Simplicity – Small & Cheap

Living simply & cheaply…wherever you are!

Can you hear the crickets?

Sorry it’s been so quiet here. I’ve been taking part in Simple Mom’s Spring Cleaning Party on my mommy blog AND I took two days to visit my family for the mother-daughter banquet. So I didn’t do any shopping (except to buy meat while in RC…they can do meat like nothing else!).

Back to regularly scheduled programming next week. If there are any good sales :). I’ll still be cleaning.


May 8, 2009 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Menu Plan Monday


I can’t believe it’s Holy Week already!

This week I am off to a rocky start–I FINALLY made it to MIC this morning and put Dagny in “daycare” for the first time ever.   What a weird feeling!

Monday – Baked Ziti This became a HUGE favorite and is frequently requested!

Tuesday – Deconstructed Broccoli & Cheese Stuffed Chicken Breasts , Mashed Potatoes, & Veggies

Wednesday – LO Ziti

Thursday – LO Chicken (HOLY THURSDAY)

Friday – Fish Sticks & Tater Tots/Mac & Cheese (GOOD FRIDAY)

Saturday – Pizza

Sunday – Easter @ Bones’ grandma’s.

April 6, 2009 Posted by | Uncategorized | 1 Comment

Ultimate Blog Party 09

Welcome to Simplicity–Small and Cheap.    I’m Jen and this blog was originally started in December when we decided to pack ourselves into a small pop-up camper and open a branch of my husband’s business in The Keys.   We returned about a month ago (we felt bad confining our 12 month old to such a small space when she is so active) but have decided that after living in a camper, Living SIMPLY is really what we want to do.   I’m continuing the blog as I journey through my stuff.

We are selling our 2200 square foot home (mansion?) and paring down to what we really love/use thanks to CraigsList.  Our ultimate goal is to buy a trailer for our camping stuff and be able to fit everything we own in it so we can move at will.   We have always loved to travel and it’s not practical to do a lot of that with our daughter.   Moving every so often?   That seems like something we would like to do.

So welcome to my site.   I don’t have a hard schedule, but I try to have a post up every other day if not daily.

Monday – Menu Plan Monday – what I’m cooking this week.   With a recipe, if there is one.

Tuesday – Grocery Trip

Wednesday – whatever come to mind – right now it’s all about the purging & selling saga.

Thursday – Coupon Craziness – Walgreens & Meijer’s are my big deals right now.   Boy do I miss not being in CVS country!

Friday – Frugal Friday — not all Friday’s.  I think I ran out of ideas in February :).    I hope to be starting a series about Your Money or Your Life soon.    Stay tuned!

So hang out, browse around and join the Ultimate Blog Party 09 hosted by 5 Minutes for Mom.

There are tons of awesome prizes for hanging out too!

My personal preferences?   19 (offered by Shoot-Me-Now), 21(offered by Agoosa), 22 (offered by Beginner Baby Blog), 91, 118, 123, 26, USC56, INTL3, INTL61 and USC 15 –I love gift cards!.   I also really liked 119, 28, 58, 103 and 127.   Well, what are you waiting for?   Check them out!

March 23, 2009 Posted by | Uncategorized | | 13 Comments

Planning Your Wardrobe

At first glance, having a wardrobe plan or having your colors done seems like something rich people do.   It just isn’t something for us regular joes.   I’m here to tell you that after 30 years, I’ve realized that everyday people need it more than ANYONE else.

In moving to our camper, I had very limited space available for bringing clothing.    It was surprisingly easy to pack.   I packed only my very favorite clothes that fit, I felt good in and were weather appropriate.    That amounted to about 10 shirts and 2 pr pants, 2 capris, and a skirt.   The rest I haven’t missed…well, there are a few pieces but generally, I don’t miss the rest.

I have a walk-in closet the size of a small child’s bedroom.   It’s full.    It’s full of clothes that don’t fit, are in the wrong colors, I don’t like them (but they were CHEAP!), or don’t match anything else I have.

Missus Smarty Pants is a very affordable way to get the services that wealthy people pay lots of money for.   For $10.00 she will determine your season and show you what makeup and clothing colors are best for you.    In addition, she will ID your body type and tell you what types of clothing will play up your assets and camouflage your flaws for less than $50.00/year.

I have found her services to be completely invaluable.    In addition to confirming that I look best in some of my favorite clothes, she has shown me concrete tips to make sure that I can INTENTIONALLY look for those items.

The best thing that I have learned by reading her emails is to have a wardrobe plan.

What kind of life do you live?   The clothes you purchase should be in proportion to the amount of time you spend in them.    I am a SAHM.   I don’t need to buy another suit, no matter how cute it is.    What I DO need is clothing that is easy to nurse in, easy to clean (no dry clean only!!), and is comfortable and classically stylish since I will be spanning years between maternity clothes and non-maternity clothes.

What do you need for your climate?    Now we are in a warm climate.    I don’t need 15 pair of black work pants.    Now, I need capris and shorts that fit well as well as a lot of short sleeved shirts.   I no longer need 4 winter coats and a box full of scarves, mittens and hats.

PLAN a wardrobe to mix and match.   MSP offers a list of items to build the basics of your wardrobe with suggested numbers and types of items in your wardrobe.    I just got my colors done and decided to plan all future purchases (and keepers from existing wardrobe up north) around them.   My MAIN neutral is brown with my secondary neutral as a soft gray.   Thanks to MSP, I now have a signature color – aqua.    And most of my other purchases will be in 2 coordinating colors (soft pink and a lime green) and a coordinating neutral (ivory).   This will ensure that all my clothes will be able to be mixed and matched.   I also picked 2 secondary colors (lilac and yellow) for accessories that will coordinate with my 3 core colors.

Once your basics are in place, you can add things like stylish current pieces, handbags, accessories and shoes.    Having a plan enables you to have a plan on how to spend your money.    No more wasting space and money on clothes that you only sort of like and therefore never wear.    You will no longer need to go out and buy an outfit for an occassion because you have a closet full of nothing to wear.    That’s frugality at it’s best–being prepared and avoiding “emergency” expenses.

How has having a wardrobe plan saved you money?

February 25, 2009 Posted by | Uncategorized | , | Leave a comment

Funny thing…

I realized after 3 trips NORTH to visit Al’s parents, that his dream has been achieved. He has always wanted to just get into his car and go south. Well, we did and now we only have about 40 more miles of south from home. Everything else is North.

We still say we are going DOWN whenever we go anywhere. Hard habit to break ;).

February 20, 2009 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Winn-Dixie Nibble

I did okay on my Winn-Dixie trip this week. I bought mostly stuff on sale. The stuff that wasn’t on sale, though, was expensive.

On sale
6 Lipton noodle sides – on sale 10/$10
Pringles – 10/$10
2 eggo syrups – BOGO at $2.99 = $1.50 each
3 Hunts spaghetti sauce – 10/$10

Not on sale
Cream cake slices – $1.39
Oreo variety pack – $5.99 (DH request)
bananas – $1.42 ($0.69/lb.)
OJ (fresh FL squeezed) – $3.79
Bread – $3.29
Puerto rican bread – $1.29
Onion – $0.65 ($1.29/lb.)
1/2 gal. milk – $2.39

Total regular price – $41.78
Total sale price – $33.16
Savings – 20%

Not bad for no coupons!

February 17, 2009 Posted by | grocery shopping, Uncategorized | , | Leave a comment

Coupon Craziness 4

I was on a tear today. I noticed that they (whoever THEY are) DO actually deliver the Sun-Sentinal…I just normally see empty boxes because I don’t go out early enough. When I went out today, I planned on buying both the Miami herald & the SS to see if the SS had coupons. Last time I bought a Miami paper, I was disappointed because it didn’t have half the coupons it should have. Today I hit the jack pot. The Miami paper had 2 of the 3 big inserts and the SS had all 3. Whoopie!

I was so excited that I bought 2 more SS when I went to WG for this deal:

Revlon Age Defying Spa Foundation – $14.49, on sale for $9.99 – $2 coupon from this weeks SS insert – $9.99 EasySaver rebate = $2.00 MM!

Gilette Fusion Gamer Razor – $13.49, on sale for $8.99 – $4.00 from PG Brandsaver – $6.00RR = $1.01MM!!

Huggies (2)- $9.99 each – $1.50 from SS insert this week – $0.75 Caregivers Marketplace Rebate = $7.74 each
Approx. $0.23 / diaper. Not the best but I needed some. And forgot that I couldn’t use my upromise “coupons” at Walgreens.

And 2 newspapers – $1.25 each

Total sale price – $41.46
Minus coupons – $9.00
Total OOP – $32.46
Minus RR earned – $6.00
Minus rebates – $11.49
Total trip cost – $14.97
Total Saved – 71%!!!

I have 4 or 5 more coupons for the razors and plan on going back for that every day until they run out of razors or I run out of coupons.

February 10, 2009 Posted by | Uncategorized | , | Leave a comment