My Life on Earth

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Couponing 101... Part 8... Making it work

Just some tips:
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

Couponing 101...Part 7...Walgreens

Walgreens is not my favorite store; however, I can occasionally get some great deals there.

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

Couponing 101... Part 6...CVS

I am going to start with CVS. I will try to make this as easy to understand as possible; however, if you have questions don't hesitate to leave a comment. I will try to answer it if I can. I have posted three pictures with this post because I wanted you all to be able to see the stuff I get from CVS and Walgreens. Now most of this stuff has come from CVS; however, a bit has come from Walgreens. As you can tell, there is about 30 toothbrushes, 5 razors, several boxes of blades in this picture alone. The second picture shows the hubby's 15 sticks of deodorant, numerous bottles of lotion, medicine, there is 12 boxes of tampons (you can't see them all), and behind those are about 36 boxes of Irish Spring soap and lots of leave-in conditioner for my thick hair. The third picture is not the most up to date picture, I have added more this week. Anyway, there are 21 sets of shampoo and conditioner, 21 bottles of body wash for me, 12 for the hubby, I think, 8 cans shaving cream for me and 8 for the hubby I think and of course the hand soap. There is more under this cabinet, but that is the bulk of it.

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 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

Couponing 101... Part 5... Kroger and Target

So today's stores are Kroger and hopefully Target, if I make it that far. I think I will since Kroger is not a complex as Publix, plus you now know the basics of MC, SC, CC, B1G1, OOP (out of pocket), and stacking.
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.

I have found that I purchase most of my meat from Kroger. They tend of have the best sales on meat and they have the manager's special. Which is meat that is a couple of days from the sell by date that has been significantly reduced. I don't hesitate to buy this meat. I have never had a problem with it. I purchase it. Bring it home. Place it in freezer bags, and put it in the freezer. Example, a few months ago, I happened to run across a family pack of pork chops originally $15+ and I got it for $5.00. I got five meals out of that package of 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.

Here was this weeks Kroger run. A prime example of the "buy so many of these products get this much off." This week Kroger is running "buy 4 P&G products get $4 off your purchase." So yesterday I went and got the following stuff.
Three bottles of Tide (regular price $7.99), two bottles Tide Stain release (regularly $7.49), Shave cream ($2.29), Oral B toothbrush ($3.29), batteries ($2.89), Irish Spring ($4.37), and the eggs were $1.88 per 18 ($2.64). Well all the items purchased, excluding the eggs, were part of the buy 4 get $4 and I had coupons for each of them. So I got a total of $8.00 off the top because I did the deal twice. So before the sales and my coupons my total was $ 59.17. After the discounted price ($12.00), the P&G sale ($8.00), and my coupons ($14.75) I paid $24.42 out of pocket.

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.

Not that you can tell from the second picture, but there is 35 boxes of the kid Johnson and Johnson buddies soap. These are priced $.97 at Target. I had $1.00 off any (watch the wording on the coupons, many say any, not just what the picture is of) Johnson baby product. So for each box of soap I bought, I made $.03. I love this soap and my kids love it too. No washcloth required, because there is one attached.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Couponing 101... Part 4... Publix, Kroger and Target

So here comes the real details into couponing 101. It is learning each of the stores policies. So, I am going to give you a crash course in the different stores that I use. By the way, I no longer shop at Wal-Mart. I can get just about everything we need from these stores as well as CVS and Walgreens.

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

Couponing 101...Part 3

Where do all the coupons come from?

Answer: The short answer is the Sunday paper,,, and 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
Discounts: $1696.87
Rebates: $50.93
Savings: $3220.12
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

Couponing 101...Part 2

Stocking piling...What? Why?

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

Couponing 101...Part 1

Question: How am I doing it? (saving that is)

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.

The next topic will be the stocking piling advantage, Part 2.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Spina Bifidia Occulta

So, I would assume most people remember Little Man's journey through diagnosis, treatment, and recovery of his tethered spinal cord. Well, at the time I knew it was related to spina bifidia, but I didn't know how. And of course, if you don't ask, doctors don't tell you a whole lot.

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

Ice Cream Roll

4 eggs, separated
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
Confectioners' sugar
Hot fudge topping (I use whatever homemade recipe I have on hand at the moment)
Fresh Strawberries

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


So at some point life stepped in and I haven't seemed to have time for anything that I (my personal side) needs and wants to do like blogging, scrapbooking, and many days my daily study time with God's word. I get down easily and many times it is difficult to get back up.

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.