Wednesday, October 20, 2010
I really would like to runaway for just a few days and sleep. Do absolutely nothing but sleep. Is that possible?
I doubt it, but man is that a lovely thought.
Tuesday, October 19, 2010
This is how our weeks have looked for several months now. And this is just the regularly scheduled stuff, not even the extra stuff that gets thrown in there every week.
Sunday: church, nap, church
Tuesday: Bible study in Gurley, start cleaning house, soccer practice, dinner
Wednesday: Library duty, still working on house, laundry, church
Thursday: Library duty, still working on house, laundry, Science Club
Friday: More house work, more laundry, Soccer game
Saturday: Prepare our lesson for our Sunday school class, Work on projects around the house Back to Sunday
This does not include all the doctors appointments, volunteering at the school, couponing classes I teach, Indian Princess stuff, remodeling a bathroom, building a patio, etc. It's a good thing we only allow our kids to participate in one activity outside of church and school. It truly is a blessing that God changed my Spirit a few years back. I used to not be able to go to bed with a dish in the sink or a dirty bathroom. Praise God, He changed that. Because there is usually at least a bowl in the sink, and now the bathrooms only get cleaned once a week.
So tell me, will life slow down or should I just get used to it? I want to know what I'm in for.
On a different note, my Meniere's is now under control due to extremely low sodium diet and a diuretic. I've lost 15 pounds too.
Little Man is doing better from the Staph infection in his elbow. It has been rough for a while. Becuase Staph is so difficult and taxing on the immune system, right after we got him over that he got another viral infection that caused fever for 7 days. About a week after that he got a head cold and upper respiratory cold that lasted for about 2 weeks. He has now been healthy again, this time for about two weeks. So we are praying that his immune system is finally getting ahead of all the germs.
Wednesday, August 18, 2010
Monday...Well, Monday's are Monday's. Then add an ECoG test on top of that. I have been diagnosed with Meniere's Disease. So much fun for me. I knew I was dizzy, nauseas, echoing in my ears for a long time, just didn't realize they were all related. So now I am on a low, and I mean LOW sodium diet. And I return to the doctor on Friday to review results and get more medication to take. Little Man comes home from school with a red, swollen, sore elbow.
Tuesday...Took Little Man to the doctor, because I knew his elbow was infected. Can't take a chance with infections due to his heart condition. So we spent on hour at the doctors office yesterday morning to discover he has a Staph infection. First, squeezing the infection out of the elbow. Can you say, OUCH? Blood was drawn from one arm for CBC and sedimentation rate. Doctor called Little Man's cardiologist. After that call, more blood had to be drawn from the other arm for a blood culture, to see it the infection had gone septic. Left knowing we might have to go on IV antibiotics, an appointment for tomorrow, and horse pill antibiotics to take 3 times a day. Then Little Man could not go back to school, due to having to monitor his behavior. In the midst of the doctor's office visit, my Meniere's decided to make a visit. Dizzy, nausea, had to lay down. Why in the middle of Little Man's appointment. Squeezed more infection out last night. Can you say, GROSS?
Wednesday...Back to the doctor's office at 8:30 this morning. Infection was not found in the blood. So that is a good thing. Still able to squeeze infection out of the elbow. The elbow is still red, but not blood red like yesterday. Swollen, but not as bad. And still tender. Meniere's set in again, UGH. Left doctor's office this morning with another appointment for tomorrow morning. IV antibiotics is still a potential. Will lance the elbow and clean out as much of the infection as possible tomorrow. Trying to give the antibiotic a fighting chance of catching up to the infection.
Tomorrow...We'll see at the pediatric office.
Friday...Back to the ENT for Meniere's.
Doctors are great, but sometimes, do you ever feel like you are just seeing them WAY to much.
Monday, August 16, 2010
Conversation goes like this (with Mini-Me still under the sheets):
Mommy: What are you doing?
Mommy: Why are you hiding?
Mini-Me: Because I want too.
Mommy: Why do you want to hid?
Mini-Me: So daddy can't find me.
Mommy: Why don't you want daddy to find you?
Mini-Me: I don't want him to spank my hinny.
Mommy: Why would daddy spank your hinny?
Mini-Me: Becuase the chair fell.
Mommy: Oh, okay (trying not to laugh)
Little did he know, his cuteness kept him out of trouble, becuase he dented the aqaurium stand pretty bad and dented the bar chair as well. Apparently, he was sitting under the chair which we tell him not to do a lot. I guess we don't know what we are talking about.
Friday, August 13, 2010
So here's how I did it this week.
M&M's 2/$4.00 get $1.00 +up
Buy 3 bags of M&M's
Use Buy 1 Get 1 MC
Use $1.00 off pretzel M&M's
OOP = $3.00
+Up = $1.00
Granier Shampoo and Conditioner 2/$6.00 get $2.00 +Up
Buy 2 bottles
Use 2 $1.00 MC
Use $1.00 +Up
OOP = $3.00
+Up = $2.00
So, three bags of M&M's and shampoo and conditioner for $6.00 OOP and $2.00+Up rewards in my pocket.
So far the only real difference I see between the CVS program and the RiteAid program is the rain check procedure. With CVS you can get a rain check for the sale price with the ECB attached. So if the item would be $4.00 with $3.00 ECB, when the item is back in stock you would go in, get the item and they would print your ECB. However, with the RiteAid rain check procedure, if the same item is $4.00 with $3.00 +Up rewards and you have to get a rain check it will be written for $1.00. Rite Aid is unable to print the +Up rewards out after the sale, so they will right the rain check for the sale amount minus the +Up reward amount.
Friday, August 6, 2010
First as for coupons, Staples accepts them. They will take MC and SC coupons. I have never tried a CC, but I also have not asked. That is always something that you can ask. They will tell you and not even get mad about it.
Secondly, if you don't have one of their store cards you have to have one to participate in their programs. It is another free card like Kroger, CVS, and RiteAid.
Now, the "Easy Rebates" (ER) is a program where you go into the store and purchase the items you want and will use that have the ER attached to them. You will pay for them out of pocket or with "Staples Rewards". After you have made your purchase, you will log in to the Staples Easy Rebate website, which is on your receipt. Set up an account so you only have to login every time after the first time and not re-enter your address, etc. Follow the instructions on the website to enter the numbers off of your receipt. The instructions are very easy to follow and very helpful. After you have enter the information, it will come up with how much money you will get back. And with the rebates, it is money. Staples will send you a check in the mail in about 4 to 6 weeks that you can take to the bank and cash. I put the money back into my grocery budget because that's where it came from the begin with. My mom saves hers as her fun money. Do what works for you.
Examples from next weeks Staples Ad for Easy Rebates:
1- Staples Multipurpose copy paper is on sale for $4.99, you will get $3.99 in rebate money back. There is a limit of 2. So you would buy 2 for $9.98 and then get $7.98 back in rebate money in the mail.
2 - Scotch Tape dispenser is on sale for $3.00. You will get $3.00 in rebate money.
3 - Post note 1 1/2" x 2" 12 pack is on sale for $5.29. You will get $5.29 back in rebate money.
So if you bought all these items at one time and submitted you rebate at one time you would spend $18.27 plus tax out of pocket, but in a few weeks you will get a check back from Staples for $16.27. Therefore, all you have paid is $2.00 for your paper and sales tax. And if you do it Sunday, no sales tax due to sales tax holiday.
Now on to the "Staples Rewards" program. This program is money back to use in Staples only. They send out the rewards once a quarter, so they build up. You don't have to do anything to get these, like the rebates were you have to submit them. I have been know to get $80.00 in rewards back to spend on ink or whatever else I need. You will know what has rewards attached to it from the sale paper as will. I'll go over next weeks in just a minute. One thing to remember with Staples is they will give you $2.00 per ink cartridge up to 10 per month back in Staples Rewards and 10% back on ink. They are also known to run specials on ink and cartridges sometimes. When they do this you will get 20% in ink rewards and $4.00 on each cartridge when purchased and return in the same transaction. This is how I manage to get a lot of rewards, because I save my cartridges and take them in when they run this special. I get a box of ink and turn in all my cartridges and get $4.00 per cartridge up to 10 and 20% on my ink purchase.
That's two ways for earn rewards, then the other is through purchases that are in the sale paper. So for next week they have a PNY 2g flash drive with rewards attached to it. So you would buy one flash drive for $9.99 and get $8.99 back in Staples rewards to use in the store. Now remember your rewards are sent out once a quarter, so you will have to wait a little while, unless it happens to be near the end of the quarter. But it's worth the wait to know you get your money back to spend in the store. So that is how I get most of my ink. When my rewards come in, I buy more ink and return cartridges and earn more rewards with my rewards. Therefore I am spending very little out of pocket for ink and paper, and other miscellaneous office supplies for around the house.
•Manufacturer coupons are found in newspapers, magazines and even affixed to products. The UPC on these coupons begins with a “5.”
Rite Aid Manufacturer Coupons
• Rite Aid Manufacturer coupons generally appear in our weekly circular, on our website and are sent to customers via e-mail. These coupons are labeled “manufacturer coupon” and have a UPC that begins with “49.”
Rite Aid Valuable Coupons
• Rite Aid coupons are labeled “variable coupon” and have a UPC that begins with “48.”
Internet/Print at Home coupons
• Rite Aid will accept Internet/print at home coupons up to the equivalent value of $5.00 off.
• A Rite Aid coupon (with the Rite Aid logo) is NOT considered an Internet coupon (even if printed off the Internet) and is therefore not subject to the $5.00 maximum.
+UP Reward Coupons
• +UP Reward coupons are special coupons earned by a customer in a prior purchase that can be used for any nonprescription purchase with a small number of exclusions that are listed on the +UP coupon. Multiple +UP coupons can be used (subject to the printed exclusions) up to the amount of purchase before sales tax.
Buy One, Get One Free
• We accept two coupons for the purchase of two items that are on Buy One, Get One Free Promotion.
• We accept a Buy One, Get One Free Coupon with an item that is in our flyer as Buy One, Get One Free, meaning both items are free. The cash register will compute any sales tax due, which varies by state law.
Total Purchase Coupons
• Rite Aid may feature total purchase coupons which discount the total purchase amount based upon meeting specific requirements. For example, $5 off a $25 purchase price threshold coupon.
• These coupons are accepted under the following conditions:
o The coupon is valid and in date; only one total purchase coupon
o Total purchase equals or exceeds $25 before tax (before any
coupons are applied).
o Coupons for individual items can also be used including another
“48″ coupon that is tied to an item in the transaction.
o Provided the total of items purchased is equal to or greater than
the purchase requirement, other coupons can be used in
conjunction with the total purchase coupon.
• Coupons must be valid and in date; Coupons cannot be exchanged for cash.
• Register will validate coupon through scanning or keyed entry of the coupon UPC number.
• In the event that any item’s selling price is less than the value of the coupon, Rite Aid will accept the coupon in exchange for the selling price of the item. Coupon redemption can never exceed the selling price of an item and no cash back is allowed.
• When making a return for a product that had a coupon attached, Rite Aid cannot refund cash for the value of the coupon and cannot return the coupon that was used.
• Rite Aid reserves the right to not accept any coupon where the validity or the coupon cannot be established.
• More than one coupon can be used on the purchase of a single item under the following conditions:
• All coupons match the item being purchased.
• The total of the coupons is equal to or less than the selling price of the item before sales tax.
• No more than one “48″ Rite Aid valuable coupon, one “49″ Rir,eAid Manufacturer coupon, and one “5″manufacturer coupon can be used on a single item.
• Rite Aid may accept multiple identical coupons for multiple qualifying items as long as there is sufficient stock to satisfy other customers within the store manager’s sole discretion.
Saturday, July 10, 2010
Friday, July 2, 2010
So much to say, but so little can be said.
Why do people delete you as a friend on facebook?
When you think you are supposed to talk to someone, but you know it will be difficult what do you do?
When talking about your own life, testimony, is there a line that crosses into gossip because it involves others?
Why can you be so loved, but yet feel so alone?
How do you get out of your introverted box after being hurt?
Is caution good or is it just fear?
So much to think, so little answers.
Sunday, May 16, 2010
1) Get organized and stay that way. Find the system that works for you. I use the basket/box system. Some people use binders. Some use accordion folders. It depends on what works for you. If it doesn't work for you, you will not do it. For me, I find that the basket the easiest because I can categorize and find my coupons quickly. You can tell from the picture some of the categories I use. Set yours with the categories you use.
2) Spend as much or as little time as you want couponing. The more time the more savings. With that said, I am a stay at home mom, so I have more time where as my sister works. So she cuts her coupons, and shops at Wal-Mart and does the CVS game. She IS saving. Is she saving as much? NO. Does it work for her? YES. Is she still doing it? YES, because that what works for her and her time. If you don't have time to check the blogs everyday, don't. If you want to check one everyday because that's what you have time for, then I recommend Mrs. Buys More and Mr. Saves a Lot. On the right hand side of her blog, she has a list of all the new printables, by name and value. You can look there and print what you want and probably get most of the best coupons out there.
3) If you don't have budget, make one. I have a budget of $270.00 per two weeks. Set what your budget is and do not go over it.
4) This is probably the second most beneficial tip besides getting organized and staying that way. Use CASH. Stop swiping that debit card. My budget was $300.00 per two weeks. I shopped at Wal-mart and Sam's because they were the cheapest places and I swiped my debit card. When I started couponing, I took stock of how much I was actually spending. (I knew I was going over my budget, but I did not know by how much.) Well, I was actually spending around $550.00 per two weeks. OUCH!!! So I decided to start using cash and cash only. If you don't have it to spend, you won't. You'll stop buying things you don't need. You begin to ask, do we need this, or do we want this? Yes, there is a big difference.
5) Turn it into a game and have fun.
Saturday, May 15, 2010
Here are the facts about Walgreens:
1) They will stack a SC with a MC.
2) They will NOT accept two coupons if you are only buying one item excluding statement number one. I'll explain this more in a minute.
3) Their Register Rewards (RR) expire quickly (two weeks tops), where as ECBs usually expire in one month.
4) Use your RR, then MC, then SC.
5) You can't use a RR from one item, to buy that same item and get another RR (unlike the ECB program).
6) Very store dependent as to whether they are nice or not.
Walgreens has what they call their Register Rewards program (no card required). However, it does not work the same or as well as the CVS program. So look back at statement number 2 "They will NOT accept two coupons if you are only buying one item excluding statement number one." So for example, say they have Pantene on sale for $3.50 per bottle and you have a $1 MC and a $2 RR from last week, you can not use both even though the total of coupons is less than the total purchase amount. Therefore, you would have to have a filler item. There are usually some candys for very little that you can fill in with; however, I try not to do this much because then you are not saving as much. This is where a $2/2 MC comes in handy, because you buy two and then you can use your MC and your RR. However, here is where Walgreens is stinky too. You have to remember statement number 4, use your RR first then your MC because the computer won't accept the RR after the MC, but it will if you do the MC then the RR. Crazy, I know.
For the sake of trying to make this as easy to understand as possible, I am going to just walk you through my transactions this week. Walgreens is difficult, but worth it, if you can figure it out.
Transaction 1: EOS shave cream for $2.99 earn $2.99 RR
Buy 1 EOS at $2.99
Buy 1 Snickers at $.89
Use $3 RR from last week
OOP = $.88 pre-tax
Earned $3 RR
Transaction 2: Schick Hydro Razor at $7.99 earn $5 RR
Buy 1 Schick Razor at $7.99
Buy 1 Snickers at $.89
Use $3 RR from previous transaction
Use $5 MC from paper
OOP = $.88 pre-tax
Earned $5 RR
Transaction 3: Pepsi 12 packs 4/$12 earn $3 RR
Buy 4 12 packs
Use $5 RR from previous transaction
OOP = $7.00 pre-tax
Earned $3 RR
Did I need more shave cream? NO. Did we need another razor? NO. We have given lots of those away. We wanted the soda. So in order to save the most money, it was better to do all three transactions then to just go in and buy the sodas with my $3 RR from last week. If I had done just one transaction I would have paid $9.00 pre-tax for my sodas and earned $3 RR. But, by doing the three transactions I got donation items (shave cream and razor), two snickers bars, and then my 4 12 packs for $8.76 pre-tax and still earned my final $3 RR. So I spent less money out of pocket, and I have more stuff to give away.
As you can tell, I don't hesitate to pick something up if it is going to save me money in the long run even if we are not going to use it because it is something that can be given away. To some that might seem wrong, and if it is to you, don't do it. However, to me it is not, because I know those items will be given to people that need them and we do not throw them away.
Friday, May 14, 2010
Now I show you all this to then tell you that all this stuff, over time, I have maybe spent $75 out of pocket. The body wash alone at $5 a bottle (most are Nivea) with 21 bottles would be $105. So yet again, couponing is worth it.
CVS is probably my second favorite place to shop after Publix. Why? Because they are nice and I can get tons of FREE to almost free stuff. So on to the details. First and foremost, if you don't have a CVS Extra care card, get one. It is free and will save you tons. You can't do what I am going to explain without it. At the end of this post, I will give you this weeks CVS run that I did so hopefully it will all make more sense.
With CVS the Extra care card is used to get extra care bucks (ECB). So if the ad says that Crest Pro-Health toothpaste is on sale for $3.50 with $3.50 ECB that means it will be FREE and there is always a limit per household (2 in this example). Check it because sometime you can get several of the same thing. ECBs can be rolled from one transaction to the next. So you buy the Crest toothpaste, using your coupon ($.75 MC in this example). Pay out of pocket the difference, which is $2.75 plus tax. Then when the transaction is complete the computer will print your $3.50 ECB. Then you can take that $3.50 ECB and buy another tube of toothpaste, paying the $3.50 with your $3.50 ECB. Therefore that tube is completely FREE, and you get another $3.50 ECB printed to use on your next transaction.
So here is what I did this week. I had a total of 5 transaction. By the way, your CVS will love you more if you have multiple transaction and someone comes up in line behind you, finish the current transaction, step out of the way, let that person check out then proceed on. Show Christian love, don't be rude and make the next person wait through all of your transactions.
Transaction 1: Right Guard Total Defense 5 at $2.49 with $2 ECB (limit of 2)
Buy 2 at $2.49 = $4.98
Use $3/2 MC
Use $1 ECB from last week
OOP = $.98 pre-tax
Earned $4.00 ECB
Transaction 2: U Kotex Tampons at $4.99 with $4.99 ECB (limit of 1)
Buy 1 at $4.99
Buy 2 Trident gum for $.99 (as filler)
Use $1 MC for Kotex
Use $1 SC for Kotex from the CVS.com coupon site
Use $.50/2 for Trident
Use $4.00 ECB from previous transaction
OOP = $.47 pre-tax
Earned $4.99 ECB
Transaction 3: Pantene shampoo and conditioner 2/$6.97 with $3 ECB (limit of 1)
Buy 1 shampoo
Buy 1 conditioner
Buy 1 Trident gum for $.99 (as filler)
Use $2/2 MC for Pantene
Use $.50 for Trident
Use $4.99 ECM from previous transaction
OOP = $.47 pre-tax
Earned $3.00 ECB
Transaction 4: Crest Pro-Health toothpaste at $3.50 with $3.50 ECB (limit of 2)
Buy 1 at $3.50
Buy 1 Trident at $.99
Use $.75 MC for Crest
Use $.50 for Trident
Use $3.00 ECB from previous transaction
OOP = $.74 pre-tax
Earned $3.50 ECB
Transaction 5: Crest Pro-Health toothpaste at $3.50 with $3.50 ECB (limit of 2)
Buy 1 at $3.50
Use $3.50 ECB from previous transaction
OOP = $.00 pre-tax
Earned $3.50 ECB
So now I have $3.50 ECB to start next weeks transaction with. As you can tell, I got 2 stick of deodorant (not the husband's brand, but makes great donation items), Kotex tampons, Pantene shampoo and conditioner, 2 tubes Crest toothpaste, and 3 packages of Trident gum for $2.66 pre-tax and I still have $3.50 ECB left to start next week.
I pretty much only buy things at CVS that have ECB attached to them because that is how you save the most money; however, there are times that I use my ECBs to buy something that does not have ECB attached. I try not to do that often though.
I do all my math before I leave the house that way I know what I want and in what order I am going to buy them in.
If CVS is out of something that you wanted that has ECBs attached, get a raincheck. They will put the ECBs on it and you can get the ECBs with the rain check when the item comes in stock. And as you can tell from my first transaction, CVS will stack a MC with a SC for the same item and use your ECBs no matter how many items you have. This is one BIG difference between CVS and Walgreens.
I think I am going to save Walgreens for tomorrow. This is a lot of information again.
Thursday, May 13, 2010
First and foremost with Kroger, if you don't have a Kroger plus card, get one. They are free and that is the only way you get the advertised savings. Also, register your plus card on the Kroger website and they will send you coupons in the mail, which usually includes a couple of coupons for FREE items. Some of the coupons will be MC and some will be SC.
So Kroger accepts Manufacturer coupons (MC), store coupons (SC) and competitor coupons (CC). The difference between Kroger and Publix on the CC is that Kroger will only accept grocery store coupons. So where Publix will accept any store coupon, Kroger will only accept the SC for local grocery stores that are considered a competitor. So, I can shop at Kroger and use my Publix coupons.
Kroger also doubles my coupons up to $1.00 everyday of the week, as Publix does. So any coupon $.50 or less is doubled, over $.50 is face value.
Kroger also allows the stacking of coupons for one item as long as one of the coupons is not for the item to be FREE. So as I said, Kroger is pretty simple, but their sales are not as great as Publix. However, when they run the buy 8 of certain items, you get $4 off your purchase. This is a great deal because you can still use your coupons on these deals. They run many variations of this deal. Just watch the ad. Most of the deals I find at Kroger are on meat.
Yes, we eat meat at most meals. I would guess we eat meat 14 out of every 15 meals. And since I started couponing, we eat better meat than we have ever eaten before. We get to eat shrimp, pork tenderloin, pork chops, steak, beef roast, etc. that I never bought before. We eat the standard ground beef and chicken because that is what fit into the budget. Example, because of couponing and my stock pile, I was able to take $100.00 of my budget a couple of weeks ago and purchase ribeye steak that was on sale at Kroger for $4.99 per pound. I had and used coupons on that purchase as well. I had a $5 off $45 SC, $6 off of $60 SC, and $5 off $30 CC. So I ended up getting 25 pounds of ribeye for $3.99 per pound. I never bought ribeye before couponing. We could not have afforded it.
So as I said, Kroger is pretty easy especially if you understand Publix.
So on to Target. First off, there is a website (Totally Target) that is very helpful as to the running and weekly deals at Target. This is always a great resource to use. Secondly, Target does not necessarily have the best deals in town, but what they have going for them is they have their own store coupons (which I gave you that site in a previous post). So you can stack a MC with a Target SC; therefore making for some really great prices on your household type products. Just remember Target does not double your coupons, so make sure that you are spending less at Target than you would with Publix or Kroger doubling your coupon. Plus with Target watch the sale paper, because they run deals where if you buy so many of an item you get a $5 gift card. You can use your coupons on these deals, so I normally do multiple transactions so I can use my gift card from my first purchase on my second purchase. Third and finally with Target, make sure you bring your recyclable grocery bags with you to shop. Target will give you $.05 per bag you use. Not a great savings or anything, but every penny is a savings.
Wednesday, May 12, 2010
I go to Wal-Mart for socks and kids underwear, that kind of thing, but that is about all. I learned almost immediately that it was not cheaper for me to shop at Wal-Mart and Sam's if I was shopping the advertised sales. Plus, even if an item is cheaper at Wal-Mart by say $.50, if I have a coupon for that item for $.50 at groceries stores my coupon will be doubled; therefore, costing the same price at either location. However, many times the Wal-Mart price is the same as the sales because they price match; therefore, you are better off at a store that will double your coupon. Wal-Mart does not double.
So, now that I am off my Wal-Mart soap box, I'll start with Publix. I love Publix because they do the buy one get one (B1G1) items. This significantly reduces the price of the things we use and need. They will except manufacturer coupons (MC), store coupons (SC), and competitor coupons (CC). Plus they double all MC up to $1.00. So if you have a $.35 coupon, you get $.70. If you have a $.50 coupon, they double it to $1.00. You're getting the idea. You can not stack MC together except in one circumstance. If the coupon (peelies) is attached to the item and you have another MC. Leave the peelie on the item, but tell the cashier it is there. You can then use your MC in hand and the peelie for the same item.
Then Publix has Publix coupons (SC). You can find these in their sale paper and also in the booklets when you walk in the doors at Publix. I bet most of you never realized there is a flyer rack when you walk in the doors at Publix. Pick those up, cut the coupons and use them. Here is the great thing, Publix will use a MC and a SC for the exact same item. For example, not that long ago Publix ran the Suave shampoo and conditioner for $1.00 a piece. Not a great price, since at Wal-Mart it is $.97, I think. This goes back to not being brand loyal also. Suave is not my favorite, but you know what, it cleans my hair just fine. Anyway, I had a $2.00 MC off of three ($2/3) and in one of their flyers they had a $1.00 off of two ($1/2). So guess what, I got three bottles of Suave for $0.00 because they will stack a MC and a SC.
It gets better though. Publix goes even one step further for their customers. Competitor coupons... This is another stores coupon that Publix will except, a Target coupon, Wal-greens, CVS, Kroger. The only requirement is that it has to be a local competitor coupon. So for me, I can't use a Food Lion coupon at my Publix. So here is the real kicker, (I'm telling you I LOVE Publix) they will stack a MC, SC, and a CC for the same item. Therefore, sometimes making a particular item a money maker. There has been occasions where I have picked up an item we will not use because it is going to make me money toward my total bill. These are some of the items that I donate.
One example, Kroger will send me coupons in the mail. Sometimes for $6.00 off of a total purchase of $60.00. Make sure that is your first coupon and you get $6.00 right off the top. Publix will also send me the $3 of $30 coupons too. You can use all of these in one transaction because they are different coupons.
Here is an example from this weeks Publix ad. Oscar Meyer shaved lunch meat is on sale for 2/$6. I have 2 $2.00 off MC, and 2 $1.00 off SC. I will stack my MC and SC and get two packages of Oscar Meyer lunch meat for FREE. Pop-tarts are B1G1, which makes them $.97 per box. I have a $1.25/3 MC. So I will get 3 boxes of Pop-tarts for $1.66 or $.55 per box.
I thought I could get all three stores into one post, but I think this is enough information for one day. I'll continue Part 4 tomorrow. I pray you all are understanding and going to put these ideas to good use.
God can and is glorified through couponing. 1) People ask how I'm doing it. 2) It gives me a witnessing opportunity about the goodness of God, because I know how He has changed us and our thoughts about money. 3) We are able to donate so much food. There have been several occassions where we have given away several hundred dollars worth of food, this includes meat. I don't tell you this to make me sound good. I tell you so you can see you can do this and that God will use it for His glory. Imagine the people God could help through you.
Tuesday, May 11, 2010
Answer: The short answer is the Sunday paper, coupons.com, redplum.com, Target.com and smartsource.com. On these site you can usually print 2 coupons per computer. So the more computers the more coupons. We have 3 computers in our house, so it there is a great coupon out I print it 6 times. However, I DON'T print each coupon 6 times. Only the ones I know I will use before they expire. Otherwise, you are wasting ink and paper; therefore, not saving as much.
The long answer is many, many places. I get lots of coupons from facebook, of all places. Many companies will post coupons that you can print if you will "like" them. That way they get free advertising on your facebook account.
One of my other favorite places to get coupons is from The Coupon Clippers. I only use this site when there is a coupon that I want to buy lots of to stock up on particular items. Now with this site you have to pay for the coupons you order. Which I don't have a problem with. Remember the example of the 15 sticks of deodorant from yesterdays post. Well, I order some of those coupons from this site. I paid .12 cents per coupon for $2.00 off. I'll eat the .12 cent loss, because I'm still saving $1.88 per stick. The lower the value of the coupon the less it cost. The only caught with this site is you have to order a certain dollar amount. I'm wanting to say it's like $4.00 worth of coupons. It's not much though. I know my last order was $4.41 for about $50.00 in coupons before doubling. Example, I bought 6, .35 cent PAM coupons for .08 cents a piece. Publix doubled my coupon to .70 so I saved .62 cents per can. Put that with their B1G1 a few weeks ago, I got 6 cans of PAM for $.80 a can. You have to weigh out the savings versus cost to determine if it's worth it. One a the several advantages to this site is that you can pick what coupon you want and how many of them you want.
Other resources I use of personal blogs/websites. Some of the several I look at daily are Money Saving Mom, Fistful of Coupons, Mrs. Buys More and Mr. Saves a Lot, and Stretching a Buck, just to name a few. If you check these out, they link you to others. So you just have to find the few you want to check daily. These ladies link you to coupons, coupons on facebook and great deal at other stores. These ladies have done all the leg work for you. Utilize them, that's why they do it. They link you to some amazing coupons, freebies and samples. You get coupons with the samples as well.
Side note: Set up a couponing email account. Once you start seriously couponing, you will get an amazing amount of spam, so you will want a separate account to use for all the registrations for the free stuff.
Question: How much time does this take?
Answer: About thirty minutes per day.
I know this seems like a lot of time per day, but I am finding it worth the time and effort. Of course, you don't have to check these blogs everyday; however, you will likely miss great coupons if you don't. My mom and I work together. If one of us runs along a get coupon we call the other to tell them to go get it.
I keep a spreadsheet that shows all my savings. So far for this year here are my totals:
Shelf Cost: $5245.71
Coupons Used: $1472.32
My Price: $2077.08
Savings Rate: 61.39%
This doesn't include the last two weeks. I have not entered my receipts yet. When you look at my total savings of $3220.12, out of pocket (OOP) of $2077.08 for a family of 5. This is an average of $520.0o for groceries and all household supplies per month. This is how you know that couponing is well worth the time.
Monday, May 10, 2010
Stocking piling is where I have found to save the most money. I am rarely in need of anything from the store other than the normal eggs, milk, and bread. One of the hardest things for me to wrap my brain around when I started this was buying something I did not currently need, but would use. If you look at the pictures you will see like 8 jars of spaghetti sauce, which I use when making lasagna, or stuff shell. Do I currently need that many, NO. Will they go bad before I use them, NO. Will it go on sale again before I run out, MAYBE, but it might not.
When building your stock pile, make sure it is something you will use. That it has a long expiration date, and that you get it a bottom dollar. The example of the spaghetti sauce: well on average I spent 60 cents per jar.
See, by stock piling I am buying what I will use at the lowest price I can get it for when it is on sale and I have coupons. I will only buy something for my stock without a coupon if I need it. Example, we opened our last bottle of ketchup. Publix ran it buy one get one. I didn't have a coupon, but I knew we would run out before it went on sale again, so I bought it.
Don't be brand picky. I buy all brands of anything at least once. There is one brand of laundry soap and garbage bags I won't buy again. But because we have been willing to try anything, we have found somethings that we really like.
Now that I've said, "Don't be brand picky." I am going to contradict that statement. There are a LIMITED number of items that we are brand picky on. The hubby will only use one kind of deodorant. We tried others, but he feels only one particular brand works for him. I will not compromise that. I will only buy one brand of kitchen garbage bags. For us, they work the best. I will not compromise that. Or the example of ketchup, there is only one brand we like, so that's all I will buy. Those are the only three things we are brand specific too. If you have items like that, buy them. However, try to buy on sale and with coupons. If it is on sale, buy as many of them as you have coupons for. Example: the hubby's deodorant went on sale about a month ago. First time in about a year. I had enough coupons to buy fifteen sticks. Does he need 15 now, NO. Will it go bad, NO. Will he use it up before another sale, POSSIBLY. It hasn't been on sale in almost a year. I bought fifteen sticks for about $7 dollars. Something that would normally cost $3.24 per stick. I'll discuss numerous coupons in another post.
So, I hope you are getting the idea that stock piling is a necessary step for maximizing your total savings. So here comes the next question:
Where is all this food and household stuff going?
Answer: Anywhere it will fit.
Well, I have a good bit of cabinet space that I did not have in the old house, there is a cabinet above the stairs going down to the scrapbook room, there is a cabinet in the laundry room full of laundry soap (20+ bottles), a shelf in the scrapbook room with condiments, a book shelf under the stairs with staples and an upright deep freezer in the laundry room, a refrigerator in the kitchen and a refrigerator in the garage, as well as a cabinet in the kids bathroom and our bathroom and a large shelf in the garage for the paper towels, napkins and cat litter. Everything stays just about full. The hubby is looking to close in the area under the stairs in the scrapbook room for me to make into a pantry.
I will post more pictures of my current stock pile as I continue on with this little series for those of you that have been asking. I do hope you find this helpful.
Friday, May 7, 2010
Answer: Well, it is a combination of advertised specials, coupons, and stock piling.
So here are a few examples, using some of my actual saving. The Nabisco wheat thins and Triscuts are normally $2.75 per box. At Publix last week, they were on sale buy 1 get 1 (b1g1); which made them $1.38 and $1.37 per box. A great price so buy two, whether you currently need two or not, just check the expiration dates to get a long one. Well, to top that off, by couponing, I also had 2 $1.00 off coupons for a box of wheat thins and a box of Triscuts. So, at the end I paid $.38 and $.37 per box of crackers a total savings of $2.37 per box or $4.74 for both.
Example number 2: Orville Redenbacher popcorn is normally $4.89 per box. Last week at Publix, they were b1g1; which reduced them to $2.45 and $2.44 per box. Yet again this is a great price, so buy 2, not 1, it won't go bad before you eat it, but most likely will not go back on sale before you want more. Then by couponing, I had a $.50 coupon for the regular size bags and a $.50 coupon for the mini bags (great for kids). But it gets better than $1.95 and $1.94 per box, because Publix, as well as Kroger, double coupon all the time up to $.50. So, the end result was I paid $1.45 and $1.44 per box of popcorn that would normally cost $4.89 per box a savings of $3.44 per box or a total of $6.88.
Example number 3: Clorox 2 ultra 2x stain fighter and color protector is normally $6.19 per bottle. Publix had it on sale for $3.99 per bottle. A great price, but it gets better, because I had a two $1.50 coupons per bottle. So of course I picked up two bottles. Do I currently need 2, NO, will it go bad, NO, should I buy two, YES. So, I paid $2.49 per bottle for a product that would normally be $6.19 a total savings of $3.70 per bottle.
I think you are probably getting the idea as to how this works using the sale papers and coupons. A plus, I am now buying things I would never have bought before, because I can get them cheaper than the store brand now.
Wednesday, May 5, 2010
Well, a couple of weeks ago, God introduced me to a complete stranger whose daughter has spina bifidia as well. Sophie has the lipo form of spina bifidia. They, like us, did not know until they started seeing signs that something was just not right with their daughter. Sophie's form of SB is more severe than Little Man's, but still not the worst form. The form of spina bifidia most people think of is the most severe, which is the one where you see the hole in the back. Where as Little Man has the least severe (Spina Bifidia Occulta) of all the forms, Praise God. Anyway, as we talked about the tethered spinal cord and the releasing surgery and all that kind of stuff. She asked who our neurosurgeon was and all those related questions. I also told her that I was confused because they released us, but yet there is the possibility that the cord could re-tether, especially during periods of rapid growth.
So she proceeded to give me information on a SB clinic at UAB where the spina bifidia kids go and they see all their doctors in one day. So I am contacting them to find out what we need to do to get Little Man into that clinic. The main advantage to being in the system is that they see him yearly, so if we ever see signs/symptoms of re-tethering he already has a group of doctors. We don't have to go back through everything we went through previously. So we'll see...
Interesting facts about spina bifidia:
1) It is hereditary. I was told don't worry about it, your other children are fine. So when Little Man gets married and he and his wife are considering children she will need to take additional folic acid supplements months before conceiving. SB occurs within the first 28 days of in utero development.
2) It is more prevalent in people of Irish, Whales, etc decent. We are. The geneticists don't understand the correlation yet, but they know there is on.
3) 87% of all spina bifidia patients have blue eyes. Little Man has blue eyes. Yet again, the geneticists don't know the correlation, but there is one some how. That doesn't mean if you have blue eyes you have SB, it means that 87% of SB positive people have blue eyes. Just want to clarify.
Tuesday, May 4, 2010
3/4 cup sugar, divided
1/2 cup cake flour
1/3 cup baking cocoa
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup strawberry or raspberry jam (I use 1 cup homemade)
2 cups vanilla ice cream, softened
Hot fudge topping (I use whatever homemade recipe I have on hand at the moment)
In a mixing bowl, beat egg whites until soft peaks form. Gradually add 1/4 cup sugar, beating until stiff peaks form. In another mixing bowl, beat egg yolks and remaining sugar until thick and lemon-colored, about 5 minutes. Combine the flour, cocoa, baking powder and salt; add to yolk mixture and mix well. Fold in egg white mixture.
Line a greased 15 x 10 x 1 inch baking pan with waxed paper (I use foil); grease the paper (I use cooking spray). Spread batter evenly in pan. bake at 375 for 10-12 minutes or until cake springs back when lightly touched. Cool for 5 minutes. Invert cake onto a kitchen towel dusted with confectioners' sugar. Gently peel off paper. Roll up cake in towel jelly-roll style. Starting with the short side. cool on a wire rack.
Unroll cake; spread jam to within 1/2 inch of the edge. Top with ice cream. Roll up without towel/ Place seam side down on a platter. Place seam side down on a platter. cover and freeze for at least 4hours before slicing. May be frozen for up to 1 months. Sprinkle with confectioners' sugar; serve with hot fudge topping and strawberries (or whatever fresh fruit you like).
Monday, May 3, 2010
When the hubby and I decided to move a year ago, I didn't realize it would effect my life the way it has. We knew we would be leaving the church that was our home for many reasons (not just moving), but I guess I didn't think of the ramifications of that. You do realize who your friends are and aren't when you leave a church home. We have found a new church home, and we like it. We are starting to get involved in the ministries God would have us to do. Example, the hubby is back to playing music every Sunday with special music whenever the minister asks. We will be leading a couples Sunday school class starting in June. And we will be marriage mentors for couple struggling with things we have or are currently going through. But the walls of protection are already up.
Reading "not so ordinary's" blog post, I realize have many walls I have put up to protect myself from being hurt so deeply again. We have a close connection with our new music minister and his wife because they were so deeply hurt by their previous church. They have been at Farley for nearly six years and they still only have one close set of friends, because the walls are up. But almost instantly, we have a connection because of the walls and the experiences that God allowed each of us to go through.
So as God slowly breaks that wall down, I am thankful for the few friends I still have. They are a treasure to me. I say all this because that is what's on my mind. We are challenging each other to get back to blogging, so here are my thoughts for today.
Friday, April 2, 2010
I am thinking ... The mud pit in my front yard I am getting ready to work on.
I am thankful for... My hubby.
I am wearing... P.J.'s
I am remembering... Christ
I am going... to get to work on that mud pit.
I am reading... The Bible, and Cast of Characters.
From the learning rooms ... Huh?
I am hoping... Move lots of dirt.
On my mind ... That mud pit.
Noticing that... Everything is budding outside.
Pondering these words... "Father, why have you forsaken me?"
From the kitchen... Don't know yet.
Around the house... More vinyl scripture is ready to go up in the freshly painted dining room.
One of my favorite things… 70 degree weather, with a northern breeze.
From my photo memories ... Don't have time to upload right now, got to get to that mud pit before it is 90 degree.
Tuesday, March 30, 2010
Monday, March 29, 2010
Friday night we had a party to go to for Mr. Don. He turned 75 Friday. Anyway, before we leave the house she is outside picking all my flowers off my plants and putting them in a flower pot. As I am calling her in, she comes carrying this flower pot into the house. I told her she had to leave it outside. She proceeds to tell me she made it for Mr. Don. So of course, what are you going to do, let her biring that flower pot in the house, with all my flowers into the van to take to this man. It didn't register that those flowers were going to die with no root. Mr. Don, by the way, LOVED his flowers. He said that was the best birthday gift he got.
This reminds me of the time that I thought my neighbors needed a Christmas tree. They were an elderly couple that I visited everyday from the time I was five, until I left home for college. Anyway, they didn't put up a Christmas time, so I decided they needed one. I asked my mom if I could cut a tree down for them. She said yes I could cut one of her trees except for this one particular tree. Well, that one particular tree was the best looking tree, so I cut the top right off of that cedar tree. It sure made a beautiful Christmas tree. I don't believe I got in to trouble over cutting that tree, because my heart was in the right spot. Years later (25 or so), you can look at that grown cedar tree and tell that the top is missing, it's flat on top. That misshapened tree reminds me that we don't always make the right decisions, but God still allows us to grow into beautiful people with a few flat spots.
On a side note, my freshman year of college I ran across a beautiful metal Christmas tree that you just hang ornaments on that could set on top of the television. I bought that tree, gave it to Mrs. Barnett, and she put it up every year until she died. I was able to get that tree back when Floyd past away last year. I got the amazing pleasure of putting that tree up in my house this past Christmas with the ornaments I gave her.
Wednesday, February 24, 2010
So for the month of Febraury I increased my budget back up to $275.00 per pay period $135ish per week. I am still going to try to reduce my budget as the months progress, just not guite so suddenly. A drop by $100.00 for two weeks is a big jump. And as I stated when I start this crazy adventure to reduce my budget, I would not hesitate to increase it back up if we were not eating the food we enjoy eating.
So here are my totals of February.
Shelf Cost $1,366.67
Coupons Savings $383.40
Discount Savings $454.71
Total Saved $856.09
Total Spent $528.56
Percentage Saved 61.32%
Amount under budget ($550.00) $21.44
So not terrible. I am going to stick with the $275.00 per pay period (two weeks) for the month of March and see how that goes first. If I continue to be under budget, then I will try reducing just a touch more. That is slow I guess you could say.
Monday, February 22, 2010
Just for kicks, can you tell that Little Woman is taller than Little Man. And probably always will be. Her parents are much taller than the Hubby and I.
More pictures to come. Little Woman's parents brought her to our house so that the two of them could go to the circus together. I have some great date (HAHA) pictures.