Friday, August 14, 2009

Post Card Update

We received 2 more postcards this week, both from Door County Wisconsin. That brings our total up to 86 cards. We need 14 more to reach 100!! I hope we can do it.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Italy on a budget

Last year my husband and I took our kids to Italy for nearly 3 weeks. We were able to pay cash for the trip after saving for months, actually close to 2 years. It was the trip of a lifetime that proved to be worth every penny spent. That trip was proof to me and my husband that living frugally does not mean deprivation, it means being able to give things up that don't matter to you so that you can the things that really do matter to you. For my husband and I , travel is what really matters to us. We love being able to show our children the world, we want them to see that their world is more than the metro Milwaukee area. We want them to experience different cultures, taste different foods and see different cities. It is a commitment that my husband and I made to each other when we had children.

So, over the next few weeks I am going to blog about the steps we took to ensure a fantastic trip to Italy for 5 without breaking the budget

State Fair on a Budget

I took my girls to the Wisconsin State Fair today. For those of you who have been to a fair, you know that being frugal can prove to be difficult. But, I did it!! Here are the things I did to save money, in fact I only spent $22.75 on today's field trip.

First, we ate lunch before we went. I made it very clear to the kids, I will buy them each the afternoon snack of their choice. I would not cheap out on that, but, nothing more than 1 snack. They were fine with it. I did not hear any complaints. Before, during or after the fair about this agreement.

Second, I told them no to the rides before we even got in the car. I know, it sounds unfair. But, they went to the amusement park at Mall of America, Bay Beach and will be going to Six Flags in a couple of weeks. The rides at fairs are ridiculously expensive and I believe that I am not in the minority on that belief. There were no lines for the rides today. I told the girls that we were there to see the animals, look at the exhibits and watch some free shows. Again, they did not complain.

Third, I took advantage of a ticket special. When I went to the grocery store recently, one of the products I buy had a special that if you bought 2 instead of 1 you get a free ticket. So, I bought 2. Of course, I had to pay for the product, but I would have bought it anyway.

I am really proud of us. We proved that a family can spend the day at the fair, have fun and just enjoy being together for very little money.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

School Supplies

I took my daughters shopping for school supplies. What a budget buster! This year, like years past, we recycled as much as we could. Rulers, scissors, supply boxes among several other supplies are being reused. I know a lot of people who buy new everything, every year. Not me. It is wasteful both economically and environmentally. My kids understand this and have never complained.

This year, I also bought the kids Tupperware food containers for their lunches, instead of Ziploc bags. The upfront investment was high, but I think that it will prove to be economical by mid year. Even if it doesn't, again, the benefit to our environment makes it worth the cost.

Post card update. We have received 5 cards so far this week. 1 from New Zealand, 1 from Germany, 2 from France and 1 from Sri Lanka. Grand total so far, 84 cards. We are still in need of a card from Africa and Australia. Four more weeks until Labor Day, the end of our project. I really hope we can reach 100 cards by then.