Friday, April 29, 2011

winner winner, chicken dinner!!

Thanks to my darling assistant, we have a winner for the book, "Pick Another Checkout Lane, Honey" by the Krazy Coupon Lady!!

Congrats to Lisa!! I will get the book out to you soon! Actually Amazon will but whatever (:

Thursday, April 28, 2011

cheap eats

(the lonnnng line to get in!!)

Eating out is expensive. 

Yes we can use coupons. We can eat off the dollar menu , and only get water.

But not only is it expensive, to much of it is not healthy for you.

Whenever our family eats out, we think times 5.

5 kids can eat!!

So we stick to the dollar menu. We use coupons. But choices have to be made. And one of those is...


I know poor kiddos. They really do suffer.

So when 31 cent scoop night at Baskin & Robbins comes around my kids are in HEAVEN!! Not only do they get a dessert, but they get 3 scoops!

Less than $5 for all 4 of the older kids and myself  to get a bowl. Mason had to share but I don't think he minded!

It was a fun and cheap night!

I encourage you to look around your area and see what local discounts are offered! There are a lot out there, so take advantage!!

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

speechless at Ralphs

With Ralphs having strawberries for .88 a pint, I have been going in and getting lots!

They are HUGE, sweet and ADDICTING!

So while I was there I had a few other things I wanted to grab....

One item was free Crest toothpaste. Crest was on sale 10/$10. I had 9 coupons that were .50/1 that were doubled to a dollar. Nice right? Well while I was perusing my choices, an elderly lady walked down the aisle. She stopped in front of the toothpaste. I offered her one of my coupons and she politely declined. And then...she bought a tube of toothpaste that was ON SALE for $4.49!!! But you know what? She grabbed TWO!! Ugh, it made my stomach churn.

I can handle someone not accepting a coupon but paying that much for toothpaste? My Easter ham didn't even cost that much!!! I hope she has a good retirement fund. Whew!

As for me, all those groceries you see above? $29. Nine of those dollars was for the ham!! Which was normally $20 something.

4 bags of Lays potato chips
9 tubes of Crest
2 bottles of Tropicana oj
3 pouches of Idahoan potatoes
2 containers of sour cream
4 pints of strawberries
1 bunch of bananas
1 bag of seedless purple grapes
2 Propel zeros
8 boxes of Pasta Roni
and that big ol' ham!!

Monday, April 25, 2011

back fire

(totally DS'ed out!!)
When my kids became interested   obsessed... ADDICTED to video games, I decided to implement a rule. They hate it. Oh boy do they hate it!!

No video games on school nights. So Sunday-Thursdays are video game free at our house. Friday, when the kids get home from school, it's "hi Mom!!" run and put their backpacks away, video games go on and I don't see them again until bedtime.

They say no to offers to play outside with their friends, they eat dinner as fast as they can...they just become little zombies. Saturdays are basically a wash, rinse repeat of the previous day.

While I enjoy the quiet time it is just too much for one weekend. They beg and plead to be allowed to play during the week. So I am changing it up....

When morning chores are done ( bed made, dirty clothes picked up etc) they earn 15 minutes. If they don't do their morning jobs, there isn't a penalty, just no reward. Does that make sense?

Afternoon chores would equal another 15 minutes. Lunch bags put away, along with back packs, shoes put away...Again, no penalty if it isn't done, but no reward if it isn't.

If homework is completed by 4:30, they earn an extra 15. I have certain kids who like to do it 5 seconds before school starts :(, so this is extra incentive to get that homework done!!

Evening chores, earn another 15 minutes to be used the following day. If everything has been done, it gives them an hour a day to play. With the days being longer, this still gives them plenty of time to play out in the sunshine!

Saturdays' are our big chore days. No work = no video games. This day is not an optional day. You do your work with a smile. However instead of playing all day...they are only allowed to play during Mason's nap time. This does double duty.
1) they aren't upstairs being really loud not allowing Mason to sleep
2) when all kids are preoccupied, I can take a nap, or clip coupons...or whatever I want (:

What about you? Do you have rules about video games? I would love to hear how other people deal with this issue!! Rules or a free for all?

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Game on!

Ever since Harmony was a little girl, every time the holiday ads would come out, she would look through them for hours. She would take a stack of them everywhere she went. By the time I was able to throw them out, they were in sad shape.

And now, years later, all my kids are doing it. They love that I get more than one Sunday paper so that they can each have their own copy!

Well I look at a lot of ads and can I just tell you, I don't remember Easter baskets being that big of a deal. Is that just me? From what I remember, we got a new Sunday outfit and a basket of candy.

Now it's crazy how much stuff they have!

This is a long story short but, my whole point is, I loved getting toy coupons in the paper the other day!! Coupons with a great sale is the perfect score right?

Target had a variety of different games on sale that matched up.

My other favorite was the coupon for $5/1 Littlest Pet Shop Blythe doll. These were $10 minus the coupon. Netting a $5 LPS. Even though my daughter is almost 12 she still loves 'em.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Happy Earth Day

(My cute kiddos hanging out on nice GREEN grass)

(reusable lunch containers)

I am not very green. I try. But I have been known to not recycle my pop cans, forget my reusable bags (in the car no less) leave my a/c running...OK maybe I don't try very hard. *gulp*

However, it is amazing how being frugal/saving money is very similar to the ideas given for being green. We have all heard the 3 R's right? Reduce, Reuse, Recyle. So here we go...

How do we save money on our bills? Reduce our usage right? Turn your lights off when not in use. Don't leave your water running....or your a/c or heat if not needed. Save money and be green!

Next...reuse. My Sunday papers come in plastic bags. So instead of just tossing them, I reuse them for Mason's poopy diapers. Reuse water bottles. Use containers for lunches instead of plastic bags. Just because you get them cheap with coupons doesn't mean you need to use a box in a day right? Use your reusable bags at the grocery store.

And of course, recycle. If you can't find something to do with that leftover pizza box, put it in the recycling instead of the trash. Recycle your pop cans (get the money back and use it towards your groceries).

Are you GREEN? What do you do to save money but also helps the planet?

****If you are looking for some FABULOUS reusable products, you can check out my Tupperware page here****

Thursday, April 21, 2011

spring break

Having all 5 kids home during the day has really been cramping my couponing style!!

 When it is just Mason and I, if I find a great deal that I want to cash in on, I just grab him and go.

Bringing all 5 kids to the store just to grab a free dental floss is not my idea of a good time. It is my idea of insanity!!! Know what I am sayin'? And of course I don't have a husband home in the evenings so I can go then. Poor me. **sniff, sniff**

The good thing is, my binder is almost completely organized. That is what I do while they are video gaming.

I have had some more requests to see my binder and so without further ado, I introduce you to my 6th child....

Still working on it!

still working...

the inside

DONE! Honestly I should name and weigh this baby!!

This pouch holds all my free item coupons, scissors (2 pairs), a calculator, pens

The purple file is just for my Target store coupons. They take a Target coupon on top of a manufacturer, so it is a good way to score great deals! The pink one if for my store coupons, catalinas and any other sort of register rewards I have (:

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

frustration station

I have been feeling  GRUMPY.

And when I say grumpy, I mean GRUMPY!

I have been trying to " get over myself". I admitted to my husband how I hate the way I am feeling, but I can't help it. Does that make sense? You know you are acting like a kid/childish but you just can't make it go away?

Anyway, after some tears, chocolate and some advice from my sweetheart, I am "somewhat" over it.

It doesn't matter what people do or say, it is how I react to it that matters. Phew.

It feels great getting that off my chest. Now back to our regulary scheduled blogging (:

Saturday, April 16, 2011

5 down...

It's been 5 months since I said goodbye to my husband. He left Nov. 1st for Afghanistan.

It is amazing  how much can happen in 5 months. From holidays to daily life.

A lot of advice is given right before your husband leaves. Stay busy, make time for yourself, hang out with friends, avoid the news, make goals.

When ben left I wrote out a list of goals. For my home, budget, myself...

I have of them.

Honestly, I pretty much wrote them down and that is as far as it went.

I am not a single Mom, although at times it feels that way. I am only living this life for a few months at a time.

My husband is scheduled to be home around the middle of June. I can't wait!! I miss him so much.
Life will definatley change around here. Spaghettio's aren't always going to cut it for dinner. Piles of clean laundry can't hang out on the dining room table for days. Messes the kids could care less about, my husband won't.

I am rewriting those goals this weekend and am planning to share. No I will not be starting a new blog. This will be my only one. It is just that you will find a major variety of what you will find here (:

Thursday, April 14, 2011


Three dollars and 50 cents. Not a lot of money right?

I had 2 catalinas worth $3.50 that expired on Tuesday. I had forgotten about them until about 9:00pm. I was tired. It had been a long day. But I kept thinking, if someone handed me $3.50 would I just throw it away?

Heck no. And as if I hadn't learned from my Walgreens experience about letting catalinas expire right?

So I headed out I even need to say it anymore? Vons. I kept debating on what I wanted to get, something practical that we needed ( a gallon of milk? grapes?bread?) or something indulgent. I battled back and forth between my newest favorite ice cream flavor and practicalitty.

And being practical won out. I had a coupon for $5/1 Pediasure Sidekicks. These are insanely expensive but were on sale at $6.49 I could handle that. I also bought 3 Hallmark cards and got $2 off. The last thing I bought was a vanilla milk. It wasn't that great or indulgent but...whatever.

I did end up paying .75 but I think I did pretty well considering (:

And while you are here, don't forget to enter my giveaway!

Wednesday, April 13, 2011


the cute little cavity culprit!

Yesterday I logged quite a few hours at the dentists office. I try to get all my kids back to back appts. It makes for a loooong day but then it is done for 6 months right?

I ended up having 2 kids with appts in the morning and 2 in the afternoon. Yep looong day.

3/4 of my kids had zero cavities! Nice right? However that one child, had one cavity. However, the process to fix it is involved. $342 involved. Ugh.

So in true money saving form, here is the run down...
co-pay: $0
5 toothbrushes:$0
5 floss pkgs: $0
5 kids toothpastes:$0
before insurance price: $900
after insurance price: $342

Yeah guess where all my coupon savings for the month will be going? Ugh.

The kids next appt is in October. I told the kids that if they have a cavity free appt. they can each pick out a new video game. 4 video games x $30-$50 = a lot less than $342

Monday, April 11, 2011

Keepin' Up with the Jones' style

We have all heard of keeping up with the Jones's right?

The Jones have a nice house, so you buy a nicer house. They have a nice car, so you buy a nicer car. They have a nice tv, so you buy a nicer tv.

But maybe, it isn't even a high ticket item. Maybe it is, something small like going out to eat, going to a movie, taking a vacation...or someone else's good deal.

*If she has 20 free bottles of laundry soap, than I want 40*
*If she only saved 10% on her bill, then I want to save 100%*

If you are brand new at couponing, (or saving money in general) you might look at others and feel you aren't saving enough, compared to them. Don't do it!!

Remember that:
1. We all have different budgets (some may have $20 a week for groceries and some may have $200)
2. We all have different wants/needs.
3. We all have different family members with different tastes.
4. We all have different schedules (maybe you can only shop 1 day a week, where someone else can shop every day!)
5. We all have other obligations besides our groceries. LOL It's true though. Some work outside the home. Some don't. Some volunteer. Some don't. Some have babies still at home. Some don't.
6. We all have different grocery stores, with different coupon policies.

I guess what I am trying to say is, don't compare your savings with someone else's. Be proud whether you saved $1 or $100. Who wants to keep up with the Jones's anyway?!

Saturday, April 9, 2011

meat, milk, produce...oh my!!

One of the questions I get asked the most is,

How do I save money on meat, produce and milk?

While coupons for these are not as easy to come by as say, a box of cereal, they are out there. Keep your eyes peeled!

Wasn't that helpful? No, ok let's talk about it a little bit more. (:

When you get your weekly grocery store ads (mine come on Tuesdays b/c my sales run Tues-Tues) there will be some really cheap prices on meat, produce and other items. These are called loss leaders. The store takes a hit on the prices of these items, because they are the items that get you in the store. Think of it this way...

Say for example your store puts a whole chicken on sale for .59 a lb. This is a great price. You see that and say "ok I am going to go in and get the chicken". However, while you are in there you say, "ok now since I am here I might as well get..."

They get you in there with one item (or a few) and hope you will spend the rest of your money there.

Resist the urge!!! While planning my lists I only get the loss leaders, sale items and anything else that would be a good deal after coupons. I don't just throw whatever in my cart.

This week at one of my stores, cucumbers, strawberries, grape tomatoes and pineapples are on sale. That is the produce I will buy this week. If apples aren't on sale, we aren't going to get them that week. We will eat strawberries and pineapples instead. That way I am still feeding my family good for you fruits & vegi's I am also getting a good price.

Same with meat. I only buy the loss leader and plan my menu that way. If ground beef is on sale, we will have meatloaf, tacos, enchiladas etc. Chicken divan wouldn't be on my menu that week, unless of course I have some chicken in my freezer.

Another way to save money on these items is to use catalinas towards them. If you recieve a catalina (those coupons that print off at the check out) for $3.00 off of your next order, use that towards your produce/meat/milk purchase.

Planting a garden, freezing produce when bought at a good price, canning, buying at farmers markets...all those are good ways to save also.

Meat & milk are usually great deals at warehouse stores. Generally that is where I get mine, unless I get a great deal at my stores that week.

When you find a great price on meat, STOCK UP! Don't buy what you need for a day, buy what you need for a month (or what YOUR budget can afford). Later when either make myit is not that great can go to your freezer instead of the store.

For bread, I either make my own or buy from the bread outlet stores. We have a Hostess one and so I also like to get special treats like Twinkies, or those fruit pies that my hubby loves...

Remember also that when you are consistently saving money on your grocery bill, you can afford a few splurges. Here is your scenario:

Let's say you have a $100 budget for the week. Using your coupons and sales, you spend only $40. You now have $60 to work with. If you want to buy  steak for a special dinner with your hubby, or that pint of your favorite ice will have that money left over!

Friday, April 8, 2011

life lessons

For the past couple of days I have been watching the news.

It makes my stomach churn to watch what is going on.

Being a military wife, I have been hearing families talk about how they are going to survive on half of a paycheck. Most are living paycheck to pay check in the best of months. Now they are wondering how to pay their rent, get gas, food...It is sad knowing how little some of these families will be getting this next Friday.

Now more than ever, the effects of the economy are really hitting home.

I can't even begin to explain how grateful I am for my STOCKPILES. No matter what happens, I have plenty of food, cleaning supplies, health and beauty items to take care of my family. I havelearned to shop wiser and make my dollars stretch.Our family has been broke before. While my husband was in school, we had 3 kids under 3. All were in diapers, 2 on bottles. Broke doesn't even begin to describe those years. But we learned from those lessons.

 If you are not couponing, you need to be. You never know what is going to accident, a job loss, unexpected bills...or losing half your income while your husband is deployed.

I will be stepping up my game and will be posting more.

And because of all the negative feelings I want to have some fun! So I am giving away a copy of the book...

( I borrowed this image from Amazon)

"Pick another checkout lane Honey" written by the Krazy Coupon Ladies. (: If you are interested in winning this book, just leave a comment letting me know you want to be entered.

Saturday, April 2, 2011

got milk?

Mom's shopping buddy (:

are these flavors seriously for BREAKFAST?

If you have read my blog for longer than a day, than you know that I spend the majority of my shopping hours at Vons. I have many reasons for this.

I rarely go to Albertsons. And I have exactly one reason why I don't...they don't double coupons. I know that I will automatically double my savings at Vons or Ralphs.

This week's ad did entice me to come in though!

For every 3 boxes of Kelloggs cereals purchased, you recieve a coupon for a free gallon of milk.

Cereals were a seriously good price at 3 for $5

On some of the boxes they had $1 off of fresh produce when you buy selected Kelloggs cereals.

Hunts ketchup was also on sale 10 for $10

Breyers was B1G2Free (did you know that at Albertson that regular price is $7.99 for one!!!)

So here is what I did...
6 boxes of cereal
2 pkgs of strawberries that were BOGOF
3 boxes of pop tarts (these are included in the milk deal)
10 bottles of ketchup
3 Breyers
2 Ben & Jerry's (it is 90* today! What can I say?)

I had 5 coupons for .50/2 Hunts Ketchup
2 coupons for .70/1 Kelloggs Crunchy Nuts
2 coupons for $1/2 Kelloggs any type cereal
$1/3 PopTarts
2 coupons for $1 off fresh produce

My total went from $94.xx to $40.xx. Throw in 3 coupons for a free gallon of milk, and a rebate to get my purchase price back on one of the boxes of Crunchy Nuts.

Not bad for $40!!

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