Thrifty Thursday

My Mind on Money, My Money on My Time

Grocery shopping with all of my kids is the worst. I’ve tried shopping in the middle of the night, but not all of my stores are open. I’ve tried going to the store early for only what we need everyday, that’s just not doable. Neither is the other extreme of shopping only once a month. So you just know that your kids will be with you and have to make it work. No matter how prepared you try to be, like completely dehydrating them the day before, one of your kids will inevitably need to pee half way through the store. Which of course sets off a chain reaction of the other three’s bladders being instantly full to the max. Then try to keep your concentration while keeping your children from laying on the dirty floors because they are bored, or much worse being abducted. Repeat for every store you and your children enter. That is how two stores and lunch take me seven hours. Shopping day stress takes me almost a week to recover from. 

On this Thrifty Thursday, I want to talk about time management in regards to money management. Thanks to a friend’s suggestion I tried something new that I had been skeptical about. Pre-order & grocery pickup. I have to shop for a six person family, usually with all four kids in tow. It’s always and all day affair. I thought I would give these services at three stores a shot. So I chose Walmart, Harris Teeter, and BJ’s. Plus, I went into Food Lion to get all of their great BOGO deals. A lot of these types of services will give you a freebie for the service the first time around. Some charge a monthly fee, like a subscription, others are completely free or charge a very small fee. I have noticed that most stores require minimum purchases to use these services.

Walmart’s was pretty easy. They don’t charge for their shopping service and you must place a $50 or more order. They will shop for anything as long as it’s on the grocery site. I even bought my food processor and pull-ups when I ordered my groceries. You go to Walmart’s Grocery site enter your zip code to see if they offer the service in your local area and start shopping. You then choose a time that you want to pick up your groceries. I did mine about 32 hrs in advance. You submit your order with credit card info and you’re done. You just go get your groceries at your pickup time. Walmart may place a hold on your account for the grocery amount but they don’t officially charge you until you pick up your groceries. They have either a special parking area, or bay that you park in. You then open your Walmart Grocery App and let them know you are there or call the number on the side of the building. They check your card, scan your coupons, load your groceries and you’re on your way. Easy Peasy!

When I got to Harris Teeter they have a place you pull into right at the front of the store. They call this their Express Lane. I pushed the button and gave them my name. When they came out they swiped my card, loaded my groceries and that was it. As always Harris Teeter was friendly and had great service! When they had questions about my order my personal shopper called me and asked what I wanted to do. They never seemed rushed or annoyed with me. It was great from start to finish. They let you have your first express lane personal shopping for free. Every time after that is $4.95 per trip, $16.95 per month or $99 per year. since I only shop twice a month (or twice a year three times a month) It wouldn’t make sense for me to have the monthly plan but to just pay as I go. 

It was raining this day so I have to admit, I was rather happy that I didn’t have to get out of my car. Although I did feel bad for my personal shoppers. I soothed my guilt with the thought that they knew what they were getting into with personal shopping though. It was when I hit BJ’s that my short lived royalty status quickly faded. I had been so spoiled that morning. When I got to Bj’s I realized there was no special parking space or call box to have someone load my groceries. I went to the customer service desk and asked them how to proceed. So I went to the manager’s desk like they said and told them what was in my order. They grabbed my cart and I went through the check out line. Next time I will know exactly what to do. Since I didn’t have to walk around the warehouse I was pretty pleased with this process as well. It is a completely free service to members, however they do not allow you to hold refrigerated items. They will hold your order for 48 hours on the floor. 

So let me recap. We went through Chick-fil-A for breakfast, I ran into Food Lion for the BOGOs, I went to my bank for my rent money, ran into Michaels for supplies for my kids’ birthday party, went to Walmart, Harris Teeter and BJs. That is seven stores in four hours!!! Yes, this will be my new way to shop. I was so much more productive over the weekend too. Not only did I save time through the actual process of shopping but I gained all of my recovery time that would come the following week. And I knew exactly how much money I was spending before spending it. The best part is not throwing in a bunch of extra stuff like chips and soda just because you “think it looks good” or binge shopping because you’re hungry. Also for introverts it’s great if you are in need of down time and shopping. It’s a one on one experience. I will definitely be doing this again. It has given me an edge to get my life back on track and lower my stress. 

Wonky Wednesday

Every day is Spring Break… NOT!

I feel like I always need to clarify to other people that I love my children to the end of the earth, and I really do. But as much as I love them, and will miss their shenanigans when they grow up and move out, I must also tell you this; realistically they make me so angry sometimes. I have notice that the greater the love I have for someone or something, the quicker and stronger my anger is… So yes, it seems like I’m constantly grumping about them, but know it’s because I love them so much more.

The amount of stress they put me under yesterday morning was enough to incite PTSD in the strongest of people. My chest tightened up for like 30 minutes! They literally have ripped our bedroom door off the frame. We’ve fixed it at least 3 times and we just cant fix it anymore unless we move the hinges to a new spot. Open. BANG! Open. BANG! Open… over and over again starting as soon as they wake. Not the way I like to wake up, in the midst of chaos. They know they aren’t allowed in our room without at least knocking first. If they don’t get it soon I’m going to start sleeping naked and teach them a lesson about busting through a closed door. But I doubt that it will phase them at all. They are barbarians.

Anyway… this was one of the worst times in recent history. The “good child”, the youngest, is usually so happy and compliant and for some reason at almost five years old, has decided to tap into her inner Viking side. Seriously my heart is breaking. She has been pillaging every thing she can find and get away with. Then the oldest wants to tattle on her about, the middle sister wants to scream like a banshee “I hate you” because the youngest isn’t sharing her spoils, and her older brother wants to tell her what to do and gets mad when she tells him to go away.

So as you can imagine, homescooling on days like this is just a joy… I’m constantly telling them not to interrupt, stop being rude, speak quieter and focus. I just want to rip my hair out. Then when I do finally get them settled in, the little girls I swear make it their life mission to, interrupt the bigger kids school work. All four of them act this way almost every day, despite which form of punishment I choose to implement. To them, every day is spring break. I’m not talking about just time off from doing school work either. I mean like the 90’s version of MTV’s spring break where anything goes. Sometimes I just sit on the couch zoning out while they are jumping from one piece of furniture to the other, or running through the house, or up and down the stairs. I just zone out and say to myself… this isn’t my life… then I snap back into reality and realize that in fact this is my life, and I immediately want to scream.

I almost don’t make it through the day, but then it dawns on me that my husband is making dinner that night or he’s in charge of putting the kids to bed and everything immediately get more tolerable. Men help your women, please. And women, if he is helping you put the kids to bed or cooking dinner, just let him do it. Who cares if he doesn’t do it exactly the same way you would. Those are things that the kids will remember. I make my PB & Js differently from my husband. They both taste the same. but he uses a spoon and I use a knife. Do the kids still get fed? So what difference does it make? The only way to survive motherhood is to remember to pick your battles. I can not stress this advice anymore than that. This is the only way you will survive “Adolescent Spring Break”. 

Trial-sized Tuesday

Tis the season for that yellow snow!

Spring is officially here, the weather is warmer, the sun is staying up later, and the flowers are popping up everywhere. Of course this also means pollen and spring cleaning, which really means allergies. I have terrible problems with my sinuses, thanks Mom & Dad. But I also have my own issues with allergies that I battle with my Claritin Tabs. Between pollen blowing in from the open windows and the dust getting blown around from cleaning this is usually the worst time of year for me. It should be full of joy with the new birth around us. Since switching to Claritin from Zyrtec, I’m more awake and ready to take on the world. Which is why when my asthmatic child has shown the same symptoms that I normal show this time of year I knew just what she needed. 

I am a BzzAgent, and just at the right time I was invited to try Children’s Claritin. They sent me a sample of not only the liquid grape Claritin, but also a box of Children’s bubblegum flavored chewables! My baby girl loves anything that is bubblegum flavored, and she loves her bubblegum flavored Claritin! She has told me that she prefers the bubblegum flavor over the grape, but the grape “isn’t bad.” All in all it’s been a great success! Not only does it keep her allergies in check, but it also helps to keeps her asthma in check! This was definitely a winner and we will stick with it.

I know not just my kiddo suffers from allergies. So I have EIGHT – $3 off coupons for the first eight people who comment about their favorite thing to do in the spring. Then I will send out the coupon, as simple as that! I can’t wait to get out in the yard and plant some beautiful flowers.


This is how we do it

Hey Y’all! I have finally got moving on my plans for this blog/vlog, or whatever it turns into. There are so many things that I want for you from this blog, and it has taken me some time to figure out how to make it happen. So without further ado… let me explain.

Each week, Monday through Friday, I am going to aim to write a post. To keep things interesting each day I will have a different theme. Although I may not get to write every day, these will be the themes on the days I am able write.

Meditation Mondays

On Mondays I will discuss the words of Pastor William McCarty, of Healing Waters Worship Center, located in Carrollton, Virginia. If you go to church on Sunday, you should marinate in the message and in the word of God. It’s my hope, through Mondays’ posts, that I will not only be able to share with you a little bit from our church family, but also to help be a light in the world while doing more of an in depth study for myself.

Trial-sized Tuesdays

On Tuesdays I will post either a traditional blog post or a vlog on products that companies send to me to try. Once in awhile I will get free trial sized samples from PinchMe, but my favorite place to get samples is from BzzAgent!! This company gives you FULL SIZED, FREE SAMPLES of products to try. So Far I’ve gotten a full sized Edward’s Cheesecake, 2 bags of Russell Stover’s Candies and a full sized bottle of Herbal Essence Shampoo & Conditioner. All I have to do in return is share my feedback!

Wonky Wednesdays

So Wednesdays will be the day that I brag on the kids… Or myself when I have a survival story to tell. It could also be a reader submitted story too! Either way prepare to have a laugh, cry, or epiphany moment, because let’s face it, you all have been there too…

Thrifty Thursdays

Thursday’s topic is crucial to my family’s survival. It’s all about how to be financially, time & space thrifty! I’ll share DYI tutorials, craft projects, and organization tips. Did you know I installed an under the cabinet dishwasher, and saved $149 installing it myself? My favorite tool to date is the electric drill! I really need to find one in teal… (Hmmm is this another possible DYI Project…) I’ve made Halloween costumes completely out of recycled items in my house. I also have some out of the box thinking, dollar store organization ideas to share!

Foodie Fridays

Tune in on Fridays to follow my journey navigating through uncharted territory. My husband has Celiac Disease, and has just recently decided to get more serious about his diet. I am finding new and yummy recipes to cook that cater to his much needed diet. Really this is a win win though because it forces us to do more cooking at home. The result is more thought out, flavorful, healthy meals.

Well I do hope that this has piqued your interest. Or maybe this blog will be for someone you know, if so please share it with them. I look forward to seeing all of your comments in the future. It may not seem like it, but remember it’s all good!


Momma Shan