Sunday, December 6, 2009
I have had a great weekend, but these days are certainly busy. On Friday husband and I went Christmas shopping. Now, I have done a lot of shopping, and much was done last summer. However, this is the first time that husband has really gone with me. We scratched off a few more names from the list and we are getting close. On Saturday I traveled with a friend to another town for a bridal shower for her future daughter in law. That was a very fun day. What did I do today? Not much. We ate a simple lunch at home after church and I made two trips to Walgreens. Funny thing is that I had just told husband last week that I was not buying anymore cereal until I got a deal. He loves his cereal as I have explained quite a few times on this blog. I just cannot believe that I used to actually pay about $4.00 a box back in the old days. Now I will not pay more than $1.00 because I know if I wait, I will get a deal. The deal is here! Husband can rest assured that his cereal stash is protected from dwindling.
Walgreens has cereal $1.99 a box, which for some is a good deal, but not good enough for me. Thank you Target for posting a manufacturer's coupon on your site which gave me an additional $5.00 off of 4 boxes! That made my cereal only .74 cents a box! Better than I had hoped. Everything in the picture below came to $9.37. I also earned a $5.00 register reward from the Triaminic to use later.
The above picture shows:
- 8 boxes of cereal
- 2 boxes of Kleenex
- 2 boxes of Triaminic Thin Strips ( I made money on these)
- 4 packages of Chinet
- 1 gallon of milk
All for $9.37!
You can copy my deals, I found all of them at Common Sense With Money. (check my sidebar)
Other than "robbing" Walgreens, as husband puts it. I took a nap and watched a movie with hubby this evening.
A restful end to a busy weekend.
Thursday, November 26, 2009
It is just after 8:00 am as I type this. My family, dog, and cat are all sleeping peacefully. The house is quiet. Soon we will all be awake, eating our canned cinnamon rolls (family tradition from way back) and awaiting the feast. I will put together my broccoli-rice casserole, and we will prepare to fry the turkeys. Somewhere, though in all of this preparation, we must remember the reason for this day.
I do not have to think long to realize what I am thankful for. I am thankful for my God, His son Jesus, and His Spirit. What a wonderful trio to have on your side. I cannot imagine my life without them. I am thankful for my family, both immediate and extended. I think that many of us would say that. I am thankful for my health. Very thankful.
Please take a few minutes this year, and seriously give thanks.
This post is short, but I wanted to at least remind myself to give thanks.
Sunday, November 22, 2009
This has been a pretty good weekend. Believe it or not, it did not involve shopping! On Friday husband took me to the spine clinic to be evaluated by a specialist. She agreed that my SI joint is more than likely the source of my problems, although she did look at my X-rays and say, "That's arthritis, that's arthritis, that's arthritis, and that's arthritis." Gettin' old, I tell ya.
She gave me an arsenal of drugs to get me through until about 3 weeks from now when I will get an injection in the joint. One drug was a muscle relaxer. It relaxed me alright, I went to bed at about 10:00 Friday evening and did not wake up until 10:30 Saturday morning!
Friday evening husband and I spent a quiet night at home eating leftovers and watching a movie.
On Saturday, after I finally got up, I spent the morning piddling around my house doing odd jobs and catching up on some paperwork. Saturday evening we took husband's folks along as we went to pick up our youngest. He was visiting our oldest. Youngest will be home for a week-long break from school. We had a nice dinner at Cracker Barrel before returning home.
Sunday after church we rested a bit, then took husband's parents to another town for a family get together. It was nice seeing this side of husband's family.
We had a pretty full week-end, and I am getting anxious now for Thursday to spend time with even more family.
Life is good,
Thursday, November 19, 2009
Good customer service will mean a lot this holiday season. Let me give shout outs to both Target and Kohl's!
Husband and I had a quick date night tonight and took advantage of a quick trip out to eat and to two of my favorite stores. We made such great time and were back home by 7:15! Plus, the deals were sweet!
I purchased everything in the picture for just $16.53. Without coupons, and using just Target's sale prices, I would have paid $37.49. Because of being able to stack Target coupons with manufacturer coupons, I was able to get the Del Monte vegetables for just .20 per can. The fruit came in at .57 per can, but would have cost .95 each. The Reynold's Wrap cost just $1.00 each due the sale price and manufacturer's coupons. The Ritz Crackers were just .50 per box, thanks to both Target and Manufacturer's coupons. The Pledge Fabric Sweeper was free with a free item coupon. The cheese was on sale and I used one of the $1.50 off of 2 lbs of any brand cheese coupons.
Now, this is why I am impressed with Target.
On our way home I realized that the cashier accidently rang up 2 Pledge Fabric Sweepers. I called the store from my cell phone and explained the situation. After giving the customer service girl the receipt numbers, she was able to credit back $5.00 to my debit card right then and there. No return trip to the store for a refund! That was quite impressive!
Now on to Kohl's--
See my nice new kitchen rugs? I have needed new rugs for a very long time. I have actually been hanging on to one for quite a while that our dog got hold of a long time ago. Let me say that a rug with fringe on the ends is not good for dogs or for Dysons.
Last week I did major Christmas shopping at Kohl's. I had received a 30% discount and I take advantage of those when I get them. I charge what I want and then pay it off. Because of this I also earned a lot of Kohl's Cash. I planned on using the Kohl's Cash for new kitchen rugs. The rugs I wanted go on sale TOMORROW. However, the kind man at customer service let me have the sale price tonight! After the sale price, I had an additional 15% off due to my "pick a day", and then I used my Kohl's Cash. I was able to purchase rugs that would have cost $140.00 for a total of $11.85! Now, I am sure I would not have ever paid $140.00 for these rugs. But I would have probably been willing to pay more than $11.85. (click on receipt to enlarge)
So, there you have it. Two really good experiences at two of my favorite stores, plus our night out turned out to be a very frugal one!
(I just noticed that if Kohl's had given me my 15% discount BEFORE using my Kohl's Cash, that my balance would have been much less. I am not going to complain though. I still only paid $11.85.)
Wednesday, November 11, 2009
Remember the free chocolate delivered to my door? That was courtesy of House Party, a word-of-mouth group that sends merchandise for you to share with your friends or tell them about. Well, I hit the gold mine again, because I just found out I have been selected to host a Rowenta Project Style House Party. While I will not be able to hand out Rowenta irons, I do get a FREE Rowenta Pressure Iron and Steamer! I am really excited about this. I do get some cool freebies for my friends and I will be letting them in on my plan soon. The premise of this party is really cool. You are to get your friends together, each are to bring 2-3 articles of clothing that they do not want and you then press and share! Sounds fun to me, and I have tons of clothes that I am not wearing.
If you have not joined House Party, then you need to soon. My first few events were pretty simple, but since then I have been able to get some great things!
Sunday, November 8, 2009
Ahhh, I love me a bargain.
Today I hit (husband says, "Robbed") Walgreens. Thanks to making money there last week (Lubriderm and Almay) I had a very nice stash of Register Rewards. Between those, manufacturer's coupons, and store coupons, I was able to snag all of this for only $5.12 out of our pocket. Without any deals, this would have cost $67.68. Now, that is a high price compared to Wal-Mart, but the deals were not at Wal-Mart. I still have $23.00 in Register Rewards in my purse.
If it wasn't so pretty out today I would go bake something.
Thursday, November 5, 2009
I would like to officially welcome you to The Pain of the Month Club! Membership is free, all you have to do is be over 50 years old and seriously out of shape. You may NOT cancel at any time. Well you could, but if you cancel this membership, then ALL of your benefits will expire. (and I do mean EXPIRE) So, once you join, you are in for life and you might as well get used to it!
You will love this club, because everyday is a new adventure. A different body part quits working, hurts, or rebels every day. At times you get the satisfaction of a prolonged visit of a certain ailment, but for the most part your misery is made new every day.
You will meet friends you once only dreamed of and you will really get the "gist" of it when you get to know them. Yeah, I do mean the "gist" of it : cardioloGIST, endocrinoloGIST, gastroenteroloGIST, and many more new friends.
Then, if you are really lucky you get to know physical therapists. Otherwise known as physical TERRORISTS! They are meant to do good, but I think they forgot about that oath that says, "First, do no harm."
So, if you are not a sissy, and can take it, welcome to my club!
Tuesday, November 3, 2009
Monday, November 2, 2009
I am happy to report tonight that the treadmill and I had a sweet reunion. After dusting it off (literally) I managed to walk a full 20 minutes . Now, I realize I was only going 2.7 mph, but it has been a while. At least I did not fly off the back again. My sister and I are holding each other accountable in making a few wise choices. I feel pretty good.
Saturday, October 31, 2009
I wish I could take credit for this amazing idea, but it came from my friend Reta. This is a mega pill organizer and it is filled with my earrings! All neat and tidy in their own little home. They are ready to pack in a suitcase if I choose, or just ready for my daily selection. I love it. I used some soon to expire Extra Care Bucks at CVS and there you go!
Saturday, October 24, 2009
The last few days have been good for our budget, but I am TIRED ! The deals have taken me to Walgreens, WalMart, CVS, SAMS, Target and Meijer. I have enough free air fresheners, free Chex Mix, and very inexpensive Bird's Eye Steam Fresh Meals to last quite a while. (or "more inexpensiver" as our waitress from Smokey Bones would say) I have spent a lot this week in my standards. About $100.00. Now, to some of you that is a normal week, but I am used to only spending about $30.00 for Hubby and myself each week. I have not spent $100.00 in one week for about 2 years! This week however, I opted to spend more so that I could take advantage of some fantastic deals. $40.00 out of that was at SAMS to purchase a few bulk items. Funny, I used to go to SAMS and could easily spend $200.00, now I only buy a few items there because of better deals elsewhere. I am thinking about not renewing in the future.
One example of what was saved today: my WalMart receipt alone went from $96.18 before coupons, to $44.30 afterwards.
Now, a few of those stores are not in my town, and I do not travel 35 miles for Chex Mix. However, since we traveled last night to see our boys and celebrate my birthday with them, I took advantage of a shopping trip to Target. My sister visited today and wanted to go shopping in the "big" city, so we traveled the 35 miles, but made the very most of it with many many coupons spread out over 3 stores and a free lunch thanks to her Coke Rewards. That makes the trip profitable.
There was WAY too much to even consider taking a picture, but this week alone I have purchased the following, plus a ton of other things.
- 12 Steam Fresh Meals at $1.74 each (these normally cost $4.98 each at WalMart--having the right coupons sure helps)
- 32 bags of Chex Mix at Target- price matching the Walgreens ad price, plus using a Target Coupon and a manufactures' coupon on each made most of them free, and some only 25 cents. I have already given about half of those away, to my son, sister, and some set aside for hubby's parents.
- 8 Air Wick Fresh-Matic air freshener systems, $6.00 rollback at WalMart - used 8 -$6.00 coupons, so all I paid was tax
- 8 packages of 9 roll Northern packages at Walgreens that came to $2.99 each after my coupons, but cost nothing due to Register Rewards from previous purchases (that should last a while.) This comes in way under SAMS price for TP, and since I paid with register rewards, it is even sweeter.
- I lost track of the Glade Sense and Spray and Lasting Impression Air Freshener kits at CVS. Between CVS coupons from their web site, and my coupons, I got about 12 of these for free.
Those are just the highlights, I also got 4 Progresso Soups for 50 cents a can at WalMart, 6 free deodorants and 6 free shampoos at Walgreens. and lots and lots more.
I regret not keeping exact totals, but this was by far one of my best weeks ever.
Now, looking ahead at the deals for next week. they look pretty slim. I actually am glad. I will focus on other things next week and enjoy the bounty. I will only need to buy milk for the next few next weeks , so it will definitely balance out.
I am just so humbled and blessed at what God provides.
Thursday, October 22, 2009
As I write this, it is still October 22nd. And I am celebrating my 53rd birthday. This is a birthday I actually looked forward to. My sister knows why. Too deep of a reason to go into now, but she understands.
On the 24th, one of my brothers will celebrate his birthday. I always thought it was fun growing up, that my brother, who is 12 years older, had his birthday after mine. It made me feel like I should be older in some strange way.
The day that falls between is October 23rd. That day is significant to our family as well. I am reminded of that fact more-so this year than most. This year marks 30 years since our father passed away.
Isn't it just like a dad to try his best to not have that anniversary fall on one of his children's birthdays? It is pretty amazing to me how God worked that out. On the day of my birthday 30 years ago we received a call to tell us that Daddy was in the hospital and not doing the greatest. As the day progressed he became much worse, yet held his passing until after midnight. Thus changing the date from my birthday to that of the next day. My brother was spared having that fall on his birthday as well.
30 years is a long time. I was still quite young as far as things go. Much too young in my opinion to have been left an "orphan". As I have said before, I have lived longer without parents, than I ever did with them.
I have little concept of being an adult with parents.
Strange, huh? Every now and then I have a pity party about that, but mostly I just have to take it for what it is.
So, this day in the middle of two birthdays will always be remembered. It kinda seems like a father's last birthday gift to two of his children.
The gift of timing.
Thank you Daddy.
Monday, October 19, 2009
This past weekend was a difficult one. Saying goodbye is never easy. Especially when you were never given the chance to say hello.
Little Mary's service was beautiful. Man, do they know how to sing at my nephew's church. I kept thinking, is there a choir of angels behind me? The songs were really pretty. It was a nice service, with many songs and very fitting scriptures, all reminding us of the hope we have in Christ. I know one day we will meet Mary and it will be a very sweet time for all of us.
The hardest part was visiting the grave-site that evening with the family. We all stood in sadness as Grandpa said a prayer and we placed flowers on her grave. It is so sad to be standing on the grounds where many precious babies are buried all around you. So much sadness. We joined together as a family and sang Amazing Grace before leaving.
I am quite physically tired. I still think I have issues with some of my medications, but it was a long and emotional weekend, and that could be the cause. I will go to bed early tonight.
I ask that as each of you read this, that you would continue to say a prayer for our nephew and wife. They will hurt for a very long time.
Thursday, October 15, 2009
To my E.P. coupon class,
Thank you for being such a great class! I loved it and I hope you all learned something. Let me know if you ever have any questions. Be sure and check the blogs that I have on my left sidebar. They are all great for giving you the latest deals, and they are all FREE. (some actually charge a fee, can you believe that? )
Feel free to browse around on my blog and check my frugal posts to see some of my great adventures.
Just remember, if you are ever behind me at Wal-Mart, watch out!
Monday, October 12, 2009
That is how it is supposed to be, right? Anything not in that order is just wrong.
I am having a hard time knowing why a precious baby girl, Mary Genevieve, had to have this "natural" order turned around. Our great niece died while still in the womb. She did not have the opportunity to be truly born until she opened her eyes in Jesus' arms, instead of her mother's. Her living will be eternal, but not on this earth.
Our nephew and niece had to say their goodbyes before any hellos and their grief is tremendous. All day I have been reminded of the scripture in Isaiah that says "My ways are not your ways". But being reminded of that is giving little comfort here. This is too big for me to ever wrap my head around. My husband and I suffered the miscarriage of our first child after just 8 weeks. Our attachment and anticipation were already great, and that loss hit us hard. To lose a child after carrying it for a full 9 months, when you had all of your thoughts focused on meeting your son or daughter for the first time is beyond grief. Is there a word in the dictionary to describe this pain?
I love God with all my heart and yes I trust Him, but do I understand this? Never. About 30 years ago I saw someone in my own family go through this same horrible grief. I did not understand it then, and yes, I questioned God on that one. I realize now that there are no answers. Just questions.
Please, for those of you who pray, I am asking for prayers so strong that they are physically felt. This family needs to feel love in a mighty way. If you knew this couple you would know how devastating this loss will be. They adore their children. They do things right. They realize that children are such a gift and they cherish theirs.
Quite honestly, our entire family needs to see healing. We are hurting.
Sometimes life really hurts. I cannot share the details right now, but sometimes there are things that happen that I just do not understand. I love God, I trust God, He has seen me through many things, but this is something that is really hard to grasp.
I just need prayers right now. Not so much for me, although I need them too, but for the ones that this is hurting the most.
Sunday, October 11, 2009
I am so excited. I am gearing up to teach my very first coupon class! I have my Power Point and handouts all ready, my coupons are up to date, (I must be a good example) my "show and tell" receipts are all in order, and I even have copies of the October Walgreens' coupon booklet to hand out. I am stoked! I even have door prizes prepared from my stash of goodies !
When I was preparing my material I was surprised at just how much I have picked up in the last 2 years. It is funny when I go back and look at all of the "secrets" of using coupons. It is so much different than in my mother's day, when she clipped a 5 cent coupon and happily used it on a bag of sugar. Little did she know that things have changed so much that her daughter would one day have to teach a class on using coupons! Mother, I hope I am making you proud.
My first class will be at my school. I am hoping to teach one at church soon as well. People have asked me if I fear letting everyone in on my secrets. ~ Fearing that would cut down on my available bargains. Well, if you would see my stockpile you would know that I shouldn't worry about not cashing in on every deal. I can pick and choose at this point, and if I miss one or two, I will be more than fine.
This has taken quite a bit of work though. I wanted my Power Point to be good and informative. I named it "Couponing 101", but I think it covers more than a 101 class would!
I will let you all know how it goes.
Can you hear my hubby snoring in the living room? I am surprised if you can't. He does that very well.
Not much new around here. I just returned from my trips to Walgreens and CVS, nothing stellar to report. We needed paper towels so I blew through some ECBs to stock up on those. I did just a few deals at Walgreens, and I hit Family Dollar for a deal on Dawn. I ended up purchasing 2 huge packages of paper towels(6 double rolls each pkg) , one package of napkins, 1 Fusion razor, one gallon of milk, one package of Halls, 2 bottles of Softsoap hand soap, and 3 bottles of Dawn. My total out of pocket was just $6.09 plus I earned $2.00 back at CVS and $7.00 back at Walgreens. Not bad.
We are so stocked up right now, that the only other spending I will do this week is at the local grocery to buy some frozen pizzas I have been waiting to go on sale, to use my coupons, and a few more of their coupon specials. I should get out under $20.00.
I am thinking I need to bake something late this afternoon. It is so cool and crisp out that it is just crying out to have me make something.
All in all that is about it for today. I think I will be a bit lazy.
Saturday, October 3, 2009
Click on picture to enlarge. Just don't drool on your keyboard.These are by far the most dangerous things I have ever made. This afternoon, while watching The Food Network, I happened to see these yummy creations being put together. They looked so easy, and I knew I had the ingredients lurking in my pantry. I thought this would be a good use for part of the chocolate I just happened to buy last night at Kmart with a double coupon, so I got to work.
These are called Millionaire's Shortbread, but you just need to think "Twix Bar". They taste exactly like a caramel Twix. They really were easy to make, and in case you truly are drooling now, click here for the recipe. I put mine in a bigger pan than the recipe calls for, so mine are a bit thinner. ( I can eat more that way, right?) As I was looking around on the web at different recipes, I saw that some had really fat layers. That could be deadly. The recipe calls for "good quality" milk chocolate, but I have only met one type of chocolate that I don't like. These were made with Hershey's Kisses, melted in the microwave for about 2 minutes. The only other adjustment I made to the recipe, is that I lined my pan with parchment paper instead of using butter and flour. Only thing I might need to do better, is cook the caramel layer just a little bit longer. See it oozing out of the edges. Although, oozing caramel is not necessarily a bad thing.
I can think of much worse.
Next time I make them I am going to find a way to make a peanut butter layer in the middle instead of the caramel and I will have my very favorite Twix Bar. I am wondering if just peanut butter, straight up would work. Well, that might slide off. Maybe I will a bit of peanut butter to the caramel while it cooks, and make sure it is cooked long enough. Then it will be a gooey-caramel-peanut butter layer.
I am taking some to church tomorrow to share with my high school group of girls. They are just too dangerous to leave them all here. Let me know if you make them, or if you really are drooling.
Tuesday, September 29, 2009
Things have been pretty busy around here so I have not updated for a few days.
This past weekend we went to Tennessee for our nephew's wedding. It was a nice little get away for us and we had a great time with family. I cannot believe that this "little" boy who loved transformers and Michael Jackson could be getting married. I guess time flies.
Last night I hit Walgreens hard and it was quite an amazing trip. I did not take a picture, but I should have. I did MULTIPLE (14) transactions and ended up getting $118.00 worth of stuff for $21.00. It was such a wide variety of food items and health and beauty and that is always a good thing. My Walgreens is so easy to work with, and just so you know, I ALWAYS step aside and let people pass in front of me. I never want to anger their other shoppers, or the clerks for that matter. My 14 transactions were during 3 trips to the store, luckily they are really close.
Today at the end of the school day I was able to share the ins and outs of shopping at Walgreens with a couple of teachers. That was fun. I really do intend to host some coupon classes in the future. I just need to get my materials in order. If you read my blog and are local, please comment sometime and let me know if you would be interested in attending a class in the future. I need to do this. I feel this has been such a blessing in our lives and has cut our spending way down, and I need to pass this knowledge on.
Wednesday, September 23, 2009
This is my lucky week ! I won another give-away! I have gone FOREVER and have not won a single thing, and now I won two prizes! I love my blogs that I visit and I just found out that I won a Nature Valley gift pack from Mrs. Buys More and Mr. Save A. Lot! This gift pack is awesome! Look at what I won! You need to check out this blog because she is great about posting links to printable coupons. She keeps my printer humming, and my wallet happy!
Tuesday, September 22, 2009
I RARELY win anything to speak of. I was delighted to find that I had won a prize from one of my favorite blogs. The blog is titled: Stretching a Buck, and Marcy chose me in her recent "Couponizer" give-a-way! I am so excited about this product and have been wanting to try one. It will be perfect to hold my clipped coupons. I love her blog and have had it listed in my sidebar for a very long time. Not only is she great for helping me spend wisely, she was even thoughtful enough to give me words of encouragement on my blog when I was going through my health issues. Stop by her blog and stay a while!
Plus, you should really check out getting a "Couponizer" for yourself.
Tuesday, September 15, 2009
I am so sleepy right now. it is 7:37 p.m. as I type and there is no real reason for me to be so tired. After school today I did just a few errands, but I ran out of steam so fast. I sat for a while, and hubby came home to me still sitting, and to me having no clue as to what to fix for supper. Finally I got my act together and made quite a good supper in my sorry state. I went rummaging through the house and found some chicken in the freezer that I had roasted, picked off the bone, and froze a while back. I knew I had some heavy cream and a block of parmesan that I needed to use, and some fresh broccoli in the fridge. Before you know it I whipped up some delicious (and very fattening) broccoli / chicken fettuccine alfredo. Check out the sauce recipe here.
Maybe that is why I am so tired. I really did not eat a large portion, but it is rather rich. Other than doing a load of laundry, filling the weekly pill containers, and cleaning up a bit in the kitchen (hubby is helping) I do not plan on much else for the night.
I guess we all have lazy nights once in a while.
Monday, September 14, 2009
I love it when my mailbox holds surprises. I guess that must be the kid in me. Today I had 2 nice items. The first was a box from Pssst, a word-of-mouth, product sampling web-site from General Mills. In the box was a full size sample of the new Nature Valley Granola Nut Clusters. Yummy stuff, I might say. Pssst will send you great products and coupons that you can share with your friends. You then get an email to take a brief survey. It is a pretty easy way to get great coupons and try new products. Go here if you want to sign up. The next item was a $4.00 coupon for a Pace product. That will translate into a pretty big jar of salsa. Pace has an instant win game, and although I thought I would never win, I finally did Go here to play.
Little things make me happy.
Sunday, September 13, 2009
What do you do when you are able to purchase $2.49 Ghiradelli Luxe Milk Chocolate bars for around .20 cents a piece? Buy lots.
Break some up and make cookies! I made 4 batches of Ghiradelli chocolate chunk cookies.
Due to the perfect combination of deals at Walgreens, and having the right coupons, I snagged 40 bars of milk/dark combination chocolate bars. (Not all of them posed for the picture.)
The math went like this:
The grand total for 40 bars was around $7.50, this was for a total of 120 ounces of chocolate. 120 ounces could be translated into 10 bags of chocolate chips, 12 ounces each. This would be like paying .75 cents each for premium bags of chocolate chips. Pretty good deal, I'd say.
Now, the most fun thing about it all, is that I made a double batch of cookies just for the staff at my Walgreens because they always welcome my crazy coupon habit! (CVS needs a treat soon as well, because they are great also.)
The majority of these chocolate bars will go in the freezer. I used 6 bars total today for 4 batches of cookies.
Thursday, September 10, 2009
Tuesday, September 1, 2009
I could have spent just over $22.00 on these items, ($5.99 each for the Northern, and $5.29 each for the Clearasil)But...thanks to Kmart double coupons, I spent just over $22.00 for everything in the bottom picture (t.p. and Clerasil included!) That's what I call smart shopping. If you notice, we will have happy pets in our house!
I love the variety of items too. I have cleaning products, food items, pet treats and food, mascara, other health and beauty items, plus batteries and playing cards. Great way to round out the stockpile. I am loving my coupons! The word is out though that Kmart is suspending all double coupon events until the end of the year. I guess we all better take advantage of it this week.
Tuesday, August 18, 2009
Look what we did last Wednesday night. We lucked into Cardinals' tickets again and zipped off to St. Louis for the evening. We drove to Fairview Heights and then took the Metro right to Busch Stadium. Such an easy way to get there. Free tickets with great seats helped for a fun night. Plus, they won! We also got to see Albert hit another homer which sweetened the evening.
For those of you not familiar with Albert, that is him warming up on the jumbo-tron.
*Corn: both on the cob and off
*Strawberries: some individually frozen, some sliced and sugared, and some chopped and frozen waiting to make jam
*Peaches: sliced and sugared
*Green Beans, 4 quarts given to us: blanched and frozen
*Blackberries: 3 lbs, individually frozen and bagged
Yum, it will taste like summer for a long time.
Shopping to near the point of exhaustion is not a good thing. Super double coupons at Kmart is however. Sister and I know the grocery section of that store very well after our marathon trip yesterday. Has anyone else ever spent 3 HOURS in a Kmart? Granted, it was a yukky, muggy, hot day, but 3 hours? I know we are crazy. But, I will tell you the deals were sweet. I definitely went over my usual spending , but that is how I shop. "Buy at the rock bottom price, buy lots, and don't buy again for months". Thing is, I spend less on these "marathon" trips than I used to spend weekly.
This is how our day went:
- Walgreens #1
- Lunch at Quizno's (those little Torpedo thing are good)
- Back to her house to put Kroger stuff in fridge
- Walgreens #2 (great deal going on with Kraft Velveeta Shells and Cheese, and we cleaned them out)
- Kmart (3 hours)
- Walgreens # 3 (sorry we took all of the Shells and Cheese, they will get more)
- Back to her house to transfer all my loot from her car to mine and to pick up Kroger goodies
- Said good-byes and I came HOME
**We used to shop for fun things and spend our money on cute things for our houses, clothes, craft things and then eat too much at a fancy restaurant for about $20.00 plus tip. Now we bargain and grocery shop and eat for less than $10.00 total. Are we getting old, or have we learned to be frugal? Both probably ** Thing is, we are still spending time together, and enjoying our company just as much. We have just learned how to do it in a fun way and spend less.
I do not have a picture. When I got back home with all my loot I was just focused on putting everything away. We had also shopped at Kroger (not for 3 hours) and there I purchased about 6 pounds of boneless chicken breasts due to a sale and coupon match ups (yes, there are even coupons for chicken). I separated those and vacuum sealed them for the freezer. I also had blackberries that were on an amazing sale to lay out on cookie sheets and quick freeze. I had so much to put away and organize, that I just did not even think of taking a picture.
I am just about couponed out though. My high value ones are gone. Either that, or even with doubling it was not a good deal and I kept my coupon, You gotta pick and choose your deals. I do have one more planned trip to the local Kmart this week to buy our dog food. I have $2.00 coupons for that and I want to double them , but they were out.
I am tired though. My legs ached through the night! I must have logged about 5 miles in that store yesterday wearing flip-flops. Mistake.
Today I am off to a meeting at school, yeah it's starting. My bargain hunting days will slow down, but for the last month I have feathered the nest very wisely! We are set.
Sunday, August 16, 2009
This is why I save those coupons!
First of all, I will say that my Kmart does not mind multiple transactions. There is a 10 coupon limit, and my Kmart allows 10 coupons per transaction. We did several.
Total if no coupons were used: $304.96
Total after coupons : $81.39
-minus a $10.00 Kmart card $71.39
-minus a $5.00 rebate I will get for the cereal, so our total was really, $66.39
Not bad when you look at all I bought. It is hard to make everything out, but there are Christmas presents there, cat food, cereal, cleaning supplies, some food items, health and beauty, and on and on!
Tomorrow I am going to sister's town and going again, but this time I will focus on food only. She has a super Kmart and I can get some great deals on frozen foods and meat products there.
Wednesday, August 12, 2009
Once in a while I actually get paid to buy things. Today I went to Walgreens with a stash of coupons and a $3.00 Register Reward. When all was said and done, I earned a $4.00 Register Reward and they had to give me a 37 cent credit on a "W" card. Click on the picture to read the receipt, it is pretty sweet. In reality, I earned $1.37 total to buy this stuff. One dollar was the extra in the Register Reward and the 37 cents they put on the card. See why I like to use coupons!
Husband and I were graciously given corn from two of our friends today.
What a blessing this was! Our family has quite a history of putting corn up for the freezer. Before husband and I were even married I would help "do" corn. I have done corn for over 30 years. We used to get corn from a relative, then when he retired from farming we were lucky enough to find another source. Last year due to my health issues we did not do corn, but fortunately we were blessed by some people from our church who did some for us.
Today, when husband got off of work we drove to a field and picked our corn. Just the 2 of us. About 6 bushels! We were also given about 1 bushel today already picked from someone else. We then headed home to begin husking, and our "silking team" arrived. Three friends dug right in and silked their way through the mound of corn. I started as soon as I could inside with the blanching, and cutting. Truth be told, husband and I finished just after midnight, but oh, what a wonderful feeling to have two freezers full of corn! (Ours and husband's parents)
99 quart bags cut off the cob
20 bags of 4 ears each, on the cob
60 ears given away
Just a portion of our bounty, isn't it beautiful?
Sunday, July 26, 2009
Just so you all know I am still bargain hunting, even though I have not posted a deal for ages, I bought all of this for only 7 cents out of pocket. The rest was paid for in coupons and extra care bucks. ( I earned back $11.00 more)
Great way to buy items for the classroom wouldn't you say?
Sunday, July 19, 2009
I have taken a break from writing and hope to get back into this soon. I just do not know what to write about right now. I am to doing a few deals and coupon trips, but I don't really want to write about that. I have not done much lately around the house, so not much to write about there. My health is great, so nothing much on that, and we do not have anymore trips planned in the near future. So I guess I am a bit boring right now.
There are some deep thoughts going on in my mind, but I am not willing to put those into words yet.
Check back every now and then and I might surprise you.
Saturday, July 4, 2009
This week husband and I ran away from home again. We were invited by husband's sister and brother-in-law to share Cardinals' tickets so we went to St. Louis for one night. We were gone only about 36 hours but it was a good trip. We squeezed in the following:
A chance to see "our" Cardinals win a home game.
A quick trip to the St. Louis Zoo - reminder, do not go on a holiday weekend. It seemed like there were 7 million people there. But hey, it's free. We visited the bears and apes, and then left.
Last, we went to Albert Pujol's restaurant. I was very impressed with the food and prices there. They let us hold Albert's ESPY award for MVP. His first!
Nice to get away, nice to get home.
Thursday, June 25, 2009
In case you are missing my "frugal -look what I bought for pennies- posts", I have pretty much taken a break from shopping. We just do not need much at all. The stockpile is huge and we are living out of that and the freezer and pantry. I did go to the grocery after we got back from our trip to replenish a few things, but mostly I am using up what we have. I am saving money and adding a bit back into savings after vacation spending.
I am still buying my Sunday papers, because a great coupon is always good to have. When the next Kmart doubles rolls around, I am sure I will be there. I just am not chasing every deal right now, because my past deals are serving me well.
I think they only thing I really need right now are potatoes. That and milk. We ALWAYS need milk.
Tuesday, June 23, 2009
Gee, it is hard to un-vacation. (made up word , I know)
I do have the suitcases empty, all nestled together and placed in the closet. I bought new suitcases for this trip because all we had were a collection of old, somewhat broken down , suitcases that were currently housing my winter wardrobe. I decided that a nice set of designated "trip only" suitcases were in order. We have another trip coming up and it is about time we had a decent set of luggage. These were on sale and an extra 30% off so the time was right. They served us well on this trip.
I do still have odds and ends all over the place from vacation yet to deal with. I did put a dent in that today, but there is still more later to finally put away.
Like I said yesterday, it is HOT here. What a shock to the system to go from fall temps to blazing hot summer overnight! Thank you God for our air conditioner.
I am missing my bargains and deals, and I am sure that before the week is out I will have to make a few trips to satisfy my urges. Any amazing deals out there?
While I am working through the house, I am also playing a lot on the computer (10 days without was causing withdrawal symptoms).
Look at what I did at a neat site, dumper.net
That is our cat, Abby and I just put her in a museum! I played around yesterday with some baby pictures and they were adorable!
Monday, June 22, 2009
View from our condo.
Living room / Dining room
Wow is not a good enough word, but I said it about 1000 times in the last 10 days. Eastern Massachusetts is just gorgeous. We spent our vacation in the Berkshires and they live up to their reputation. I am amazed at what God did in His creation.
Living room / Dining room
Wow is not a good enough word, but I said it about 1000 times in the last 10 days. Eastern Massachusetts is just gorgeous. We spent our vacation in the Berkshires and they live up to their reputation. I am amazed at what God did in His creation.
We had a fantastic time and went to a bunch of places! Here is the quick list :
- First night in Erie, PA- we ate at a fun place, Quaker Steak and Lube then drove up to Lake Erie for a bit
- Arrived at our condo in the Berkshires. Ahhhh. Nice place, good accommodations, cool temperatures (returned home to sweltering heat) It rained a lot, but we managed to dodge the raindrops enough to have a lot of fun.
- Visited Vermont 3 times, The Bennington Pottery place is disappointing. When you have a son who throws clay on a wheel to make pottery it is sad to see pressed pieces sold as "hand-made"
- Bought maple syrup and great cheeses in Vermont
- Drove down to Connecticut just to say we did, then turned around and headed right back
- Went to 4 museums: The Norman Rockwell, The Clark (art collection) The National Baseball Hall of Fame, and The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Something for everyone.
- Went to Mt. Greylock, the highest point in Massachusetts. 3,491 feet. Not a record by any means, but when you consider that we live in a town with an elevation of 597 feet, it is impressive. We drove to the summit and then climbed a tower that was 92 feet tall to look out .
- Stepped foot on the Appalachian trail. Okay, I walked on it for about 10 feet. Interesting story there.
- Went to Stockbridge, Mass. / Saw the famous Red Lion Inn--did not eat there, lunch would have been at least $75.00 for 3 of us.
- Saw scenery that takes your breath away
- Laid out by the pool, in 64 degree temps! It was sunny enough to keep us warm and the pool was heated.
- Cooked most all of our meals at the condo.
- Loved The National Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, Ny. Quaint town, shops line the streets for about 4 blocks, mostly with a baseball theme.
- Rocked in Cleveland at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. We found it interesting that some of our favorites are not inducted yet. ( I kept saying indicted --big difference)
- Rested, watched movies, ate on the patio, and generally felt blessed to go on such a great trip!
- OUCH---spent $5.99 for one gallon of milk when we ran out mid-week. A trip to town is at least 20 minutes one way so we bought a gallon at the resort across the road, it had a "grocery store". I sure am glad that I am frugal on most days!
Friday, June 5, 2009
I could live on those two foods. Well almost, I must get my potato quotient in there.
Last week bone-in chicken breasts were on special for 88 cents a pound. I bought about 16 pounds. I roasted most of it (some I pulled off the bone after roasting, some I left as is and we will thaw those and throw them on the grill for a few minutes all sauced up) , I de-boned some of it into boneless -skinless breasts and tenders , cooked down any trimmings into a delicious broth, and now I have it all divided up in the freezer. Today we purchased strawberries at 49 cents a pound! Husband and I both bought some so now my freezer is packed with an assortment of sliced and sweetened, crushed and frozen ( I will pull those back out to make jam when I am ready) , and a tray of whole berries that are freezing individually so I can bag them whole later.
Shopping the way I do (stockpiling) allows me to take advantage of the really big sales without feeling that my family will suffer that week if I put most of my grocery money into one or two items.
Even if I spend all my grocery money on a few items, there is always something in my freezer or pantry that I bought up on a previous sale and I make my meals from what I have on hand.
I love being frugal.
Wednesday, June 3, 2009
School is out now and I really hope to keep this up a bit better. As I sit here today there is a gentle rain coming down so I am naturally forced inside today. My flowers will get a drink and I will get to focus on the inside of the house.
I have many projects that I want to work through this summer. A few have already been accomplished and today I should knock off a few more. We are getting ready for vacation soon. Can I just tell the world how very excited I am about this year's vacation? This is HUGE to me after what we went through last summer and I plan to soak up every possible bit of joy there is to be had.
We will be going to gorgeous area in Massachusetts. I have never been to that state, so I will add another one or two on my list. I need to learn how to spell it though since I am going there. (thank goodness for spell check) We will focus on mostly scenic, outdoor activities, and just relax!
I am taking an unofficial break from crazy couponing. I will still buy the papers if I think they will benefit me, but I have a huge stockpile now and I do not want the stockpile to outlive my family. There is just so much toothpaste one can use. Actually it is time to thin it out and give a goodie box to someone in need. I just do not feel the need to chase every bargain. We will live out of our freezer, pantry, and stockpile for a while. My grocery bills over the last month have been quite small because of all of this and that excites me. This way of shopping really pays off. I am sure I will take advantage of the super deals out there, I made $8.00 this week at Walgreen's and I won't stop doing those deals (Ecotrin aspirin, I bought 4 boxes with coupons that made them free, then got back $2.00 on each in register rewards--I paid a total of 8 cents and made back $8.00) I just am slowing way down for a while. Don't worry, I am not going back to my old ways. I will return in full force later on. I am too good at this to stop. Ha.
More posting to come so check back more often.
Tuesday, May 19, 2009
In case you think that I would share intimate details from prayer requests and small group meetings with the world on my blog without care, please know that I sent a rough draft of the following post to my friend for her approval. I just do not want anyone to think that I would break the trust we held in that group.
Friday, May 15, 2009
I so love my coupons. Today we were in another town to pack youngest up to come home for the summer. While there I was able to take advantage of some amazing coupons from Target. I had 52 coupons in all, (glad you weren't behind me?) about half were Target printables, and the others were manufacturer coupons. Many of them were Kraft coupons that I printed this week at home. Target allows you to "stack" coupons by using one Target coupon and one manufacturer coupon on the same item. Big savings result.
Wednesday, May 6, 2009
Tonight husband and I went to KFC to have dinner courtesy of Oprah and KFC. I left with a very satisfied tummy, but a very discouraged outlook on America.
Mind you, this was a FREE meal.
When husband and I arrived there were about 15 people in line, all with coupons in hand. After getting our meal and while dining there, at least 20 more came in, and as the others, everyone had a coupon for their free meal. This coupon clearly states that this meal is a manager's choice meal, and with this particular restaurant anyway, that included which sides were given.
Oh my, I have not heard so much complaining for a long time.
People were upset when they would temporarily run out of grilled chicken. What did they expect? This restaurant was graciously replacing the grilled chicken with your choice of fried when they ran out, and people still grumbled. People complained about the sides, and about the fact that you could only print FOUR coupons.
I made it a point to thank two employees for our meal and to tell them how delicious it was.
It really was delicious. I am also glad that we dined in, purchased drinks, and that we did not cause them to use the extra packaging on a carry out order.
I thought though, how sad this experience was. Our country is in the middle of one of its hardest recessions, and someone steps up to "give everyone in America a free meal". I would think people would actually show a little gratitude. I would also think that if the year were 1940 and someone would have done this that the public would probably have kissed the hands of those that prepared it.
What has happened since then ?
Tuesday, April 28, 2009
All of my devoted fans (both of you) have had to wait forever for this post, and it will be very disappointing. I just want to wish my hubby a very happy birthday before his birthday is over.
I will post again soon.
Happy Birthday Dear.
Sunday, April 19, 2009
Double coupons at our Kmart again...
Although, if you live in my area you saw that it does not say so on the flyer, but they are in-fact doubling.
This would have been $107.00 before coupons, (lots of grocery items this time) but all this loot only cost me $18.55 .
The only thing missing from the picture is another 12 pack of Pepsi, because husband is taking that to work.
I know that saving coupons and planning out every shopping trip takes a lot of time, but it is well worth it!
I did concentrate more this time on non-health / beauty items. I only bought a few. I tried to focus on the grocery coupons I had. I wish our Kmart had a larger grocery section, but I am not complaining.
Don't know if I will go back for much more though, I am very stocked up.
Thursday, April 16, 2009
My Stars and Garter Belts! (as my Grandma would say)
Look at this box of chocolate! You just "gotta" click on this picture to enjoy it.
I am fortunate to have been chosen to spread the word about the new Werther's Original Chocolates, and oh my my, this is amazing! House Party chose me to "host" a party to get the word out about this amazing new treat. (You noticed the open package didn't you) They are no longer accepting applications, but there are always new house parties out there.
Anyway, if you cannot tell by the picture, there are 60 bags of chocolate here! There are 30 with milk chocolate and 30 with dark. They are not wimpy bags either, there are 24 pieces in each bag. Each bag weighs 5.2 oz. Do the math. (19.5 pounds of chocolate!) The dollar bill gives you a size reference. I plan to pass some out to my small group, and at my Girls Night Out (girls you get the bulk because I told House Party you were who I wanted to treat...) . Don't worry, I will still have some for school, family, and friends. Of course, I will have to keep a "few" bags...
The box also has a stash of coupons to drool at, Post-it-Notes , and a cozy chocolate colored fleece blanket for me. I am in chocolate wonderland at the moment.
Sunday, April 12, 2009
I can honestly say that I did not need any of the things in this picture. However, because of coupons, I EARNED one dollar on each item. These were all "free" after Extra Care Bucks (CVS) or Register Rewards (Walgreens). My one dollar coupons that I had for each item helped me "make" money.
The money I made because of coupons allowed me to buy the items in this picture which I did need/want. Coupons not only save you money, but they can also MAKE you money. I also had coupons on each of these items, and combined with the store sales, and Extra Care Bucks on the Colgate, I was able to purchase these with no real cost to me. Loving my coupons...
Thursday, April 9, 2009
I know that fresh flowers are not the most frugal purchase, but 31 years does not come around often. Husband sent these to me at school yesterday for our anniversary and I love them. I guess that being frugal and clipping coupons helps make purchases like this possible.
He did good didn't he?
Tuesday, April 7, 2009
This is the eve of my anniversary.
31 years ago tonight I was anticipating my wedding day.
Oh, if I had known then what I know now...I would have been even more excited.
I am so blessed to think that God somehow saw fit to allow me to share my life with this man.
Last year we went on a little get-a-way for our 30th. We had absolutely no idea at that time just what was in store for us. This past year of our marriage has proven to me a million times over that I made the right choice for my husband. He loves me so. He has been an unbelievable anchor in my life. He has given me strength and encouragement, and has shown me in so many ways just how deep his love really is.
I am so thankful for the life we have built, one that is centered on Christ. A life together that knows what is truly valuable. I am thankful for our two sons, and the way we all love each other.
My life is so full.
I know that God provides for us in many ways. The relationships that He helps us form on this earth are a huge means of His provision and I am so grateful for this particular relationship.
So, tonight , on the eve of our 31st anniversary, I want to tell my husband how very much I love him, how I am so glad he included me in the building of his world, and how my world could never be the same without him.
I love you honey, thank you so very much.
Gee, I have not posted for a while!
School sure has a way of keeping me busy. I miss my days off where I could post whenever I wanted to.
Here are a few highlights in bullet form;
- School has gone well since returning from break. The teacher I work with has graciously allowed me to read my very favorite children's book to the class and we have been having a great time with it. I cannot underline the title in this program, so forgive me, but it is The Boxcar Children. We have done a lot of special things so far, made homemade bread, (bread machines) tasted blueberries, had "brown" cookies, and played "Stump the Teacher". --Ha! I have only read this book about 15 times, so it will be hard for them to stump me with a Boxcar question.
- We had a great family weekend with husband's family. His niece from Canada and her husband and new baby were home so the weekend was filled with visits and eating. Maybe too much visiting and eating, as 6 family members have come down with a 24 hour bug so far.
- And yes, I have been bargain hunting. Sorry, no pictures or details this time, but let me say that Walgreens in my new friend. They look forward to my visits and always let me leave with a smile on my face.
So there you have it. A quick version of my last week and a half. I will attempt to catch things up on a more regular fashion. Maybe.
Friday, March 27, 2009
~Pretty flowers in freshly mulched bed~
I think that when Monday rolls around I will be glad to get back to school so I can sit down! I have had a very busy week. I am so glad though to have accomplished as much as we have. No major work in the house like we did last year, but I have gotten a lot done in the way of cleaning, pitching, organizing, and yard work. (plus enough bargain hunting to sustain me for a few days)
This is the run down of the week:
- Made many trips to Kmart for double coupon madness(whoo-hoo)
- A visit to several stores in my sister's town (oh yeah, I visited my sister too)
- A major de-junking of the basement (more to go--ALWAYS more to go)
- My winter clothes are packed away in suitcases and spring has arrived in my closet
- Finished raking fall leaves out of the flowerbeds
- Mulch spread on 3/4 of the flower beds and borders--had not mulched for about 4 years
- (We bought 45 bags of mulch! Started out with 25 and realized soon that was not going to cut it--I know we should have bought by the yard, to be more frugal, but we got a good price and convenience won out this time)
- --Plan to finish mulching tomorrow
- Hosed down the porch and patio and purchased two new chairs for the front porch
- Moved the treadmill from the sun-room into my new "multi-purpose" room
- Deep cleaned youngest' bedroom
- Made 3 batches of homemade waffles and froze 23 divided up in freezer bags
- Helped a friend take a meal to friends at the hospital in a nearby town
- Laundry is caught up, the freezer and pantry are full, so tomorrow when husband gets off work we will go out on the town (for us that would consist of dinner and a movie at best, but it is a night out)
I have had a good week, even though it has not been the lay on the beach type of break. I was so limited last summer when it came to working around my house , that it actually feels good to do all of this again. I did not work in my yard at all last year due to health reasons after planting a few things in my garden. Friends helped with everything else, and it sure does feel good to play in the dirt again.
Thursday, March 26, 2009
Too bad my boys are not home this morning! They might even rise up and call me blessed. Well, probably not. I did get very ambitious though and make homemade waffles. I found an incredible whole-wheat, overnight recipe here. You will have to check out that blog. This lady could come cook for me anytime!
This waffle batter is so cool because you mix it up the night before and put it in the fridge where it does its magic. Then the next morning you heat the waffle iron, and whalla! (how do you spell that?) *****correction*****"whalla" is actually "voila" with a schwa over the letter a (not that I know how to type the schwa)******(thanks Aunt D.)
Next time though I will double the recipe. I was hoping for many more so I could freeze quite a few for when the boys are home. This made 8 waffles. My waffle-maker makes 7 inch round waffles, which are not very big. Husband and I loved them this morning and each ate one and a half. I have 5 for the freezer. I love that the whole wheat is not overpowering so that you can still taste your syrup. I am thinking that while the waffle maker is sitting in the kitchen (it lives in the basement) I might just make up a double batch and let them work their magic during the day. It only takes a few minutes to make each one so I might just do that.
We could have waffles for supper...