Saturday, May 28, 2011

MyMy's preschool graduation.

Yes, my MyMy graduated last night from preschool. Beforehand, one of the directors was passing out tissues and I thought, "I'm not going to cry. It's not like he's graduating high school and moving out!" Well, as soon as MyMy got his certificate and gifts and sat down I couldn't help be get teary eyed. My baby is growing up! It was a wonderful ceremony and I am very proud of MyMy. You see, at the beginning of the year I could barely pry him off my legs and get him to stay. He would cry then I would leave and cry in my car thinking I was the worst mom ever. (and I was always assured he stopped crying the minute I left the room!)

Then he couldn't wait to go to preK. In the middle of the year they had a bit of transition time as his regular teacher was very pregnant. That's when Miss J came in. The other woman! There has never been any other woman but mom in his life and now this other lady came in and stole a piece of his heart. I'll never forget the first time he told me he loved miss J. It was Valentine's Day and he wanted me to write I love you on his card to her. He kept telling me, "Make sure you write I love you on it!" It was bittersweet then and his graduation is now.

Here they are singing In Right, Out Right. (to turn off the music scroll all the way down and hit pause. It's on the right side.) MyMy is in the back row, third from left.


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Being shy when we first got there.

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Walking down the aisle!

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The "other" woman, Miss J his wonderful teacher!

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All done! This is about the time I started to cry!

Friday, May 27, 2011

Old Navy Deals!

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So I mentioned in another post on how I save on clothing for my family. Well, I signed up for emails from Old Navy (and any store you like to frequently shop at is good for finding out deals) and I got an email that the entire outlet store near us was having 40% off of everything! Including clearance! The Rev had stopped in and said they did have it all 40% off. So we went yesterday hoping to snag some good deals.

I found a pair of black jeans for $3.97 and 40% off of that made them $2.38!

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Then I found this super cute shirt:
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And look at the price!
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With 40% off that made the shirt just $2.69! And most people know that every year they come out with shirts with the American flag on them. They are usually pretty cheap to begin with. They were $5 so I got two for $3 a piece with the sale!
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The Rev found a steal on khaki's for work after discount at $7.79ea! Not bad when they are originally close to $30!
I know my rule is to not spend over $5 for an article of clothing (I do once in awhile if I know it's a fabulous deal) I did splurge on this Beach Boys t-shirt:
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It came out to $7.79 but I love t-shirts. I am a jeans and t-shirt kinda gal so I splurged.

We got a few more items at great prices and the sale it going on at outlets only until Monday so you can get in on the deals if you live near an outlet!

Thankful Thursday week 5!

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Yes, I know technically it's Friday but I was so busy replanting my garden and spending time with the family I didn't have time to write my Thankful Thursday post! And my devotions were on being thankful so I thought I'd do it anyway. It's week 5 and here is my list!

1. I'm thankful for getting to plant some flowers and replanting my garden! (more on this later)

2. I'm thankful for the birds playing outside my window.

3. I'm thankful for my hubby who made dinner last night since I was replanting my garden!

4. I'm thankful for good deals at Old Navy this week! (more on this later too!)

5. I'm thankful for MyMy who graduates from preschool today! (*sniff*sniff*) more on this later as well with pics!

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Claritin for Kids; Review

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Take a deep breath with me...sssmmmmm....aaaahhhh chooooo! Ah yes, allergy season! I absolutely love spring. I hate the allergies my B (my 9yr old) suffers with it though. And he likes to be outside but his allergies can really get to him. Sneezing and his eyes water and itch like crazy. Poor guy.

So how about the normal allergy meds? Snoooooooze. Yep, that's what happens to B when he takes it. Who wants their kid to be all groggy and tired when there are scooters to ride and football to play?! Not me! That's where non drowsy Children's Claritin comes in! The key thing is it's non drowsy! And it attacks all of B's allergy symptoms so he can play outside and not be out of it! And if your kid hates the liquid (mine aren't always fans) they also have redi tabs! You can take them anywhere you go! It is also the #1 pediatrician reccommended non drowsy brand.

They also have an allergy profiler on their site so you can get allergy tips and product reccomendations! You can also get a $3 off coupon at the bottom of the page. Overall, I have been pleased with how Claritin kids has taken care of B's allergies.

 I was given a free sample of Claritin Kids liquid to try from bzzagent.com . All opinions are my own.

Who needs toys when you have grass?

If you remember some of my other posts like this you know my kids have imagination! I have been learning that sometimes toys just don't cut it. There is no need for expensive things when you can use free or cheap things like duck tape and now in this post grass. It's day old cut grass. The grass was long from a week of rain and so it had been 12 days since it was last cut. It was nice out and we were all out playing with the boys.

I see T gathering up loose grass. Then he walks by me and is hugging it and saying, "I love you, grass friend!" Then he laid it nicely down for a nap in the driveway and got mad if anyone messed him up!

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"This is my grass friend!"

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"GRASS FRIEND!!!"

Monday, May 23, 2011

Week 24 savings; 5/23/11

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Green=Free, Red=$1 or under, Q=coupon, MQ=manufacture coupon, WQ=Walgreens coupon,


BOGO=Buy 1 get 1 free, GQ=Giant Eagle coupon

IVC=Instant value coupon (walgreens store coupon) EC=Electronic coupon loaded on my Giant Eagle card.

If there is a number before the product that's how many I bought.

And for reference if it says RR that is register rewards that walgreens and Giant Eagle give out. It is a coupon that you can use off your next order that prints out at checkout time. I do multiple orders and use them immediately.

Walgreens:
2 Gain 50oz liquid laundry detergent: 2/$17.98 (on sale 2/$13.98-$4WQ-$1MQ-$1MQ=2/$7.98)

Woolite 50oz liquid laundry detergent; $10.99 (on sale $5.99-$3MQ=$2.99)

2 Cheer 50oz liquid laundry detergent: 2/$17.98 (on sale 2/$13.98-$4WQ-$1MQ-$1MQ=2/$7.98)

3 Yardley bar soap: $4.47 (on sale 3/$2.07 or .69ea)

Multi Item deal: Nature Made Women's Vitamin and nature made fish oil=$24.98 for both (on sale BOGO so $13.99-$7MQ-$4MQ=2/$2.99 or $1.50ea)

4 Wonka bars: 4/$11.16 (on sale 2/$3 so 4/$6-$1.50MQ-$1.50MQ=4/$3 or .75ea)

Original Total: $87.56


Total out of pocket after coupons/sales: $27.01
Total savings:$60.55
Week 24 Walgreens Total Savings: $786.24
Coupon only total week 14 =$364.31


Giant Eagle:

4 Home Pride Wheat Bread: 4/$11.92 (on sale BOGO so 4/$5.96 or $1.49ea)

4 Diet Dew 6pk 24oz bottles (the Rev loves it!): 4/$19.96 (on sale 4/$10 or $2.50ea)

2 Banana Boat Sunscreen:2/19.98 (on sale 2/$14.98-$1MQ-$1MQ-$1RR=2/$11.98 or $5.99ea)

4 Jack Daniels BBQ sauce: 4/$15.16 (on sale 4/$11.96-$1.50 MQ doubled-$1.50MQ doubled-$1.50MQdoubled-$1.50MQ doubled=4/$5.96 or $1.49ea)

2 Newman's Own salad dressing:2/$7.38 (on sale 2/$6-$1.50MQ doubled-$1.50MQ doubled=2/$3 or $1.50ea)

2 Miracle Whip Mayo:2/$9.88 (on sale 2/$5-$1.50MQ-$1.50MQ=2/$2 or $1ea)

2 Sure Deoderant:2/$5.18 (on sale 2/$3.68-$1MQ-$1MQ=2/$1.68 or $.84ea)

Original Total: $96.86

Total out of pocket after coupons/sales: $40.58
Total savings:$56.28
Week 24 Giant Eagle Total Savings: $1263.23
Coupon only total week 14=$618.71
Week 24 two store total savings: $2049.47

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Week 23 savings; 5/16/11

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Well, I'm finally getting around to posting this from Monday!

Green=Free, Red=$1 or under, Q=coupon, MQ=manufacture coupon, WQ=Walgreens coupon,


BOGO=Buy 1 get 1 free, GQ=Giant Eagle coupon

IVC=Instant value coupon (walgreens store coupon) EC=Electronic coupon loaded on my Giant Eagle card.

If there is a number before the product that's how many I bought.

And for reference if it says RR that is register rewards that walgreens and Giant Eagle give out. It is a coupon that you can use off your next order that prints out at checkout time. I do multiple orders and use them immediately.

No walgreens this week.
Last weeks wags:

Original Total: $26.94

Total out of pocket after coupons/sales: $.72 (tax)
Total savings:$26.22
Week 23 Walgreens Total Savings: $725.69
Coupon only total week 13 =$364.31


Giant Eagle:
4 Ritz Crackerful=$14.36 (on sale 4/$8-$1.50MQx4=4/$2 or .50ea)

Multi Item Deal:
Gillette mens deoderant and Gillette body wash=$8.98 (on sale total=$6.50-$3.50MQ-$2MQ=both for $1 or .50ea)

4 Wishbone dressings=$10 (on sale 2/$3 so 4/$6-$1.25MQ-$1.25MQ=4/$3.50 or $.88ea)

2 Hidden Valley farmhouse dressings=$7.18 (on sale 2/$5-$1MQ-$1MQ=2/$3 or $1.50ea)

2 Whisker Lickin's cat treats=$3 (on sale $1.25ea so 2/$2.50-$1MQ=2/$1.50 or .75ea)

2 Eckrich smoked sausage=$9.96 (on sale BOGO so 2/$4.98-$1.10 (MQ doubled)-$1.10(MQ doubled)=2/$2.78 or $1.39ea)
.
4 Ronzoni Garden pasta=$7.92 (on sale2/$3 so 4/$6 -$1MQx4=4/$2 or .50ea)

Egglands Eggs=$2.99ea (on sale $2.50-$1MQ (.50MQ doubled)=$1.50)

9 Ragu pasta sauce=$20.61 (on sale total=$11.25-$7RR=9/$4.25 or .47ea)



Original Total: $85

Total out of pocket after coupons/sales: $21.53
Total savings:$63.47
Week 22 Giant Eagle Total Savings: $1319.51
Coupon only total week 13=$601.71
Week 22 two store total savings: $2037.20

Friday, May 20, 2011

Put Your Dream to the Test by John Maxwell; book review

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"It's one thing to have a dream. It's another to do the things needed to achieve it," says Maxwell. I thought this book looked interesting. Ten questions and I know if I can seize my dream! Well, sort of! I do think this is a good book. Some parts were hard for me to keep going but most of the book kept my attention. In this book, Put Your Dream to the Test; 10 Questions to help you see it and seize it by John C. Maxwell asks 10 questions to help you see what your dream really is and how to go about getting your dream. Here are the questions:

1. The Ownership Question: Is my dream really my dream?
2. The Clarity Question: Do I clearly see my dream?

3. The Reality Question: Am I depending on factors within my control to achieve my dream?

4. The Passion Question: Does my dream compel me to follow it?

5. The Pathway Question: Do I have a strategy to reach my dream?

6. The People Question: Have I included the people I need to realize my dream?

7. The Cost Question: Am I willing to pay the price for my dream?

8. The Tenacity Question: Am I moving closer to my dream?

9. The Fulfillment Question: Does working toward my dream bring satisfaction?

10. The Significance Question: Does my dream benefit others?


If you are familiar at all with John Maxwell's work you know that he is big into leadership and is considered a leadership expert. This book has those tones behind it. While I do think it has a lot of leadership undertones, your average, regular, well, me can use many of the principals of this book. (and if you know me, I prefer NOT to lead but to be behind the scenes!)

Each question has it's own chapter which opens up with the story of someone who has reached a dream. I like the stories and found most of them inspiring. The first one was of Arnold Schwarzenegger, which was interested although maybe him being on the front page news now might skew your view. Overall, I think it's a good read for anyone who wants to test their dream and make sure it's their dream. (He does talk about sometimes we may want to live out others dreams like our parents.) I enjoyed the book and would reccommend it.

I received this book for free from Thomas Nelson publishers to review. All opinions are my own.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Love & War; Book review

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Recently I recieved a copy of the book Love & War Find Your way to Something Beautiful in Your Marriage by John and Stasi Eldredge. When I first received it I wasn't sure if I'd like this because I had read Captivating and thought it was ok. I really liked this book though. If you want 7 easy steps to fix your marriage.....LOOK ELSEWHERE! This book isn't like others you might have read. It doesn't give you these easy steps to follow but talks about how you are broken, your spouse is broken and marriage is hard work!

It goes into wonderful detail about how we are in a love story with our spouse set in the midst of a war. A war against our marriage and our enemy is not our spouse! It also talks about how God gave us marriage as a picture of His love to the world and because we need each other.

I love how they use their own personal stories and aren't afraid to mention some serious trials they've had. (Like when Stasi told John she wanted a divorce!) This is beautifully written and has some wonderful God given advice and doesn't sugar coat how marriage is tough. I highly reccommend this book and really enjoyed it.

I recieved this book for free from waterbrookmultonmah.com for review. All opinions are my own.

Thankful Thursday week 4!

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It's time for another addition of Thankful Thursday!  Even in the midst of busy lives and sometimes not so good situations it's always good to think of the good. Today is my 4th week of thankful Thursday.

Today I am thankful for...
1. My bike. It feels so good to ride my bike and be outside again! (now if it would quite raining long enough again for me to ride!)

2. My Bible. What better way to start my day than with the very word of God spoken straight to me.

3. My car. Where would I be if I couldn't get from point A to point B?

4. Indoor plumbing. Need I say more?

5. My toothbrush. I like having clean teeth and fresh breath! (the little stuff counts too!)

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

7 years ago today...


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 (above picture is me and my grandpa) Seven years ago today this world suffered a great loss. My grandpa passed away. It's a day I'll never forget. I remember visiting him the night before with the Rev and boys. Then the next day I got a call he had pnumonia and was being transferred from the VA hospital to a different one. That night I remember my dad calling. He didn't even say anything other than hello but I knew. I called my mom and she came and met with the boys as the family gathered at my uncle and aunt's house. Sometimes it seems like ages ago and sometimes, when I really think about it again, it still hurts like yesterday. (kinda like right now)

More than his death I remember his life. I know he wasn't perfect (because no one is) but he sure seemed like it to me! He and my gram always took time with us grandkids. They spent many years living many states away and yet I remember being around them often. They always took us grandkids on road trips. Once we went to Colorado in and old car of theirs. (I live in the east so it was a loooooong drive). We went camping all the time. We went to visit them at least every summer in their Florida home. Then they started taking the grandkids separately on different trips, most were missions related. They took me to Missouri twice to help at a New Tribes mission thing for missionaries that were on furlough but getting ready to return.

He always shone the love of Jesus wherever he went. I remember him always saying these funny little sayings like I'm wide awake, I'm up now too, now here's your rrr, rrr, roooo! (that's a rooster call there!) The way he and my grandmother modeled Jesus to us was simply amazing. I am so thankful that they both took the time to be with us together and individually. I miss him terribly and can't wait to see him again.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

To God Alone Be The Glory...while doing dishes!

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Well, I caught myself (again!) being grumpy while doing some housework. Awhile back I posted about finding joy in the calling of motherhood.  Well, God is still working on me! I know there are days I will still struggle. For some reason, I have been extremely tired. Exhausted is more like it. And, if you are anything like me, exhausted=being a little more grumpy than usual! So after we ate our Sunday lunch I am finishing up and look up to see everyone gone. Except me and all the dirty dishes and leftover food. (and my dogs who wanted the leftovers!)

Immediately I began to think inside, "Gee thanks guys!" Then I actually said, "Gee, thanks boys! Don't worry, mom will clean up all the mess!" No reply. Hmph. The invisible woman strikes again! So I begin thinking, " Don't they all know how tired I am? I am exhausted and all I want to do is sit down for a minute but now I have all these dishes to do (and I don't really "do" them. I put them in the dishwasher.) and then I have to get my coupons and grocery list ready before I can even sit down."

YIKES! I felt God tug at my heart. "Remember finding the joy? What are your reasons for doing the dishes?" So I listed them off in my head. We need clean dishes so we don't get sick from disgusting moldy food on them. We need clean dishes to we don't get nasty bugs all over them. We need clean dishes because in doing so I bless my family. Hmmm....how'd that get in there?!? Then I was reminded of finding joy in my calling of motherhood. I prayed God would change my attitude and then you know what song I started singing? To God Alone by Aaron Shust. (a great video. You should watch it!) Let everything I say or do...Let it be all for You. The glory is Yours Alone.

I love how God can use things like doing the dishes to bless us and teach us. Even in the every day ordinary He longs to show us His way and His will.

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Thankful Thursday 3rd edition!

Today is my 3rd week of Thankful Thursday!

1. I am thankful for the beautiful weather!!!

2. I am thankful for getting to ride my bike yesterday.

3. I am thankful for books. I love to read!

4. I am thankful that Jesus loves me beyond measure, even when I'm at my ugliest.

5. I am thankful for the love of the Rev and my boys.
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What are you thankful for today?

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Stressed!!!

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Well, the next couple of months are going to be super busy. It generally takes a lot to make me stressed and last night I was super stressed thinking about it all! On top of keeping up the house (which I know I place to high of expectations on myself), trying to start a garden, making dinner from scratch every night, spending time with the Rev and the boys, the pregnancy center, teaching preschoolers at church Sunday mornings and 2 weeks a month on Wed. evening, some more things are coming up. The Rev's mom is moving. :) That makes me happy. She's moving about 15 minutes from us. I really love my mother in law. She is wonderful and like a second mother to me and I am happy about that. It's the moving part I don't like.

It's pretty much going to be the Rev and I moving everything and I'm not the most muscular lady around. In fact, my muscles are down right pitiful. Well, maybe not that bad as I have been strength training. Anyway, back to the point at hand. She gets the keys June 1st. Well, her granddaughter lives 10hrs away and is graduating this June. So my mother in law is supposed to go there from June 2nd through the 9th. This doesn't leave us much time to move her because our first half of summer is booked! There are numerous events at church. VBS is coming up on the week of the 20th (did I have that in my list above? If not add that in!) and the Rev is taking B and N to a camp that he's the director of the week of the 27th.

Then you have the fourth of July. After that we are supposed to having vacation starting on July 10th. I feel like half my summer is gone already! I don't want to take all summer to move (which is an option) because I want to spend time having fun with the boys. I've missed them sooooooo much since they went to public school this year. I can not WAIT for summer! I am counting down the days! (23 actual days or 15 school days.)

We do have yard/moving sale date of June 18th and moving dates of June 23-25. The moving dates do run into VBS but we don't have much other option.

I think I am at maximum capacity in what I can do. I am trying to rest in God's peace, but my Martha mentality has me getting all worked up! So, no one else ask me to do any more, please! And maybe say a prayer as well. Thank you!

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Saving on Clothing and household items

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So in my Couponing 101 post I talked about how I organize and use my coupons. Today I am talking about how I save on clothing and household goods. With 5 growing boys it is easy to spend tons of money on new clothes and shoes. And, let's face it, I'm a woman and I like to buy clothes for myself and the Rev as well. How do I save? Well, I'll tell you. I never pay full price for anything! In fact, I rarely pay over $5 for anything!

There are 3 stores I really love. TJ Maxx, Old Navy and thrift stores. (our local one is Goodwill) I love TJ Maxx because I have found many items on their clearance rack for $1-$2! I've gotten shirts, t-shirts, sweaters, skirts, shorts, yoga pants, capris and much more. I once found a Tommy Hilfiger shirt for $1! You can ask them when they do new markdowns on their clearance items and go on that day. Here is the shirt I bought for $1.

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I also love Old Navy. Their prices are much to be desired for many items though. So I go to the clearance. Often times I can find things for under $5, but a few times a year Old Navy does half off it's clearance rack. This makes things super cheap! I signed up for their email newsletters so I know when it is half off clearance items. Then I go and stock up on things for the Rev as well as the boys and I. I got these pants for $5!

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And my next favorite store is the thrift store. Our local one is Goodwill and I recently found another one that I just read has a $2 a garbage bag day on the third Thursday of the month. I'm going to try it out then. And our local Goodwill has a half off day the last weekend of the month. I go then and I usually spend at least an hour looking through clothes for everyone (and I check for stains, that zippers work, etc) as well as household goods. I recently bought this springform pan from Pampered Chef for $1.50 and it was brand new!
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I also bought a brand new Martha Stewart food chopper for $2 as well still new in the box! I've gotten lots of new things this way!
Our Goodwill also has a stamp card and when the card is filled you get $5 off your next purchase!

Of course, it's not a deal if you are buying it but aren't going to use it or don't need it! Just because I find something super cheap doesn't mean I automatically buy it! If I don't need it or don't have a use for it then I pass it up. Also, I find if I take cash I am more careful as to what I am buying so as not to go over my set amount.

So sometimes savings is work but I like a challenge and I love to find cheap bargains! (You should ask the Rev. I literally get giddy when I find a super good deal!)

Monday, May 9, 2011

Week 22 savings; 5/9/11

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Green=Free, Red=$1 or under, Q=coupon, MQ=manufacture coupon, WQ=Walgreens coupon,


BOGO=Buy 1 get 1 free, GQ=Giant Eagle coupon

IVC=Instant value coupon (walgreens store coupon) EC=Electronic coupon loaded on my Giant Eagle card.

If there is a number before the product that's how many I bought.

And for reference if it says RR that is register rewards that walgreens and Giant Eagle give out. It is a coupon that you can use off your next order that prints out at checkout time. I do multiple orders and use them immediately.

Walgreens
4 Clean and Clear body wash=$23.96 (on sale BOGO so 4/$11.98-$5.99MQ-$5.99MQ=FREE)
2 Carefree pantiliners=$2.98 (on sale 2/$1.98-.99MQ-.99MQ=FREE)



Original Total: $26.94

Total out of pocket after coupons/sales: $.72 (tax)
Total savings:$26.22
Week 22 Walgreens Total Savings: $725.69

Coupon only total week 13 =$364.31

Giant Eagle
4 cookie crisp cereal=$14.36 (on sale 4/$10-$1.50 (MQ doubled)-$1.50-$1.50-$1.10=4/$4.40 or $1.10ea)

Suave Dry Shampoo=$3.49 ($3.49-$3.49 MQ=FREE)

Tampax Pearl Tampons=$4.79 (on sale $4-$2MQ-$2EC=FREE)

4 Lysol Toilet bowl cleaner=$9.96 (on sale 4/$8-$1MQ-$1MQ-$2 instant savings when you buy 4=4/$4 or $1ea)

2 Schick shave gel=$6.96 (on sale BOGO so 2/$3.48-$1.50 MQ doubled-$1.50 MQ doubled=2/$.48 or $.24ea)

Tide stain release=$6.99 (on sale $5.99-$2MQ-$2EC=$1.99)

Bailey's Creamer=$2.29ea (on sale $1.67ea-$1MQ=.67)

Magic Eraser 2pk=$2.50ea ($2.50-$1.50MQ-$1.50EC=FREE I made $.50!)

2 coffeemate creamer=$4.98 (on sale 2/$3 -$1MQ=2/$2 or $1ea)

6 Lean Cuisine=$16.74 (on sale $2ea so 6/$12-$1MQ-$1MQ=6/$10 or $1.67ea)

3 San Giorno quick cook pasta=$4.50 (on sale $1 ea so 3/$3- $1-$1-$1 (all MQ's doubled)= FREE)

Crest pro health toothpaste=$4.19 (on sale $3-$1.50MQ-$1.50EC= FREE)

Uncle Ben's ready rice=$2.49 ($2.49-$2.49MQ= FREE)

9 Ken's Salad dressing=$26.01 (on sale 3/$5 so 9/$15-$1MQ-$1MQ-$1MQ=9/$12 or .75ea)

2 Ken's Marinades=$5.78 (on sale 3/$5 so 2/$3.34-$1MQ-$1MQ=2/$1.34 or .67ea)

2 Texas Toast Croutons=$4.98 (on sale 3/$5 so 2/$3.34-$1-$1 (both MQ doubled from .50) = 2/$1.34 or .67ea)

2 Bertolli pasta sauce=$5.70 ( on sale 2/$5-$1.20-$1.20 (both MQ doubled from .60)=2/$2.60 or $1.30ea)

2 Purina Beyond cat food=$5.38 ($5.38-$2MQ-$2MQ=2/$1.38 or .69ea)



4 Nestle Chocolate chips=$13.16 (on sale 2/$6 so 4/$12-$1.50MQ-$1.50MQ=4/$9 or $2.25ea)

20 Yoplait light yogurt cups=$14 (on sale 20/$10-$1MQ-$1MQ-$2RR=20/$6 or .30ea)

2 Tyson grilled and ready chicken/beef strips=$7.98 (on sale BOGO so 2/$3.99-$1.10-$1.10 (both MQ's doubled from .55ea) =2/$1.79 or .90ea)

2 Smart Balance omega oil=$10.78 (on sale $4.49ea so 2/$8.98-$1.50-$1.50 (both MQ's doubled from .75ea)=2/$5.98 or $2.99ea)

4 Rachael Ray Nutrish Dog food=$65.16 ( on sale $13.99ea so 4/$55.96-4 $2.50off coupons=4/$45.96 or $11.49ea)

And I also got a RR for $4 off my next order so that needs to be subtracted as well!

Original Total: $243.17

Total out of pocket after coupons/sales: $108.43
Total savings:$130.74
Week 22 Giant Eagle Total Savings: $1256.04
Coupon only total week 13=$570.51
Week 22 two store total savings: $1973.73

Sunday, May 8, 2011

A couple new coupon resources...

So recently I did my couponing 101 post.  Well, this weekend as I was doing my grocery list I came across two more places that have printable coupons!

couponnetwork.com
shortcuts.com

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Happy Mother's Day!

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Well, Happy Mother's Day!! I all you moms out there are doing fabulous! I am doing well after a long and stressful week for me. I am especially grateful for Mother's Day because I get pampered. :) The Rev and the boys treat me like a princess. I truly would love a morning of sleeping in, breakfast in bed, and  a long bath. The Rev thinks I need more than that. I really don't but my sweet, dear hubby always gets me a gift and makes me feel special and I am thankful for that.

 This year I actually got my gift early! It required a baby sitter. My hubby knows me so well. I absolutely love antiques. Usually the older and rougher it looks the more I love it! (I always joke it's why I love him so much but he really doesn't look old!) So I was blessed with a gift certificate to our local antique store in the mall. It is one of my favorite stores to browse in. Yes, some of the bigger items are really expensive. I've even seen some items that I had in my house growing up selling for $1000 or more! (makes me wish we wouldn't have thrown it away!)

Anyway, my mother in law was down (and I love her soooo much! She's the best!) and watched the boys. We've taken the boys into the antique store before but we don't stay for long. This time I got to spend as much time as I wanted going in and out of every nook and looking at everything. The Rev never said a word as I looked and shopped for 1hr and 40minutes. The longest I have ever been in there and the longest I've shopped and not gotten bored. (I like shopping but I do it fast!) I love old kitchen linens and stuff. Here are some of the treasures I got.


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tea and spice containers

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old cigar box

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maple syrup tin

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Curtains

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table cloth

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tea towels

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candy sack

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feed sack

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shot sacks

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Scarlett and Rhett towel. I love Gone with the Wind!

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table cloth

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tea towel

So what am I gonna use this stuff for? Well, I'll tell ya, but in another post. I want to show you what N made for me at school first.
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the wrapping

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the other side of wrapping

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front of card

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Inside of card. Nolan said we aren't really sad. He just wasn't paying attention when he drew our mouths!

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A flower, book of all the nice things I do for N and a tea cup with a tea bag.
And my sweet B made me a book of poems that he wrote all by himself! They were wonderful and I am putting all the paper things the boys made in a special bin where I keep their best stuff. I am truly blessed!

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Thankful Thursday!

Well, there is much to be thankful for today! I started thankful Thursday last week. So, without further adieu here is my list!

1. I am thankful for God's protection. I'm sure there are countless ways He has protected my family when I didn't even know it! (and many times when I have known)
2. I am thankful for my health and that of the Rev and the boys. 'Nuff said.


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My lab
3. I am thankful for my dogs who are always happy to see me no matter what.

4. I am thankful for my house. Having shelter over me is a great blessing!

5. I am thankful for books. I love to read. There is nothing like having a good book in your hands and a quiet minute to read! (or in my house, not so quiet!)

What are you thankful for today?

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Couponing 101

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My coupon holder
           

You know you are all dying to know how I organize my coupons, right?!? Ha! Well, I'm going to show you and tell you how I maximize my savings when I go shopping.

First, I always get 4 Sunday papers. I buy two of one that has all the inserts (usually Red Plum and Smartsource weekly and P&G and General Mills once a month or so) and then I buy two of another paper that has everything but Red Plum (because in that area Red Plum is mailed). If you are luckier than me your local paper has a super thick thing of coupons. It's why I buy two of the closest cities paper as well. Our local paper's coupons stink but it's the only way I can get a couple of Red Plum. Anyway, if you really want to save money grocery shopping, I really reccommend getting some sort of Sunday paper. I know it's money, but in the long run I save more even after spending to buy the papers.

Then I write the date on the front of the insert. I used to cut out every coupon and file under different categories like baked goods, frozen, etc. But I don't use all the coupons in every insert and it was too much to cut them all out. So I started writing the date on them because the sites I use will tell me which insert on which day. I file mine in a big accordian file (picutred below) according to month. So if it says SS 4/13 I go to April and find the Smart Source with the date on the front that says 4/13. I can then find my coupon.

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Well, usually I can. Coupons vary from town to town and even newspaper to newspaper. Our local newspaper has a thin insert while the closest city's that I buy has much thicker and more coupons. Then I go to the sites I use. These sites tell me what's on sale at my local store this week along with the coupon available. It tells me what the final cost will be so I can decide if it's low enough to buy it. It must be a savings of at least 50% for me to even consider buying it. Here are some of the sites I use:
couponmom.com-free
thegrocerygame.com -paid $10 every 8wks but your savings is more than this cost if you do it right
hotcouponworld.com-free

I also have places I go for printable coupons.
coupons.com
smartsource.com
redplum.com
thegrocerygame.com has printables you can use as well even if you aren't a member

And you can often go straight to your favorite products website and often times they will have coupons as well. I also subscribe to various blogs that sends me emails about deals and coupons all over the place. My favorites are the following;
moneysavingmom.com
thefrugalgirls.com
christianclippers.com
momsbyheart.net
couponsandfreebiesmom.com

Overall it takes me about one hour to get my list and coupons ready and then it takes me about 2.5hrs to shop. I go to 3-4 different stores to get all the good deals and then the essentials I need that aren't on the list. I have not had to pay for toothpaste, deoderant, and a few other things for over a year now because of coupons and sales. I buy as many product as I have a coupon for and then I am stocked up until the next sale.

You can even buy coupons on ebay for very cheap. I usually only buy dog food coupons because our dogs only eat one brand and since dog food is expensive I buy about 10-20 coupons (usually $1 or less for all of them) and then when it goes on sale for a good price I buy 10.

So I hope this was helpful. I know it was very lengthy but this is how I save on groceries. I usually don't buy it if it's not on sale and I don't have a coupon!

Next up: how to save on clothing and household goods.