Friday, April 15, 2011

Busy week, looking forward to weekend

WOW!! I have never had such a busy week in my life or in a long, long time! 

It all started last Thursday afternoon. We were bored at home, but it was a chilly day out, so no park time. I jokingly said to the boys "Let's go Library Hopping". They loved the idea, so we gathered a list of 10 different libraries within a 8 mile radius of our apartment and off we went. We ended up visiting 5 libraries in a 4hr period, the boys and I had soo much. DH was with us, but he was getting over a headache, so he was "just along" with us. We came home and had dinner and relaxed. 

Friday morning I wake up around 6:30am and was doing internet stuff. I checked our bank account online for something and was very surprised to find that our Tax Refund check had been deposited. We have to file an additional form every year, which causes a delay in the processing and refund date. We had just been told 3 days prior that it would be another 3-4 weeks before we received the deposit. Ohhh what a blessing to see this deposit. All in God's perfect timing! 

We had been carefully planning the saving and spending of our refund check. We had some bills to pay and we had some needs for the family. Our first need was met in a tremendous way. God is so Good and I am very grateful that he has blessed me with the knowledge and "Talent" for finding ways to save money on everything, not just on little stuff. 

 All 5 of us needed shoes, and for the boys Payless wasn't going to cut it anymore for everyday shoes. The soles of their shoes have been wearing out too fast so we needed to get them some good shoes. There is a store only 4 blocks from our house Shoe Carnival. We had always had it planned that is where we would go to get shoes once we got our refund. So we headed there first thing yesterday. Well lucky for us they are having a huge Buy 1 Get 1 Half Off sale!!! So for every 2 pairs of shoes we bought, one pair was 1/2 off. I was needed gym shoes and sandals, so I was the lucky one who 2 pairs of shoes.   We did end up spending $270 on 6 pairs of shoes. I also signed up for their FREE Frequent shopper card. For every $200 spent you earn a $10 GC. So I already earned a $10 GC.   The 1/2 off sale saved us $100 on the cost of shoes!!! 

I also needed a few things from Family Christian Book Store and saved $25 there due to a 25% off coupon that I had! 

We went to Game Stop because last year in our apartment flood the sensor bar for the Wii was clipped by the guys who were cleaning up. So the boys only had their Wii for 3 months and before it became inoperable. We got a brand new wireless sensor bar for $20. Then each of the boys chose a pre-owned game for $14.99 or less, and those were on sale for Buy 2 Get 1 Free. We ended up with 3 Wii games for $30. 

The one area where we saved a ton of money was in car repairs. We needed some work done on our van, but with my DH being unemployed we knew we couldn't afford the expense of a mechanic shop. We have a very nice family who lives in the building. The teenage boys and their older brother(25) are always in back working on their cars. I talked to them last week about doing the work on the van. They said "SURE". We already knew what work needed to be done: Wheel/Hub Bearing replaced and a Tune up. While the work was being done on the Wheel Bearings, he discovered we needed new Rotors and Brake Pads. My BIL did our brake pads last year, but did not do the rotors as he said we didn't need them last year, we could probably get another year from them. The guy doing the work showed us the rotors do need replacing this year. The brake pads he did last year need replacing because of the new rotors, which is fine because we have a lifetime warranty and just have to take those across the street to AutoZone and get the parts for FREE. He also checked all the fluids for us and all was good except the Transmission Fluid. The Trans fluid is something we have never had done in the 4yrs we owned the van, so it does need to be done. He told us our engine and transmission are in excellent condition! We thought we needed a Catalytic Converter, but he told us that is all good, but we do need an O2 sensor for the van. That is about $200 savings difference in the cost of the part. YEAH! He already came and did a Trans Fluid change and will be coming in the next week or so to so the O2 sensor. We also changed our wiper blades on the van today. 

We paid about $450 in parts for our car and all the parts have excellent warranties. Plus the mechanic gives us a 90 day warranty on his work. He charged us a total of $190 in Labor. All this work would have cost us $2,500-3,000 at a shop. We saved about $2K by having him do the work. 

Harlin, my hubby, was a little "leary" about having someone other then a shop do the work on our van because last year we had a bad experience with a "friend mechanic". He tried to tell us we needed $3,500 worth of work on our van and we didn't. He did do the wheel bearing work and told us he did both sides. We paid him $1,000 last year for that work and turns out he only did one side. Both sides have now been done on our van this year and we no longer have the ABS light lit nor the "Service Transaction" light constantly lit. Both of which had been lit since last year when the work was done "shotty". Harlin is extremely satisfied with the work done by our neighbors and very excited about it all!! 

I also found some awesome deals on some furniture for our front room. We had an apartment flood last summer and most of our living room furniture was ruined. We were very fortunate to be gifted with an awesome Sleeper Sofa and Love Seat from a family we know. My dad found me a chair and ottoman set on Craigslist for FREE. 

This has been an OK chair, but it is really low to the ground and was "beat up" a bit when we got it. 

So the other day I headed to Fort Pitt Furniture and found me a "new to me" Comfy Chair and I completely    it!!! 

The set above was $69!! It is in excellent, excellent condition. (the picture doesn't do it justice)

The boys also needed a new computer desk chair. The one they had, our cats(that we had to give away last year) tore it up bad! 

I found them this chair for $10:

I also had to purchase a couple of lamps for our front room, as we have been using 4 desk lamps(think college student lamps with the flexible necks) since the flood also. The floor lamps we had were "fried" in the flood. I found some really nice lamps at Wal-Mart for $12.44: Floor Lamp w/Reading Lamp I purchased 2 of those! 

We have been running "here and there" since last Friday and getting things done for our family and getting some needed basics for our household. We have also been having some "Fun" times. 

My dad turned 60 this year and last Saturday we had a Surprise party for him at my sister's house. I was out by my sister's area all day last Saturday helping her run errands and get ready for the party. Sunday we had church activities all day. Church in the morning and Josh had rehearsal for his upcoming Musical at church from 3-5pm. Tuesday we went and picked up my 17yr old niece and around 7pm and then went to my dad's to tell  him Happy Birthday on his B-Day. My niece came home with us for a couple of days. Wednesday was church activities in the afternoon, we are there from 3:30p-9pm each Wednesday. Thursday we had to run a couple of errands in the afternoon and then we took my niece home. Today we had to run to Sam's Club and to a couple of libraries. 

I am sore and tired, but I am very very very blessed! We have been able to use the "Gift" of a Tax Refund very wisely and get some much needed items and save a ton of money at the same time!! 

I am looking forward to this weekend. Tomorrow is going to be a rainy and cold day, so we are staying in and getting some cleaning done. I have a couple of bookcases that Harlin is going to put together for me also. My Good Deal bookcase that I purchased a couple months ago and also a new one I purchased this week for $15 from Menards. We are just staying in tomorrow and getting things done inside.  Sunday is a repeat of last Sunday. 

I had a busy week, but I am so wonderfully blessed!!!! Praise be to God from whom all blessings flow! 

Time for a brownie and hot cocoa! (another one of God's blessings)!!! 

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