am keeping these in a small tote in my bedroom so they don’t get misplaced or accidentally given away. Be sure to keep following along as I will be revealing our new curriculum soon and I might have a sneak peek later this week!

I also plan to get back in the family closet and go through my dresses and maybe… please not that I’m saying maybe… go through my petticoats again. I would really like to make enough room so I can have all of my clothes, maybe even my shoes?, in the closet as there isn’t room in the bedroom for all of them.

Note: We didn’t put William’s clothes in the family closet because he doesn’t like other people messing with his stuff. I do have his dress clothes in there but I get them out for him when he needs them as he likes to mess with everything. He is getting better about learning to respect boundaries but this is a work in progress. So, if a family closet is on your list just remember to take into account everyone’s needs. This has really helped out a lot since the weekend though. No more running from room to room looking for clothes or looking under the bed for shoes. It is going to take us a little getting used to though.

We also really need to get to that top shelf in the closet and the bookcase that I took out of the closet as it is in the living room right now. The bookcase is holding the stuff that didn’t go back in the closet. The top shelf is just a cluttered mess but I am resisting the urge to tear everything out because I don’t know where to put it.

After seeing how we rearranged Mr. Awesome is also looking into getting some actual doors for the closet…. whoo hoo! Maybe I can talk him into a set of doors for the bedroom too? I think the folding doors will work better in our small space and I’ve got several ideas pinned. Here I go getting sidetracked as doors are not my main focus … my mind seems to be as cluttered and disorganized as my house right now.

The family closet and the homeschool cabinets are both big projects but I’d love to have them finished this week. We have a couple of more big projects on the schedule. There is on in particular that I’m hoping we can start on one of them within the next couple of weeks. This one will help out a lot as I’ve been having a really hard time dealing with the clutter here lately. Some of the clutter has come from areas that I’ve been working on but some of it has been brought in recently by guess who? I’ll let you guess on that one.

While I have been taking things we don’t want/need to donate we do have some stuff that just needs or is waiting for a new home. However Mr. Awesome keeps bringing in more projects like the corn hole boards and we don’t have a place to put the overflow, yet. As a result we now have a pile of stuff sitting in front of the computer cabinet and half a bag of corn sitting by the front door.

I could possibly put some of it in my storage area on the porch but after seeing Mr. Black Snake so close I don’t think I want to put anything else out there. I really don’t think Mr. Awesome realizes how much I dislike clutter! I know he doesn’t see it as clutter but if it’s piled up and doesn’t have a home then it’s clutter in my eyes. I don’t think I’m OCD but maybe I am because this is overwhelming at times.

I do know that once this is all said and done it will all be worth the frustration, craziness, and insanity that we are currently dealing with. This little house will function so much better for everyone living here. This is my motivation for getting this done.

Well, there goes my timer for the wash. I better run out and grab the clothes now. While I’m headed that way I’ll grab the laundry stuff that needs to go out too… now where did I put my shoes?

Sam’s & Box Turtles

Today I made a quick run to Sam’s Club. I love the fact that you can place your order online and then pick it up. They do all the shopping and have it loaded into buggies when you get there. I love it almost as much as Amazon Prime.

I placed a HUGE order yesterday afternoon. I haven’t been in a few, maybe several, months and with the recent move and hurricane we were really needing to stock up. I guess when it’s cold I get into ‘hibernation’ mode. This was a good thing when we lived in colder places and would sometimes be snowed in or without power for weeks at a time but I guess it really isn’t necessary here. I still like to have a well stocked pantry and I try to keep my freezers stocked as well.

I left early this morning as the closest Sam’s is about an hour away. I try to get there first thing so I can get in and out quickly. Much to my surprise I received the message that the order was ready as I was pulling into the parking lot. I walked right in and scanned my card. Within a few minutes we were loading up my Yukon. And load it up we sure did.

We got a variety of items this time around. Milk, eggs, yogurt, butter, sugar, chicken, pork chops, hamburger, potatoes, lettuce, carrots, tomatoes, apples, bananas, rice, pastas, household supplies, and various other things we use.

The guy helping me load thought I had a daycare… I guess I kind of do.

I must say that this was one of the best trips I’ve made. I think we saved over $50, with in-store promotions, which isn’t great when you consider I spent about $700 but most of these items will not need to be replaced for a couple of months, at least. The convenience of getting it all at once and not running around was well worth it.

The customer service was also great and they helped load my vehicle which was a plus too. I did take a cooler with me for some of the cold products like ice cream. I also took my grocery bags but they had most of the stuff boxed up nicely. I was impressed!

Upon arriving at home the kids were super excited to help unload the groceries. Once unloaded there were boxes all over the kitchen and the dining room.

It was quite a mess but we started with the cold stuff and then worked out way through the bathroom supplies, then the dry goods, and finally I am finishing up with the meat I had in the cooler. Yay!

Now I just need to find homes for the big packages of toilet paper and paper towels. I’m thinking they will fit under my bed for now.

In a bit I will go over the receipt and check to see what items were out of stock so we can make a trip to the local Walmart and then we should be set for a little bit. I still need to do another trip for some more toiletries and a few other items that I didn’t get on this run but that won’t be for another week or two.

The kids had a lot of fun helping and were constantly trying to guess, or suggest, what we should make with the different foods. They also helped to straighten and organize the lower cabinets.

The most fun they had was with the boxes. Their little imaginations went crazy. The boxes became everything from box cars to box turtles. I’m gonna have to carry most of them out in a bit. Hopefully storing them in the wash shed so I can use them as I declutter the porch that is still a work in progress.

I’m really thankful that we do have the second refrigerator and freezer out in the wash shed. I was able to use both of those store some of my purchases. I am planning on hanging a dry erase board in the kitchen to keep track of what foods are in the freezers and second fridge. Another project for my ToDo list.

Anyways I still have a few things to finish up before I make lunch and get everyone down for quiet time. I might even try to sneak in a little nap if I can.

I hope you all have a blessed weekend!

March Monthly Grocery Trip

Hey everyone! I hope you are all doing well. Things have been so crazy busy here but life is good. Actually life is GREAT! Things have been going really well for us lately and this Momma is finally starting to get back on track to my ‘pre-divorce’ organization and I’m loving it. It is exhausting though and it has taken me almost a week to get this post written.

I post our weekly menu plans and for the past several months or so that was a far as my menu planning went. I do have it planned out on a repeating schedule on our calendar but I would have to adjust it on a weekly basis. Fortunately this month I was able to make a change and try to get back into the habit of a monthly grocery shop. In order to do a monthly grocery shop I need to plan out a whole month’s meals at a time, a week at a time. This is really not that hard once you have done a few weeks, and hopefully saved your notes, as you can just rotate the weekly plans to make up a new monthly plan.

The other thing that I haven’t been doing was making my monthly trip to Sam’s club. This was just something that I had stopped doing at some point last year. Then the store moved and I just really didn’t have the time or energy to devote to looking up the new location and making the list for the monthly trip. Needless to say we have seen the consequences of my lack of motivation in that area.

The first step was to sit down and figure out the menu plan. I looked over the recurring meal plans and decided which ones that we don’t really like that much anymore. I either changed them to recur less frequently or deleted them all together. Then I needed to make my grocery list, which was just like I normally do, only multiplied by four.

I wrote down what I needed for the first week and then just added a tally mark beside the items that I needed multiple times for the remaining weeks. Once the list was in hand I check online on Sam’s Club and added the items that I needed to my cart. I did check prices and did not include everything on my Sam’s list. I also checked the special promotions they had and grabbed a few of those items as well.

The greatest thing I like about Sam’s club is that you can do the ‘Click and Pull’ orders. I really don’t like shopping. Anything that makes that task a little easier is a winner with me. Once that was completed I check the Aldi sales and made a list for there as well.

On Saturday I made my way down to the new store location. On the way I noticed that Aldi was directly across the road from Sam’s which made me quite a happy camper.  My order wasn’t quite ready as it was a pretty large order. I walked through the store and browsed. I didn’t take a buggy with me as that may have tempted me to fill the buggy up. My self control seems to hide when I go into Sam’s club. I did rather well though and only grabbed two items that we did need before I got the text saying my order was ready.

I checked out and they have it set up to pull up for pickup. (They actually have a touchscreen outside too that you can use to check in for pickup without coming into the store!) The associates helped me to load everything into my vehicle and they were so friendly! I was beginning to get a little worried about room as I knew I still needed to stop at Aldi before going home.

I did make it to Aldi and thankfully was able to fit everything in:

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This is just one view of the kitchen after we unloaded!

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As you can tell it wasn’t just food that I bought but other household items as well. How much did I spend? This was all under $600.00. I will need to visit the local stores for some fresh veggies and milk but this is the majority of the shopping for the month!

What did I get? (I don’t have the prices as I misplaced my receipts somewhere in the mountain of groceries.)

Some of the bulk purchases at Sam’s:

  • Romaine lettuce, cherry tomatoes, and other salad items
  • Ranch (dry packs and bottles)
  • boxed macaroni and cheese
  • hotdogs
  • pintos (Sam’s has a huge bag that will last us a few months at least)
  • tea bags (Sam’s also has the gallon size bags which are wonderful)
  • dry cereal, oatmeal, grits (Sam’s had some really good promos going)
  • bags of shredded cheese (I store these in the freezer)
  • 20 lbs of potatoes, 10 lbs of sweet onions
  • 10 lbs of white sugar
  • large packs of pillsbury crescent rolls (another Sam’s promo)
  • toilet paper, paper towels, cleaning wipes (promo), laundry detergent, paper plates
  • crackers, animal crackers, cheese puffs, pop tarts, popcorn, tortilla chips
  • yogurt, cream cheese
  • canned tuna
  • koolaid
  • nutella, peanut butter, and jelly
  • condiments (bbq sauce, ketchup, mustard, mayo, salsa)
  • spaghetti sauces
  • variety box of pasta
  • cases of canned tomatoes and veggies
  • lots of frozen veggies, large bag of french fries, box of egg rolls
  • large box of instant potatoes, rice
  • pancake mix and syrup

And at Aldi I got:

  • 12 loaves of bread (I will need to get more before the end of the month but this is a start.)
  • 6 dozen eggs (I may need more)
  • 6 gallons of milk @ Aldi for $1.99 (This was all I could store.)
  • chicken breasts, pork chops, hamburger meat, bacon

There were many other items but that is just an example of what I was able to buy in mass quantity to save time and money. I will still be going once a week to the store to get some fresh items or things that I may have forgotten but the fewer times I go to the store the less likely I will go over my grocery budget.

Some of the meals we will be having include:

Breakfasts (some of these will repeat through the month):

Lunches (these will repeat through the month):

  • hot dogs, mac n cheese
  • Egg Salad Sandwiches
  • PB & Js
  • Scrambled Egg Sandwiches
  • Tuna Salad Sandwiches
  • Soup, grilled cheese
  • leftovers

Dinners:

Snacks/Desserts (some of the snacks will repeat through the month):

We will also be having a cookout one weekend so there will be a few more things I will need to get for that once we decide exactly what we will be having. It may seem to be an overwhelming task but you can break it down into smaller chunks to make it easier. I can tell you that I am so very glad that I finally did this and hopefully I am back on track to where I once was.

Menu planning has not always been something that I did. I don’t know how we made it as long as we did before I finally started to make out our meal plans ahead of time. For me this has been a big help in itself. The monthly planning is an even bigger help along with the monthly grocery shop. I can see what a difference it has already made at our house here.

I know this is not for everyone but hopefully this post can help someone.

I pray that you all have a wonderful week!