Wednesday, September 30, 2009

October is Fire Safety Month

October is fire safety month which means you can expect lots of great sales on fire prevention items.

The above two pack of smoke detectors is originally $11.96 at Menards.

Right now you can pick them up on sale for $7.99 with a $3.00 rebate for a final price of $4.99 or about $2.50 each alarm - a great deal There is a limit of two and the deal also includes a small fire extinguisher.

Our new house needs smoke alarms so this sale couldn't have come at a better time.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Smart Doodles from Trent - Part One

Trent at The Simple Dollar had a great post up on September 21st titled Business Card Doodles. The post contains some sketches he’s made over time on the back of business cards, many of which just resonated with me because I write things like this down all the time. My notes normally end up on scrap pieces of paper and I find them all over my desk months after they were written.

Stop by and read his original post HERE because he’s got some sound advice going on. Some of his card drawings got me thinking about my own personal finance beliefs and I wanted to share a few of my thoughts about them here. (with Trent’s permission of course)

First up...

Every $ you spend - You spend a little of your soul along with it - Spend your money wisely, dearie!

I’ve said similar things many times except rather than soul I think retirement or whatever your end goal may be. It’s sometimes hard to do but every time I go to buy something I ask myself four questions...

1. Will this actually bring me joy?
2. Will I use it enough to make up for the cost?
3. Am I willing to work more to pay for this?
4. Can I make money from it/with it?

And then if the item passes one or more of these questions I ask the most important follow up question.

Is this more important to me than doing something in my early retirement?

And no matter what your end goal is we are all saving for something – every dollar you spend today is one less dollar towards your goal.

Put the latte down and ask yourself do I want this more than I want to retire early, sit on the beach for my next vacation, that car 100% paid for, whatever it is for you.

Yet; I won't lie to you, there are definitely times when the $3 latte or a $10 Yankee Candle wins out for me. In fact a ten cent book will almost always find a place in our home. And that’s ok – we all spend our money a little frivolously here and there, but if you’re putting every tiny purchase above your goal it may be time to reevaluate what you’re saving/working for and how important it is to you.

You can have anything you want if you’re willing to work for it – you just have to figure out what you’re willing to work for… and sometimes that’s the hardest question.

Monday, September 28, 2009

More free Target candles

Once I finally found a Target with candles I am loving getting these for $.16 and as an added bonus both the Targets I've shopped at have been fully stocked. I picked up five today and didn't even make a dent in their supply. (I don't like buying a lot of something if I am taking everything).

On a side note does anyone know how long these candles are going to be marked at $1.66?

5 Glade Candles $1.66
- Used (5) $1.50 off coupons from can

Total: $1.30 (I was charged tax on the full amount)

Total Savings: $14.15!!!

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Last Sales of the Season

I have two weeks of finds to share with you tonight.
There is one last day of my favorite flea market for the year at the end of October so we might have one more post but it won't be for a few weeks.

This old Christmas tree reminds me of one my grandma always has on her table during the holidays. I thought it was a steal at $2, plus it came with a full bag of extra bulbs, I just need to buy a light for it.

A new Volunteers of America Thrift Store opened near our home and they had some great stuff inside. I picked up the two parfait dishes for $.30 each, the cool glass vase has a really neat shape unlike anything I've seen before it was $.60. The fairy light was only $4 so of course I had to have it. And lastly there was a bag of these fake wooden butterflies and some gold ones wrapped around for $1.50. My Mom had a set of these when I was young (I even have photographic proof) so I couldn't leave the store without them. I plan to put the big ones in our new kitchen and I'll figure out what to do with the metal ones later.

My last find are these two glass lamps. They don't look great right now but I plan to clean them up and fix the bases. At $3 I couldn't let them go - I've been looking for two lamps that would fit any decor and have an old feel to them. I plan to make some great shades and use them in our new sitting/living room.

Stop by Rhonda’s party at Southern Hospitality to see even more yard sales deals. It's her last party for the year so you don't want to miss it.

Cheap Target Candles

I finally made it to a Target with coupons to buy some of their cheap Glade candles.

I picked up four of the Glade Scented oil candles

The sign on the shelf said they were full price at $2.99 but when I scanned them they popped up at $1.66.

I used the $1.50 off coupon found in the top of the candle to pick these up for only $.16 each.

I plan to use them for gift baskets later this year - no one needs to know I paid less than $.20 for them

Friday, September 25, 2009

Good reads 9/25/09

Cheap and super cute pumpkin decorations at Chocolate on my Cranium Seriously they're made from toilet paper rolls and fabric - don't believe me that it could be adorable then check it out for yourself.

Debt free living is attainable if you want it From Wisebread.

The Best Online Banks for Emergency Funds from Frugal Dad

A great list of Companies to email for coupons from Nicole's Nickels

Millionaire Mommy Next Door has a gust post up on Are you Saving enough for Retirement - Use these 4 simple rules to find out

The Craftzine blog has a tutorial on How to sew a small lined purse

A great post on How to make a set of floral lights from The Crafty Chica.

Learn how to recycle old candles into new ones at Recycled Crafts

Ever wanted to recreate some of those delicious restaurant meals at home? Stop by Money Saving Mom to download A free copycat restaurant recipe ebook

Did you know if you write off credit card debt you still have to claim it on your taxes? Yeah, neither did I. Stop by Wise Bread to read their article on Forgiven debt isn't really forgiven at all

Frugal in Virginia has a Reminder to get ready for after holiday clearance deals - Last year I purchased almost all our Christmas gifts for this year by the end of January 2009. We've put a little bit of money away each month throughout the year and I plan to take that money to do it all over again this year. It's so nice to have a stress free holiday.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Wal-Mart Freebies

Have you been to Wal-Mart for more cheap candles and Johnson’s freebies?

- 1 Johnson’s Buddies soap $.97
Used a $1 off coupon from last weekends paper
- 1 Febreze Candle $5
Used $2 off from contest
- 2 Glade Sense & Sprays $5
Used (2) $4 off coupons from Right at home Print Yours HERE

I plan on using the candles in our new home and as some Christmas gifts.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Love! This Site Award Nomination

OnOurWay has been nominated at for a Love! This Site Award.

I'm not sure when the voting period ends but it would be an honor if you could stop by and give OnOurWay your vote - You can find us under the "Careers and Money" category or just follow This Link.

You do have to register but I promise it's easy to do and it looks like you can vote for more than one site in each category. I've already found two other sites I want to start reading in the future just from browsing the nominees.

Monday, September 21, 2009

House Projects

It is official – our house is now on the market. We’ve already had one couple call and ask information about it but they haven’t scheduled a viewing yet so we’re just crossing our fingers at this point.

We did a few things to finish the house up before listing it and I promised pictures so here they are….

We painted our spare room (innuendo). I love this color so much I think we'll use it in one of our rooms at the new house.

Our bedroom went from white to a basic tan color. Not my favorite but it gets the job done.

And lastly our kitchen received a new floor. We were up till almost 1 am putting the peel and stick tiles down, but I think the end result is great.

We also gave our carpets a nice shampoo and touched up ALL the trim in the house.

Now that our current home is complete we are focusing on our new home. There is still so much to do before we can move in, but I’ll give you picture updates as I get them.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Labor Day Sales

I’m a two weeks late posting these but I wanted to share some of the items I purchased at our Labor Day Yard sale extravaganza. (On a side note I looked for fun ties but only found the boring plaid kind – sorry Dad but I’ll keep my eye out).

I paid $1 for these three gourds which I plan to give to my mom, she makes bird houses with them and they’re amazing – I’ll have to share pictures one day.

The chair was $2 and I’m hoping my Mom will teach me how to reupholster it – as a thank you for the gourds of course. : ) (I’m sneaky like that). I love the curves of the chair and think it would be great in a nice retro color and maybe a dark stain. I’ll have to see what I can find.

The glass bottle was $.75. The man selling them had boxes full of old bottles, but since I couldn’t take them all I ultimately had to go with the one that most caught my eye. Green glass is always my first pick.

There is one more weekend of my favorite thrift sale and then the season is basically over here in Michigan.

Head over to Southern Hospitality to see what everyone else was able to pick up this weekend and post your own link to join in her party.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

It's Football Season Again

The leaves are starting to change and the weather is starting to get colder. For some people this time of the year is known only as fall – for those not so lucky we know it as football season.

When I first met Matt I realized he watched a few football games here or there yet it was nothing extravagant, but the longer we’ve been together things have started to change. More and more football has slowly seeped into our lives. It creeps up on you, one game here another there and before you know it you’ve been sucked into the life of a football wife. At this point I’m starting to think he’s one game away from breaking out the body paint and really showing some team spirit.
Let me explain what football season means for me.

Lets say for example the Lions (our state team) play a game on Saturday. We will watch said game and the ongoing commentary live, that’s all find and dandy. Sometimes I ask questions like, “How does number 20’s Mom feel about his latest drug charge,” but for the most part, I consider football to be one big soap opera with too many characters.

I can handle the original Saturday games, the really scary part comes on Sunday, when we will undoubtedly watch the game replay with even more commentary. I swear to you sometimes the Sunday commentators make remarks about Saturday’s commentating. Then if we're really lucky we get to view the game highlights on the evening news.

Whose bright idea was it to replay old games, especially those preceding 1995? Did they not realize what they were doing to wives everywhere?

I see two big problems with this football issue. First we’re watching The Lions, the team that went 0-16 last season. I mean I get the whole stand by your team and all that jazz, but the optimism every season is delusional.

2nd and maybe the most obvious we have already watched this game as in I know the score and all the good plays. I keep trying to explain to Matt that football reruns are not like extended version DVDs. You don’t watch the original in theaters and then see bonus footage later. We saw all there was to see the first time.

I continue to promise Matt the score didn’t change over night, but alas we watch again – just in case.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Why move....

After my post on how we purchased a new home I received a concerned email that Matt and I were not making the best financial decision by purchasing a second home right now. I want to promise everyone Matt and I did not enter into this decision lightly – we discussed it and ran numbers for months – seriously. We also looked at homes for over seven months before finding the place for us. It has the right qualities, the right location and of course the right price, but there are other perks as well.

Less gun confusion
Some of the reasons we decided it was time to move were financial and some where not. In my last post about the issue I said our new place was in a much better neighborhood and I wasn’t exaggerating about the gun shots. This summer we had three shootings within a two mile radius of our home. The convenience store is robbed once a month on average – not kidding; it’s time for us to get out.

There are also financial things to consider. While we did basically drain our “dream/retirement” savings account (or will after updates) I’m ok with it because one of the first things we said we wanted to do with that money was to purchase a new “forever” home, which now we’ve done.

Great Prices

Yeah, I’ll admit I wish we would have had a bigger down payment saved but the house was a serious steal. We purchased our new home for about $40K less than all the similar homes in the area and in total it is only $20K more than our current home. I’ll pay $20K more to avoid the gun fire. Even with this new purchase we can still make all of our bills on one income (after we sell our current home). Until we sell our house we’ll continue to pay all our bills with Matt’s income but rather than put my entire pay check into savings $600 will come out to make our current house payment.

Good Mortgage News

Since our new home is the perfect home for us and we plan to be there for a quite a while I’m excited to start working on paying off the mortgage and our student loans early, they are the only debts we have left. (I’m thinking some big progress on this in 2010).

2009 – $12K savings goal

One thing we have had to face is the fact we are not going to make our $12,500 savings goal for 2009. We’ve put the money into our down payment, closing cost and updates to both homes.

I thought I’d be more upset about missing this goal but really I’m ok with it. I’m sure when the year is over we’ll still have saved way more than we would have had with no goal this year at all. We still have a great car and emergency fund that’s growing every day – and we have no plans to touch any of that money.

I think in 2010 we’ll try to save $10,000, not because I don’t think we can do $12,000 but because $10 in ’10 has such a nice ring to it… yes I’m very OCD.

And lastly we also considered the timing – not just for the market conditions but also our situation. Matt and I would like to have children in the next year and I figure it’s best to take the plunge of buying and selling a home while we’re both working full time than having to worry about it when we might be in a more difficult financial position.

Ok – this is turning into a long post but I wanted to just let everyone see that we really did put a lot of thought into this decision and this is just a small sampling of what we considered when deciding to buy – now you see why it took so long.

And I have some big plans for this house – all of which you’ll be along for the ride for, but those are quite a while in the future.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

More Book Sale Finds...

Matt and I went to our favorite quarterly book sale this weekend. We purchased 57 books for $6 that’s only TEN CENTS a book!

I love library books sales like this as a way to get cheap books. Matt and I always go on the Sunday for the $3 bag day and we normally walk away with some great finds. In the past I’ve found basically complete series (Goosebumps, Box Car Kids etc) and have sold them on Craigslist to make back our money and then some.

Here are some of the better titles we brought home this trip…

3 Home improvement books
Memoirs of a Geisha
The Purpose Driven Life
The Complete Cheapskate
Travels – Crichton
The Postman
Who Moved my Cheese
2 Books by Suze Orman
10 Natural Laws of Success Time and Life Management
Rich Dad Poor Dad
The Millionaire Next Door
How to Conquer Clutter
Confessions of an Organized Homemaker
Smart Woman Finish Rich - Bach
White Oleander
1001 Ways to Stretch a Dollar
Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff and it’s all small stuff.
And lots of Tom Clancy books for Matt

And if I get doubles of a particular book or don’t enjoy it I list them on - Book Club to Swap, Trade & Exchange Books for order to get even more cheap reads.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Bloggy Break Notice

I have to admit defeat for the next few days. I've come to the realization that I can't work 45+ hours a week, complete remodel projects on TWO houses, and run this blog to it's fullest while maintaining the ability to eat and sleep.

I do have a few post written that I want to share but please just realize there may be a day in between post. I promise it's not a permanent thing - we should be officially listing our house this Thursday which will help with everything a little.

I'll also be sharing some pictures of our projects soon as well. Stay tuned.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Kroger GC Winner purchases

I'm a tad behind on my email reading but I wanted to pass on the link Laura sent with pictures of all the items she purchased with the $30 Kroger gift card she won right here at On Our Way.

Stop by Laura's Life and congratulate her on the great deals.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

A Clockwork Orange

A Clockwork Orange is a tale from Anthony Burgess about an adolescent boy, Alex. Alex is, “Our humble Narrator” who takes us on a journey through his youth in London (set in a future time period).

We read as Alex goes through what I’ll call an extreme rebellious period – his reformation and subsequent life choices. Sometimes when I read what others call “an American classic” I’m left wondering why exactly the book was given that honor, but I can see why A Clockwork Orange was. It’s a gruesome but cautionary tale of violence and government repression (in some sorts). Alex is originally allowed the choice of good or evil before others try to take it away, which makes the question of this novel. Is it better to have the choice of good or evil, even if people may pick evil?

The storyline and character actions often go to the extreme but I think there is a great point to be found within these pages that is still functional today.

One caution: Burgess uses many of his own slang words through the novel – I found a great online site and spent most of the first six/seven chapters translating from their dictionary.

Books Read in 2009: 25
Books to Read in 2009: 25

Monday, September 7, 2009

Still time for free swagbucks

Don't forget September is the month of Swag.

You can learn about all the new updates to Swagbucks and find out how to get some extra bucks at my original post HERE

You still have until September 10th to use the code megscode (case sensitive) to get an extra two bucks (FIVE total) when you sign up.

Friday, September 4, 2009

Good Reads 9/4/09

Some good reads to pass your way from this week.

Get Rich Slowly has the scoop on How to Boost your retirement - Great advice for this market.

Wise Bread has a post up on Buying a home without the 20% down payment - It's pretty obvious from my recent post how I feel about this since we just purchased with only 5% down but I'd love to hear what you think.

Frugal Dad has a great post on why you should Stop Allowing Fear to Guide Financial Decisions He ends with stating that sometimes you just have to live a little and I couldn't agree more. Actually I think at times I might need to listen to my fears a little more - we've basically stopped watching the news on financial things and just trying to live like we want to (which for us luckily includes saving and living frugal).

Wise Bread has another post up this week on 15 websites that pay you to recycle - If you're planning on getting rid of something check this list first.

A. Baker, Get Rich Slowly's first Staff writer wrote about Making the most of small windfalls - Something Matt and I need to work on as well.

And lastly it's not a post but an entire blog you need to read Backpacking Dad - It's a blog not about backpacking but being a Dad and he's hilarious (which is the most important part duh)

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Who doesn't love a good deal?

Labor day weekend is a huge yard sale weekend. For some places (like Michigan) this weekend marks your last chance at decent weather to even have a sale. Here in the big mitten it is suppose to be in the 70's for the next four days so after work this afternoon Matt and I plan to stop by a few select sales. I can't wait to see what we find.

If you are planning on doing some of your own sale hosting this weekend stop by Money Saving Mom to read her Tips for a Successful garage sale

Quick Wal-Mart Trip

I made a quick trip to Walmart this week to pick up Cat food (used my giveabowl $3.50 off coupon) and decided to use a few other coupons in the process.

2 Glade Soy candles (on rollback) $3
- Used (2) $3 off from (zip code: 48910)
(I think I may have mentioned how much I love these candles once or twice... ok maybe five or six times, but they are amazing)

1 Febreze candle (also amazing things) (rollback) $5
- Used $2 off coupon from 8/30 insert
= $3 total cost after coupons - A great price for these

I also picked up a pack of 5 furnace filters for less than $4 in a clearance aisle. These will come in handy this winter.

Have you picked up any great items from Walmart lately?

I won a $15 Amazon gift card... and you can too!

When Matt and I were in Vegas I ended up playing on a Monopoly community gaming station and winning $14 from just a single dollar. It was actually a lot of fun, there were six of us at the table and we were all talking while playing. (Matt and I aren't really gamblers so a $14 win was big for us)

Anyway, I didn't really know what the new community thing was other than I liked it, until we returned home and I decided to play the Monopoly town Instant win game from WMS gaming. I haven't played any Instant Win games this summer since we've been so busy but decided to give this one a shot.

I've been playing the instant win for about two weeks now (and actually learning about all the games I played in Vegas) when Tuesday night I won a $15 Amazon gift card. Such a great reward for clicking the mouse a few times.

So you wanna win $15?
Here's How:

Visit the site and click on the Instant win box on the lower left corner.

Sign up for the instant win and sweepstakes game (must be 21 to play)

Start by selecting one of the new slot machines and spin the reel to see if you're a winner.

You can play up to five times per day for a chance to win a prize.

The instant win game runs until September 28th and you can only win one instant win prize so get signed up.

::Prizes up for grabs::

2 Grand Prizes: $5,000 - done by drawing from all entries

100 First prizes: $50 gift card
200 Second Prizes: $25 gift card
2,200 Third Prizes: $15 gift card
2000 Fourth prizes: $10 gift card

One of the reasons I love instant win games (besides the prizes) is because they're actually a lot of fun - and this one doesn't disappoint.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Get to Menards...quick

Right now until September 13th Menards is having a huge store wide clearance event.

I would strongly suggest if you have one close by to make a stop in, especially if you have students headed back into school soon.

I picked up this set of four poster markers for $1.99 Tuesday afternoon. I plan to split them up and include them in a Christmas basket this year. All their Crayola items are 50% off including back to school and discontinued office supplies.

Some of the other huge clearance areas include:

35% off all discontinued indoor lighting
40% off all water gardening and accessories
20% off all grass sead
20% off all stanley laser levels
35% all discontinued landscape lighting (my store didn't have a huge selection left)
25% off all portable fans
35% all lawn games
35% all pools and pool toys (they had one of those big air blown pools for under $40)
35% all discontinued faucets
40% all adjustable screenettes
30% all discontinued water filtration
30 - 45% all discontinued wallpaper
40% all hummingbird and oriole feeders
35% all discontinued picture frames (I went a little crazy in this section - lots of stuff)
30% all stock wood and vinyl screen doors
35% discontinued landscaping blocks
20% discontinued fencing
40% all suntan lotion
20% all coolers
25% discontinued indoor/outdoor carpet
15% playset kits and accessories (including slides)
20% all discontinued hardwood flooring
40% all discontinued laminate flooring
30% all camping supplies
40% all discontinued area rugs
20% insect repellents 30% off citronella candles
30% all pots, planters and plant stands
50% decorative lawn statues and patio lights
30% all birdbaths and fountains
30% all arbors and trellises

And of course they have a list of great after rebate items

Blacktop crack filler FREE after $3.50 MIR (limit 4)
10 Piece Shappu knife set FREE after $2 MIR (limit 2)

12 pack Pint sized canning jars $4.88 after $2 MIR (limit 12 packs)
Nano Glue $2.99 after $4 MIR (limit 2)
Silicone Sealant $.99 after $2 MIR. (limit 12)
Tape measure or hammer $.99 after $2 MIR (limit 4 total)

You can find tons of items to make those last minute home improvements before the weather turns, great buys for next summer or Christmas stocking stuffers.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Goodwill Finds 8/30

After running to CVS on Sunday Matt and I took a car load to Goodwill (remember our 30% goal).
And there was no way I was going to be that close to a Goodwill without going in - I did however only pick up two things.

The leaf dish was $.59 and I'm going to use it for some fall decorating. The fake silver platter was $.99 and I have big plans for it in the future. I love all the chalk board things people have been making and have a great decorating idea for our new house. I only need to buy one more small tray, a larger one, some silverware and possibly a set of old keys (if that gives you any hints to what I'm planning).

50% off Boston Market - Labor Day weekend only!

Love Boston Market? So do I -
This Labor Day weekend only (September 5-7th) you can receive 50% off your Boston Market order of any family meal or market feast.

Visit THIS LINK and enter the email address where you would like your coupon sent.

Just make sure to print off the entire email when you go to redeem your coupon - some locations want to see who the coupon was actually sent to and not one that has been printed from a PDF.

CVS 8/30

I actually made it to CVS on Sunday but while typing up my quick trip recap firefox closed out on me twice and once 1am hit I decided it was time to give up.

Now that things seem to be working again we'll get to the posting.

1 Glade Soy Candle $6.99
- Used 1 $2 off coupon
1 CVS lotion $1.49
- Used free item coupon from August
1 CVS hand soap $1.99
- Used Free item coupon (emailed to me)

Total: $10.47
After coupons: $4.99
Paid with ECB's and earned $6.99 back in ECB's from Glade candle deal.

Have I mentioned I LOVE the Glade soy candles, especially when they are FREE! No wait when I was paid $2 to buy it.

Swagbucks Special News

More great news from Swagbucks this week.

Don’t know what Swagbucks is? Check out my original post HERE to learn everything you need to know. I’ve earned over $100 in free Amazon money from Swagbucks this year and you can too.

To celebrate their big news Swagbucks is offering all new registers extra Swagbucks. If you sign up for Swagbucks before September 10th and use the code megscode (case sensitive) you’ll receive 3 free Swagbucks just for signing up and an additional 2 for using my special code.

So what’s the big news you ask?

This month Swagbucks is launching their new toolbar which is compatible with Safari, Firefox, and IE but will also provide links to lots of other Swagbucks items including a quick link to log in to your Swagbucks account.

Then the news gets even better (here’s where you should be listening… wait… reading) When you download the tool bar you will receive a special swag code EVERY day in September. That’s right you can receive up to 30 extra Swagbucks just for downloading the tool bar. That’s more than half way to your first Amazon gift card.

You can download the tool bar starting today from THIS link.

But the new toolbar isn’t the only new item being released this month.
SWAGO is Swagbucks answer to Bingo. During the month of September when you order special select prizes in the Swag store Swagbucks will send you a special SWAGO piece. If you can collect all the pieces in a row you will be awarded 1000 swag bucks!

You can also find a new Back to School section in the Swag store. You’ll be able to find everything you need to equip. yourself for the back to school season from elementary and up.

Make sure to visit the Swag blog at ( for more information.

And remember sign up for Swagbucks using my code (megscode) before September 10th to earn extra swag.