Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Spending time up at the school

Last year, when Wally started Kindergarten, I was very new to staying at home. I had only been home for 2 months and I relished my time at home with the boys. Not only was I new to staying at home, I was new to school as well, since this was his first year. Kindergarteners can be dropped off and picked up at the front of the school before and after school, so I was rarely in the school last year. I saw a few moms at birthday parties and classroom parties, but really didn't get to know anyone very well.

Well...this year is different. Beaver started K4 there this year and he has to be walked in to school in the mornings and picked up inside his classroom in the afternoon. So, now I'm in the school twice a day everyday. I can't tell you how much that has changed our "school experience". I have gotten to know so many moms, teachers, aides, and office staff. I also help out in the classrooms at least once a week, and serve lunch in the cafeteria once a month. I'm having the most fun and I know it's because I'm coming in the school now instead of dropping off and picking up outside. I can't believe how much I missed!

And the great thing is, if I want to walk them in the morning and walk in to pick them up next year...I can! I love that my boys go to a private Christian school. There is not near the red tape of the public schools and we can be much more involved.

Another great week at Walgreen's

More great things at Walgreen's! I could do several more trips, but I don't know if I'll be able to get to the store any other times this week.

I paid $11 + tax for all that you see. The total value is 106.93 for a savings of 91% :)

Here's the breakdown:

4 Dove Shampoo's = $12
- (2) $2 off Dove coupons
1 Dove Hairspray = $4
8 Easter cups = $1 (filler items)
1 Degree Deodorant = FREE
- $1 off Degree coupon
3 Crest Anticavity = Clearanced for .49 ea = $1.47 (filler items)
2 Cetaphil = $6
- On sale for $7.99 ea, used (2) $5 off Cetaphil coupons
3 Dentek Dental Floss = $6
3 Walgreen's 100 pack vitamins = $9
Post Fruity Pebbles = $1.99
Cap'n Crunch = $1.99
3 Airwick starter kits = FREE
- On sale for $3.99, used (3) $4 off Airwick coupons
4 Halls cough drops = FREE
- On sale for $.99 each, used (4) $1 off Hall's products
- On sale for $5, used in-store coupon for $1 off Cottonelle and $1 off manufacturer's coupon = $3

Also used $31 in RR from doing this in 9 different transactions and $4 from a previous trip. I got $3RR for each vitamin, $2 for each floss, and $4 for each Dove product. I still have $4RR to use on my next purchase.

Stocking up on games

Target has an awesome deal this week on Hasbro games. If you want to add to your game closet, stock up on birthday gifts, fill an Easter basket, give away to teachers, put back for Christmas, or donate to the less fortunate....this is the time to do it!!!

I didn't take a picture of all the stuff I bought, though :(.

I bought 13 games for $6.54 plus tax.

3 Bop-Its, priced $14 each = $1 each after coupons
- 3 Target coupons for $3 off Bop-It
- 3 Hasbro coupons for $5 off Bop-It
- 3 Free Monopoly Deal for buying the 3 Bop-Its
- 3 $5 off Monopoly game (even though they were free, it still lets you use the coupon), it just applied it to the total, which ended up taking another $5 off each Bop-It game

2 Connect 4X4, priced $14 each = $2 each after coupons
- 2 Target coupons for $3 off Connect 4X4
- 2 Hasbro coupons for $4 off Connect 4X4
- 2 Free Scrabble Slam for buying the 2 Connect 4X4's
- 2 $5 off Scrabble game (even though they were free, it still lets you use the coupon), it just applied it to the total, which ended up taking another $5 off each Connect 4X4 game

3 Pictureka Flipper, priced $14.99 regularly - on CLEARANCE for $4.77 = FREE plus $0.46 overage after coupons
- 3 $5 off Pictureka coupons that I took from inside the Monopoly Deal games (it told me on the front that there were coupons in there. Since I was buying them anyway, I opened them up and got the coupons out). The overage was applied to my total.

The cashier was shocked, to say the least! :)

Monday, March 22, 2010

My Baby is 7

I can't believe Wally is 7 years old. I remember when I first found out I was pregnant with him and that seems like just yesterday. My memories are so vivid of that makes me wonder where the last 7 years have gone. The older he gets, the more I find myself wishing he would stay little forever.

I love that he still wants to be rocked before bed every once in a while.
I love that he still lets me kiss him goodbye when I drop him off at school in the morning.
I love that he wants to spend all his free time with me.
I love that he lets me hold him and love on him in front of his friends.
I love that he thinks I'm the best mom in the whole world.
I love that he still watches Sponge Bob, Little Bear, Wubzy, Olivia, and Max & Ruby.
I love that he still gets in the floor and plays with his cars and trucks and Legos.
I love that he has no idea what sex, drugs, and rap music are.
I love that he still wears Cars and Thomas the Train underwear.

I know he has to grow up at some point, but for right now, I'm going to relish the fact the he's still an innocent little boy, who still loves it when I make a smiley face on his waffles with the syrup.

Here's to little boys!

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Waiting for the mailman

In the days of email, texting, cell phones, and the internet, there's seems to be no real need for the mail anymore. People can see e-cards and e-vites, you can get your newsletters, magazines, and coupons online, and when was the last time someone sent you a letter or a postcard? When I was younger, I loved to check the mail when I got home from school. I had 4 penpals and subscribed to 3 magazines and I was constantly getting goodies in the mail from family members. I no longer get a lot of stuff like that, but I do get a lot of coupons and free samples and I really enjoy that. And even though I know I won't be receiving a long lost check, a new magazine I forgot I subscribed to, a postcard from a friend I haven't seen in years, or a JC Penney's catalog I didn't request, but I still get excited every time I see that white truck turn onto our street.


It's funny...most of my joys come from old-fashion things like board games, housekeeping, time with my children, and reruns of black and white family sitcoms. But one show I really enjoy that doesn't go with any of this is Roseanne. I get such a kick out these reruns and my husband and I watch them together every night right before we go to sleep. I think I like it so much because it reminds me of my childhood...both because I watched it a lot and because I can relate to the way they grew up.

Who doesn't know a family like this? One that can't quite seem to get ahead, but all still pull together during the rough times. Even though my life couldn't be further from theirs, I still really enjoy this show and it makes me laugh like no other.

Teaching others about coupons

I have learned so much about couponing the past 2 years and I was happy to finally get to show a few other people how to save money the crazy way I do. I think they were a little overwhelmed at first because I use 5 blogs, Sunday inserts, EBAY, and All You magazine to get these savings...but I really think they're going to give it a whirl. I'm glad I've really spent some time entering all of the savings into a spreadsheet so I can review this at the end of the year and really see my savings.

Who knows, maybe I'll even start doing couponing workshops!

Weekly Walgreen's Trip

Went to Walgreen's for 3 trips this week and got some great deals. I spent $9.71 on $61.64 worth of goods, for a savings of 84%, and I have $4 RR to spend on my next purchase.

I'm getting so addicted to saving money...however, after several similar trips over the past month, I now have enough toothpaste and tampons to last the rest of the year! :)

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Spoiled Dog

Throughout the 9 years Ward and I have been together, we've had several pets. Abby was the first dog we had as a couple, and he got her the week we started dating. She was 9 months old when we got her and a very skiddish dog. To this day, she is still very skiddish, but she's changed a little through the years. We wanted her to have a playmate when she was younger, so we brought in Marley, a yellow lab. They were buddies for about 2 years, but we had to get rid of Marley because she kept jumping over the fence and digging holes in the yard.

When we got married, I got rid of my ragdoll cat, Beau, but I kept my Maine Coon, Punkin. She stayed in hiding most of the time, so it was like she wasn't there. She stayed with my mom for a while when I was pregnant with Wally, but when we brought her back home, she kept getting in his crib and we were afraid of something happening, so we gave her away.

We moved to the Big City for 2 years and took Abby with us, but when we came back to the town we live in now and got our new house (the one we live in now) we felt (again) that Abby needed a new friend. The previous 5 years we'd had her, she had slept outside alone and never ever came in the house. Well, something changed when we moved into this house. She started scratching at the door to get in the house. So, we started letting her sleep in the house on the couch in the formal living room. We ended up getting a big black lab that was 6 years old, Lexi. She was very overweight and bulldozed her way into the house every time we opened the door. She was so big and heavy that she was constantly knocking over chairs, lamps, and anything left lying around, so after just 5 days, we gave her back to the owner.

Around Christmas of 2009, a cat showed up on our doorstep. She was a long-haired black cat and the sweetest cat I'd ever seen. She just "talked" all the time and purred and loved to lay on your chest. We kept her and named her Dixie, but soon found out that Wally was allergic to her. We had tests run and sure enough...SEVERE allergies to cats. We tried to keep her away from him, keep him out of his room, and made her sleep outside at night, but it wasn't enough. We ended up having to give her away as well.

Last summer, Ward talked me into getting a puppy, a black lab. I did NOT want to try out another pet since they never seemed to work out, but he'd been begging for a puppy for years and thought the boys were old enough to train one. Well, the owners talked us into taking sisters, that we named Daisy and Ruby. After a few days (even though they were only tiny puppies) we realized that we could not handle two, so we gave Ruby away. After a month of Daisy waking up in the middle of the night EVERY night yelping, I didn't think I could take much more, but she finally was able to start sleeping outside and we made Abby sleep out there with her. Abby had been an inside sleeper for a couple of years, so she did NOT like this new arrangement, but they grew to be friends.

Well, sure enough, Daisy did what most labs do, and started chewing up EVERYTHING in site. She chewed our wooden door frames, the grill, lawn chairs, every toy that was left outside, the pipe covers, water hoses, sprinkler system, and even the privacy fence. To make matters worse, she was so "excitable" that when you opened the door to feed her or spend time with her, she mauled you and knocked you down. It got to the point where the boys stopped playing in the backyard all together. guessed it...we gave her away.

Lessons learned.

Here we are, 9 years later, with just Abby and she's sleeping inside again. She's gotten to the point where she only wants to go outside to eat and use the bathroom and wants to be inside the rest of the day. Even though she is still a little standoffish with people and cautious of everyone's motives, we've been spoiled by such a low maintenance dog and I don't know if any other pet will ever measure up.

Girl Scout Cookies

I love this time of year because I love Girl Scout cookies! I was a girl scout many moons ago and I still remember going door to door selling them. Times were a little safer back then and people actually enjoyed ordering from us because the cookies were so delicious. I remember my last year, I sold 400 boxes and went to Girl Scout Camp for free! My mom was thrilled. Back then they were only $1.25 per box. Unfortunately, now they're $3.50 a box so we can't afford to "stock the freezer" like we used to.

I did order 1 box of each of our favorites: Thin Mints, Tagalongs, Treffoils, Lemon Cremes, and Samoa's. It's only a matter of days before they will be gone!

Change Jar

We're new to spending only cash (Dave Ramsey Plan) and Ward had a great idea. He said, instead of keeping the change we get back from our trips, we should put it in a jar and when it fills up, use it for something fun. We've only been doing it for 3 weeks and already have over $10, and twice during that time, we had to empty it for fundraisers at school or church.

If we can manage to put $7 a week in there consistently, we'll have over $350 in a year!

We haven't decided what we're going to spend it on yet, but it's fun watching it fill up!

Sick Days

Wally was home sick was the fever virus last Tuesday and Wednesday, and Beaver woke up with a fever Saturday morning, so we stayed home Saturday and Sunday. The boys seem to be fine, but now I'm sick. :( I started feeling terrible yesterday afternoon when I brought the boys home from school and actually took a nap for 1.5 hours while they watched TV and played Nintendo, which is something I never do. I did manage to get up and fix dinner, but I felt horrible while I was cooking and the smell of the food nauseated me.

I didn't want to crawl into be at 6:00pm because I knew Wally had a lot of make-up homework to do in addition to his regular homework, Beaver needed a bath, and I was several days behind on my Bible Study. So, I laid on the couch and tried to direct the kids in the right direction. Ward was great about trying to get them to be quiet, but he was working on Wally's Pinewood Derby car out in the garage since the race is this Saturday so he wasn't around to be much help with the physical stuff. My plan was to go to bed around 9:00pm, but I didn't end up getting to sleep until about 10:15pm, and now I have a huge headache this morning.

I'm not looking forward to today. As soon as I drop the boys off at school, I have to sit in my car for 20 minutes and try to finish my Bible Study lesson, and then head over to my friend's house for the study. I'm coughing a lot, so I know this won't be very much fun, but I can't miss it because I had to miss last week when I was taking care of Wally.

After the class, I have to drive straight to the Big City (40 minutes from here) for a monthly staff meeting...did I tell you I work from home for my husband's boss? The work is simple and very flexible and I love my job and my boss, but today is the worst day to have to drive all that way for a 1 hour meeting. After the meeting, Ward and I have to go over to another building and load up a bunch of books his boss is giving us for our personal library. We've been putting this off for months, and he was so generous to give us this gift that we really need to take care of that today.

Directly after this, I have to drive back to our town and pick up the boys from school. Wally will have to finish the rest of his make-up work tonight-plus regular homework, and I will have to make dinner and see that Wally gets a bath. Right after dinner, Ward is taking Wally to the batting cages because he has baseball tryouts on Saturday and needs to get back in the groove, so I will have to take care of Beaver. Beaver is one of those children that is such a joy to be around because he has so much life and energy and is almost always in a good mood, but he is also very needy and can't really entertain himself. He hates to be alone and constantly has to be given lists of activities he can do to pass the time.

I couldn't have picked a worse day to be sick. If I make it through the day, I think I am going to crash hard around 8:30pm and not look back.

Lord, give me strength!

Sunday, March 7, 2010

French Toast

I love to make Challah, and I made so much of it around the holidays that I vowed I wouldn't make it again for 6 months. But I caved and made a loaf this weekend. :)

We enjoyed it on Saturday night and then I used the leftovers for homemade french toast for breakfast this morning and it was amazing!

I love having a nice Sunday morning breakfast, when we're all gathered around the table in our pajamas, the TV is off, and all of the blinds in the house are open.

It was a great start to our day. We had wonderful weather here with blue skies and a high of 62 degrees!

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Walgreen's trip

Had a great trip at Walgreen's today!!!

Here is what I got for $13.12

2 12-packs of Cottonelle's
* 2 coupons for $1 off any Cottonelle
Jumbo box of Puffs tissues
* FREE with any two Vick's purchases
Quattro Razor system
* $3 RR back, $4 off coupon, $2 off in-store coupon
2 children's tylenol cold
* $5 RR back, $3/2 coupon
Christmas candle
*Was .17 - must have an equal number of items to's a "filler item"
2 Right Guard deodorants
* B1G1 free, $2/2 Right Guard products
3 cans of cream of mushroom soup
* $.79 each with in-store coupon, .40/2 coupon
Revlon eye shadow
* $1.99 on sale, $2 off any Revlon product coupon
Lady Speedstick deodorant
* $1 off Lady Speedstick coupon, so FREE after coupon
2 boxes of Vick's vapo cough drops
* $.90 each, 2 coupons for $1.50 off any Vick's product, so I MADE money on this
Kotex tampons
* 2.99 on sale, $5 RR back when combined with Cottonelle, $1 off coupon

I also had $5 RR from a previous purchase.

17 Items! Average price per item is 77 cents.

Total Value: $74.89
Total Spent: $13.12


****Also, after buying all of this, I got a $5 off my next order coupon. If you apply that retroactively, I really got all this stuff for $8.12! :)

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Taking Care of sick children

Wally is home sick with a high fever. He was home yesterday as well. My boys RARELY get sick, so I jump at the chance to take care of them when they do. I have spoiled him the past two days with meals in bed, snuggly blankets, hot chocolate, stuffed animals, and endless attention. I think I'm enjoying it more than he is! I am so thankful for the opportunity to be at home with my boys. When I was little and sick, I'd have to go over to my great grandmother's house and lay on her old smelly couch all TV, no games. And her house smelled like old people. I hated being over there. I'm happy I can light some candles that smell like apple pie, put him on the couch with Looney Toons, and putter around the kitchen making peach turnovers while he sleeps the day away under his favorite blanket.

I love my life!

In my efforts to save money, I started researching even more ways to save money at the grocery store. Before starting this intense research a few weeks ago, I thought I knew everything there was to know about couponing. I discovered and, but I recently found out that Kroger also has their own ecoupons on their website, which I didn't know a thing about!

I recently ran across the best website ever! It's called and this woman (Jenny) will research the weekly circulars for a variety of stores, list what's on sale, and underneath that include links to places to print coupons for these items. She does all the work!!!

I'm obsessed now and I'm on this website several times a day checking for new posts.

I went to the store this weekend and got 3 pounds of beef, two boxes of velveeta shells and cheese, 3 pounds of a pork roast, bisquick, and BBQ sauce all for $2.23 with my coupons and savings!!!!

Needless to say, I have gone to the next level of couponing!