Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Shopping At Sears Works For Me

While I buy most of Sport's and Spice's clothes at the annual consignment sales that are big business in the Atlanta area, there are a few times when I go all out and buy brand spanking new stuff from Sears. It is a closely guarded secret, but Sears has a KidVantage Club that lets you return kid's clothing that has either worn out or not stood up to the rigors of childhood and exchange them for the exact same item. For instance, Sport can wear a hole in a pair of jeans quicker than they've had a chance to fade. I now purchase all of his jeans from Sears then take them back once the first hole appears, usually about two weeks later, and swap them out for a new pair. I try to buy them a bit bigger since you have to trade in for the same size.
There are no fees to join the KidVantage Club and no cards to carry around. Just tell the cashier you want to sign up, give them some basic info and you're all set. After the initial sign-up, all you have to do is tell the cashier you're a member and give them your phone number to make sure future purchases get credited to your account. Returning an item for a replacement is easy too and you only need to keep the receipt for certain items, like Levi's brand jeans. Once you've spent $100 you will receive a coupon for 15 percent off a future purchase. The best part is anything can count towards the $100, not just kid's items so anytime you make a purchase at Sears, make sure to tell them you're in the club.
If you have multiple children of the same gender, joining KidVantage can be a real bonanza. You can purchase a pair of pants for your oldest, let him wear them out then swap them out for a new pair to be passed down to a younger sibling. Even though I only have one boy, I still swap out Sport's stuff then pass it down to someone else or donate it to charity.

The KidVantage Club makes shopping at Sears work for me. To find out what works for others, head over to We Are That Family for Works For Me Wednesday.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Bargain Hunting

Last week I loaded up the kids and did something I haven't done in a long time...went garage saling. We actually hit a couple of Thursday sales which was new to me, but after reading Thrifty Decor Chick's post about Thursday sales, I figured they were worth a try. At least there's not a lot of competition first thing Thursday morning.
We hit paydirt at our very first sale. If you are a homeschooler, garage sales are an excellent source for materials. I picked up 2 small dry erase boards, lined on one side for handwriting practice and blank on the other side, a set of shape magnets for Spice, an unopened pack of Handwriting Without Tears writing paper, a set of number magnets along with a write on/wipe off book for math practice, and the game Smath, which I've read about on virtually every homeschooler's blog for a whopping $2.50!!!

It was obviously the week for retired teacher yard sales because I also managed to pick up a boatload of learning games in all subjects as well as reams of paper, 2 potholder knitting looms with the loops - which will come in handy for our upcoming study of colonial America - and quite a few other school related materials that I never took pictures of, for under $5.

It wasn't all about school bargains though. Spice zeroed right in on this Parisian Kids zebra print fleece vest for a dollar...

and Sport was in Heaven after spying a Lego Bionicle at the very first sale for only $1.50 (a savings of over 6 bucks). When we left the house that morning he announced, "I'm going to leave my wallet here because I want to save my money for more Bionicles." Guess who need a loan right off the bat?

Why Moms Can't Exercise

So I dug out my pilates mat the other day for the first time in a very long time. After two straight days of exercise, I come down on the third day and find this...

My exercise mat has become just another Lego build center. As if the huge tablecloth in the background that's been there since Sport's birthday party in April wasn't big enough.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Easy Peasy "Pizza"

Yesterday we were in Wal-Mart when the inevitable question came up..."Mom, can we get a Lunchable?" I'm not a fan of Lunchables. As a rule we only buy them when we're traveling for a fun lunch treat to be eaten on the road or when they're really, really on sale, like for $1. Being the quick-thinker that I am, I remember the mini pita breads I bought at Trader Joe's the day before. The kids were begging for pizza Lunchables anyway so here's our homemade version:

mini pita breads
pizza sauce


Spread some sauce on each pita. Top with cheese and pepperoni. Place in broiler for about a minute and a half or until cheese melts. Enjoy.

We all agreed they were better than the real thing.

Hope this recipe works for you as well as it worked for me. To find more great tips, head over to We Are That Family for Works For Me Wednesday.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Not Me Monday - My Little Angels

Welcome to Not Me! Monday! This blog carnival was created by MckMama. This week's NMM is a special Not My Child edition. It's hard to think of anything my little angels do that's not perfet, but maybe I can come up with a few...

Sport does not have an aversion to sleep so he does not come down the stairs every. single. night. to announce that he can't sleep, doesn't feel good, can't make his brain stop thinking... I have not overlooked this for many years thinking he would one day "grow out of it." I have not recently begun to envision nightly phone calls in my future from my college age son in need of a virtual tuck-in from Mom.

Spice does not need anger management classes. That sweet little shy girl you see out in public is the same sweet little princess we see at home. She does not conduct regular (daily) beatings of her older brother and has not been known to use a bicycle helmet as a weapon. She does not have a short fuse. In fact she doesn't have any fuse at all.

Since Spice is such a healthy eater, I do not have to resort to Deceptively Delicious style cooking techniques in order to get her to eat a vegetable. I do not have to spend extra money at the grocery store on little packs of sliced apples because that's the ones she will eat. She also does not refuse to eat "broken grapes" (i.e. cut-up) and I do not try to pass off every meat I cook as chicken nuggets in the hopes of getting her to try it.

Sport did not scream, recoil in horror, and cover his eyes when he walked in my room the other day and saw me standing there in a two-piece swimming suit. On the other hand he also does not insist every time we go in Target that the swim suit model on the large sign hanging from the ceiling looks just like me.

Spice did not just announce the bread I purchased at Trader Joe's yesterday is not up to her standards, then ask, "Did you make this bread 'cause it doesn't taste too good?"

My children have not become underwear obsessed. A favorite activity during our most recent hotel stay did not involve open their sibling's dresser drawer and announcing, "I see Spice's underwear!" or "I see Sport's underwear!" thereby sending the owner of said underwear into hysterics.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Not Me Monday - Family Fun Edition

Welcome to Not Me! Monday! This blog carnival was created by MckMama. You can head over to her blog to read what she and everyone else has not been doing this week. As for us, we've had a busy summer so far. Here's a few of the highlights...

We have not spent so much time away from home this summer and on the road that Sport and Spice have not been begging to "just stay home and lay there."

Spice did not give me a "foot massage" with a bottle of hotel lotion yesterday. When I told her I had enough lotion on my feet and she should put the rest on my legs, she did not grimace and say, "But they're so scratchy."

When I was attacked by a bird during our stay in Alabama last week, my loving family did not just sit and watch from the car. When I ran for safety and dove back in the car Hubby's first words were not, "Darn it! Where's the video camera when you need one?" I think it was something more along the lines of, "Are you OK, Honey?"

I did not avoid the dreaded chore of putting away laundry after our most recent trip by stuffing most of the freshly cleaned items back in our suitcases in preparation for our next trip to the beach this week. Our suitcase has not been sitting half-packed/unpacked at the end of our bed for three days now.

Sport did not lose the weapons that came with the Lego Bionicle sets he purchased during our trip to Louisiana within the first hour of playing with them. The rest of the family (i.e., Spice, Hubby, my parents, my grandmother, my uncle, and me) did not spend a good 20 or 30 minutes scouring the floor, the yard, the driveway, my dad's shop...looking for them while Sport sat inside happily playing with his new toys despite the missing pieces.