Tuesday, July 22, 2008
Thursday, June 5, 2008
It's been a crazy couple of months with trying to get used to a toddler (!) running around, birthdays, holiday weekends, extra work, debt dumping, bargain hunting and doing my own research on new studies of potential health hazards. My poor blog has been neglected over here!
I'm coming out of the woodwork for a contest. WOW Hits is giving away a smashing amount of music, and since I haven't gotten any new music in a very long time, I thought I'd give it a go.
If you're interested in entering as well, check out Rocks in My Dryer to learn the rules of entering this giveaway.
Oh yeah, there will be 20 winners! Wahoo!
Friday, April 25, 2008
My wonderful husband helped me fashion a clothesline between the trees in our backyard this week. It was quite simple actually. We had some scrap lumber, and he just cut two pieces, screwed them into our trees and stretched the line across. So far, I have dried my floor rugs and some bedding out there. I am looking forward to seeing a difference in our electric bill. My neighbor has warned me that it might be against our homeowner's association code to have a clothesline, but I figure that I should be safe since I have a privacy fence and no one can see. Plus, I personally feel if that is in the code then it needs to be re-evaluated in light of the recent move to use less energy.
We noticed a $9 difference in our water bill from this month to last. We have only implemented two new washing strategies (which is where I figure the significant majority of our water is used). We only run the dishwasher when it is completely full, and I only run the washing machine on the fullest water setting. We have talked about being more conscientious of how long we spend in the shower, but haven't become aggressive in watching that area yet.
Frugal Friday is sponspored by Biblical Womanhood.
Wednesday, March 26, 2008
So, after trying many things (including keeping things clean around the kitchen and even using a little spray poison), I finally decided to try out a natural remedy I read about online- vinegar. Sunday night, I cleaned the entire kitchen and sprayed everything down with vinegar- counter tops, cabinet fronts, sink, side of the refrigerator. As of today, I have only seen one or two stray ants over the last couple of days. Best of all, I have gobs of vinegar and didn't have to pay a thing. I really didn't even mind the smell...much. I'm thinking I might start making more use of the cost effective solution!
And that, folks, is what works for me!
Be sure to visit Shannon's site for more tips!
Friday, March 21, 2008
Tuesday, March 11, 2008
One of the posts on there recently has come from the inspiration of another blogger who herself has been challenged in the area of being thankful for her children and all the mishaps that go along with parenting. She made a list of things she can't wait for Tricia to experience with Gwyneth, and then invited others to participate. Nate has extended the same invitation. So, here is my list (all of which I have done in the past 24 hours). I can't wait for Tricia to:
- clean up the water from the bathroom floor from the humidifier tank your daughter just broke
- sing silly songs and make silly faces just tyring to coax a few more bites into her stubborn little mouth
- get up at 5AM to lay your suprisingly awake little one back in bed and praying she'll go back to sleep and wake up at a more considerate hour
- soothe your little girl who seems more interested in crying than in taking her morning nap
- help her practice taking steps into your arms
- cheer when you're sure that "ah duh" means "all done" and "doo" means "dog"
- coax her to say "mama" instead of "bahbahbah" and "duhduhduh" all day long
- do everything you can to make her laugh
Motherhood is not without it's challenges, but I love it, and I love my daughter to pieces. Please continue to pray that Tricia will get her new lungs soon and will get to enjoy all the many precious moments with her daughter that life can bring.
Sunday, March 9, 2008
...for 6.73. That's-
1 Venus razor
2 Pantene hair gel
2 Swiffer dry sweeper cloths (large box)
1 Glade flameless candle
2 Glade candles
3 Garnier shampoo/cond.
2 Tresemme shampoo/cond.
1 Tresemme hair gel
5 Colgate toothpaste
2 Oral B toothbrushes
I only have 7 ECBs to roll over on account of the fact that I bought a third bottle of Garnier not realizing that it was limit of 2 on earning ECBs. Not only did I not get any ECBs, I paid for it in ECBs and used one of my coupons. I also had some issues with the toothpaste. Two of the tubes I bought were mentioned in the ad as being on sale with ECBs, but they rang up at a different price and I didn't get the ECBs. I've been contemplating calling Customer Service about it. I used ECBs to pay for them, so I can't get anything back by returning them. Grr...
The Garnier deal is running again this week, and so is the Venus razor deal. Those are probably the only deals I'll do this week, but I might add the Irish Spring deal just because I got a CRT (cash register tape) coupon for Irish Spring which will make the deal even better.
Monday, March 3, 2008
Well, it would be easy for me to blame it on my husband, who is by nature a "pile-er" and not a "file-er," but that wouldn't really be fair. We both contribute to the piles, as some days it is just plain easier to do that than find the proper place for it. I, in turn, let it go because the task appears to be overwhelming for just me (the only one who seems to be bothered by it)!
Today, my transcription workload is light, so I have decided to participate in Crystal's Making Your Home a Haven Monday challenge over at Biblical Womanhood. These are obviously the before pictures of my dining room table and workspace, both of which are in some serious need of organization and de-cluttering. My plan is to tackle this later this afternoon. Won't my husband be surprised when he gets home!
Be sure to visit Crystal's blog at Biblical Womanhood for more on making your home a haven!
Sunday, March 2, 2008
50 free prints at CVS!
Friday, February 29, 2008
Tuesday, February 26, 2008
1. Boneless, skinless Chicken breasts- 6.00 (3 lb. bag), PM to 4.47! This deal was amazing! I bought two bags, and I think I might go and get at least one more to stock up!
2. Secret deordorant- 3.48, PM to 2.19+50 cent coupon!
3. Various Pilsbury rolls, breads, bisquits- 1.93, and 2.00+, PM to 1.00+ coupons!
My friend Shelley told me about this site that helps you find all of the deals in the weekly circulars from your local stores. Every Thursday, I take the weekly circulars, go through and circle the items I'm interested in, and then later I will write them down and decide which ones I will actually add to my shopping list. Once I'm at the store, I will compare it to Walmart's price to see if I'm actually getting a bargain. If I'm not, I don't buy it unless it's something that I was planning to buy anyway. Since I've really been focusing on saving money, I've really started trying to plan my meals around what is on sale and also to stock up on things when they're at a good price. Case in point, the infamous rump roast from last week (which is going to give me four meals) and the chicken from this week. By doing this, I may be spending more on this week's (or last week's) grocery bill, but I'm spending less in the long run. However, with the assistance of this new site, I was able to find a few deals that I had initially overlooked. I also like that you can add the items you want to your list and then print it out.
I still spent more money today than what I eventually want to do on a weekly basis, but I'm not stressing about it. Number one, I figure there's a learning curve. Number two, I have acknowledged the fact that it takes a little extra money up front to stock up so that eventually you'll be spending less.
Recently, I've also been motivated to start looking into buying things like produce and meat more direct. My neighbor, whose in-laws operate a natural foods store, sent me this article, which really kind of alarmed me a little bit. That combined with the recent revelation into the beef industry and the recall of thousands of pounds of beef have got me wondering about finding a local farmer to buy from. Meat is not a major part of our diet, but I would like to know that what we are eating is of good quality. I also really like the idea of supporting local farmers. I'm looking forward to spring more than ever because it will bring the new season of farmer's markets. I'd also like to consider getting involved in this program.
I'm probably taking a week off from CVS this week. There weren't really any deals that grabbed my attention, and my ECBs have a couple of weeks before they expire.
I'm really thankful for all the ways God has provided for us, especially in just the last two days. I received a new assignment for some freelance work that I do (which is excellent money!), and we got our taxes back from the accountant tonight. God is blessing us with a very good refund, and we are so happy!
Sunday, February 24, 2008
Yesterday, I went to Walgreens to take advantage of their deal involving the newest Venus razor. They were offering a mail-in rebate for the entire purchase price of one of these razors, and yesterday was the last day to take advantage of it. Unfortunately, when I went in last night to buy one, the store was out of them. Thankfully, the manager offered to pick up one for me from another store, and to compensate me for the rebate, he said he'd just give it to me for free and completely bypass the mail-in rebate! Of course, I was happy to be getting the razor for free; however, I was planning on an even better deal. I had a $2 coupon, plus I had $4 off coupon to use. So, I was only going to pay $4 out of pocket, then get $9.99 back as a rebate. I was actually going to make $6! In bypassing the rebate, I bypassed my opportunity to make money.
Tonight, I went back to the store to get my razor. When the manager "rang" it up (to remove it from inventory), to our suprise it triggered the printing of a $5 dollar off coupon! Yeah! But now, I can only think of how sweet the deal would have been had I been able to do what I initially planned! I'm so crazy about saving money!
Thursday, February 21, 2008
Unfortunately, the cashier was new, had a little trouble but once someone explained it to her, she seemed to be doing okay. Then she hit the total button, and I almost choked. I know my eyes visibly bugged out of my head. It was 198 dollars! I was so discouraged, because I had really tried to be careful. I was sure that something wasn't right. I didn't want to make a scene, so I quietly paid my bill, took my receipt and pushed my cart out of the way to study it. Sure enough, as I was scanning down, I came to the realization that she had charged me full price for my reduced-price meat, not just once, but four times! That was $44! She had also double charged me for another item.
I remained calm as the manager at the customer service desk took FOREVER to figure out how the cashier had rung the meat up incorrectly. She was super-nice about it the whole time, though. In the end, I walked out with an additional $45! I still spent a lot of money, but $150 is much more acceptable considering all the extra items I had to buy this week. Plus, the chicken and beef that I bought will be used for 3-4 meals next week, so next week's bill should be much less!
Pay attention to your receipts!
Tuesday, February 19, 2008
Becoming more "green" is something that has been on my mind for a while, probably since the birth of my daughter. I have to admit that I have shyed away from it because of the idea of being more "eco-friendly" is predominantly perpetuated by liberals to the point where it becomes obnoxious, and I am not a liberal. My daughter's birth has led me to re-consider a number things regarding how I want to bring her up. The Lord has also convicted my heart regarding His command to be good stewards. To whom much is given, much is required. We are so careless in the way that we use and dispose of so many things.
Unfortunately, I was not raised in a family that made recycling a part of our lives. That is my next step. I am going to buy a trashcan to put in our kitchen for recyclables. Recycling plastics, glass, aluminum and the like is a little inconvenient for us because it's not included in our trash pickup. The nearest dropoff is a few miles away, so it will take some planning for us to accomplish this.
Another thing I am aspiring to do is find a way to cloth-diaper in a way that works for us. I recently discovered a site where I found a free diaper pattern, instructions and fabric. I'm not too handy with a sewing machine, but my mom is, and she thinks it looks pretty easy. I'll be posting more about this at a later point.
I'd also like to learn more about composting and whether it's possible with the small yard that I have.
There are so many changes that I could make. What are some of the "green" things you do or would like to do?
(Be sure to scroll down and check out my previous post.)
Here is how I had it planned:
(2) Huggies diapers- 8.99 ea
(4) Palmolive dishsoap- .99 ea
(1) Cottonelle TP- 5.99
(2) Cottonelle moist wipes- 2/$4
(2) $2 off Huggies (printed from internet)
(1) $1 off Cottonelle (printed from internet)
(2) $1 off 2 Palmolive
(1) $1 off 2 Cottonelle wipes
(1) $4/$20 CVS coupon
9 ECBs from previous visit
Total OOP (before tax): 10.93
Return ECBs: 15
That was the plan...however, I learned as the lady was ringing up my coupons that they only accept ONE internet coupon PER transaction. Not per item purchased, but per transaction. So, I couldn't use one of my Huggies coupons and my TP coupon. Now, anyone who knows me well from having spent extended amounts of time with me knows that I don't think well on my feet...at all. The exception seems to be when I'm teaching. Had I been able to think on my feet, I would have broken the transaction up and built up to the $30 I was required to spend to get the 15 ECBs. I believe that you are allowed to do that. Additionally, I discovered as I was ready to leave that the cashier also forgot to use my Palmolive coupons. Thankfully, she gave me the cash back for the coupons!
Actual OOP total (before tax): 15.03
Fructis shampoo- 3.33
Fructis conditioner- 3.33
Tresemme conditioner- 3.34
(2) Colgate paste- 2.39
(2) $1 off Fructis
(2) $1 off Colgate (both printed off internet)
$4/$20 CVS coupon
15 ECBs from previous transaction
Total OOP: 4.77
Return ECBs: 14
I got hung up with the one internet coupon on this transaction, too, so I kept out one of the toothpastes. No big deal. The big thing on this one was that when I went to give her my CVS coupon, I gave this one coupon I had that triples ECBs earned on money spent at CVS. It also took 0.01 off my order. As a result of giving that coupon, I couldn't use my $4/$20 coupon! What a ripoff! Had I known that, I would have bought a piece of candy and used that triple ECBs coupon in a separate transaction. Additionally, again I didn't realize until I was on my last transaction that the toothpaste wasn't printing any ECBs, and it was costing me more than 2.39! Thankfully, the cashier gave me back the money that I overpaid, and told me to call the customer service number to get my ECBs. The best thing about this transaction is that I still have a mail-in rebate for the Sambucol, so I will get all of my money back.
Actual OOP total: 9.46
Actual return ECBs: 10 (with 2 more coming)
Covergirl powder: 7.99
Covergirl blush 5.99
Covergirl eyeliner 5.29
Covergirl mascara 4.99
(4) $1 off coupons
$4/$20 CVS coupon
14 ECB from previous transaction
Total OOP: 2.26
Return ECBs: 10
This one didn't end up being too bad. Only difference was I only had 10 ECBs from previous transaction because of the toothpaste goof. Plus, I had to add in one of the toothpastes to this transaction so I could use my coupon and get my ECBs.
Actual OOP: 8.25
Actual return ECBs: 10 (with 2 more coming)
In all, I got all of this:
Thursday, February 14, 2008
This week, the deals weren't so great. The nice thing was that I found several things that I was out of that were on sale and a few gave me some ECBs. But, I spent all of my ECBs from my first trip, and I only got 7 ECBs. But, again, I used a lot of coupons.
As far as couponing goes, here's what I have learned: Clip any coupon for a product that you think you might use, regardless of if you think you will be "needing" that product soon. I've realized that I've passed up several opportunities to save big if only I'd had the coupons. I've found several sites that are helpful with couponing.
1. The Coupon Mom- this site not only hooks you up with different sites to find printable coupons and freebies, but it also helps you know what deals are in your area. On Saturdays, they post what coupons are going to be present in the paper each Sunday.
2. Slick Forums- This site has TONS of postings about all present deals, and each Saturday you can find the next week's deals, and they'll even post about what coupons you can use to get even better deals.
3. The Coupon Clippers- you can purchase coupons you want for a very small price. You do have to buy minimum quantities, so it's really only advantageous to order the coupons that only come along every once in a while for a product you use all the time or to get coupons for really great deals (like at CVS). Plus, the lady that runs this service is a pastor's wife and a WAHM, so I feel good supporting her business.
4. The Coupon Master- just like The Coupon Clippers. The minimum quanitity is less, and they stock different coupons, so it's worth it to check out both.
5. Freebies 4 mom- Here you can find daily deals with links to coupons and more.
Honestly, you can find some great coupons by just randomly going to sites of products you use and checking to see if they have coupons for printing. Also, try emailing the companies of the products you use often and asking for samples or coupons. You might not get anything, but it's worth a try!
This weekend, I'm planning to review my past bank account statements and see where our money has been going for the past couple of months. Once I get that info, I'll start working on our revised budget.
As far as time management goes, I would give myself a C-. I'm still having trouble limiting my time doing stuff that keeps me from getting anything productive done.
Saturday, February 9, 2008
In future posts, I will share how God is challenging me in my walk with him. In addition, I will post my plans for financial savings and any bargains I find.