Hope for Tomorrow, Grace for Today...what it means...

For in this HOPE we are saved. But HOPE that is seen is no HOPE at all. Who HOPES for what he already has?

~Romans 8:24

And if by GRACE, then it is no longer by works; if it were, GRACE would no longer be GRACE.

~Romans 11:6

Monday, August 2, 2010

It's been a while...but I wanted to share my score!!

Okay...I have really been out of touch with my little blog here. Steve and I went with friends to Mexico at the beginning of July (fabulous, by the way...if I get more time someday I will write up a little post about it!). Then with VBS and catching back up with life, well, you know how it goes!!

I went to Rite Aid today (without kids, thanks to Lisa) and I did GREAT!!!

Pampers (31 ct)
wipes (72 ct)
4 Herbal Essence products
1 Crest Toothpaste

Total Before Coupons (but after Wellness card) : $25.17

-$5 off $25 video value coupon
-$1.50 off pampers
-free wipes (3.69) when you buy pampers
-free herbal essence stylers (2.50 each) with sham or conditioner (x2)
-$.75 Crest

Total: $9.23!!

That's not all...I got $1.50, $2 and $2 +up rewards for $off next purchase (crest, pampers, herbal essence when you buy 2). The pampers also have a $2 rebate.

So...I paid $9.23 and got $5.50 in up rewards and $2 rebate.

I turned around and went to the 50% off backpacks sale and found the last Toy Story backpack for my big boy who's turning 4 on Saturday.

Backpack: $14.99

-50% = $7.49
-$5.50 up rewards

TOTAL: $1.99 AND a $1 +up reward printed for the backpack purchase!

Yay!!! I call that a good day!!

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Random Things...Genius Child, Smores and Project

Anyone who is a mom knows that feeling where you think your child is the smartest creature in the universe (even if you have seen them do some of the dumbest/strangest/grossest/etc. things...). So Micah, my little face-maker, chooses to give looks and make grunts, whines and yells when he wants or doesn't want something. He has said many words 1 or 2 times, but he just doesn't really want to express himself with words yet. (Sidenote: This doesn't worry me or bother, so I don't need any comfort...I am just stating the facts about my little precious monster.) Well, today he showed me where his eyes, tummy, feet and nose are at. He also made sounds for several animals (cow, horse-a fabulous raspberry noise that Mommy taught him, dog, chicken and cat) without the pictures! I just asked him to make the sounds. :-) So...right now I am thinking Nobel prize or something, right??
Anyways...I am on one of those "my child is a genius kicks" and I am going to ride it out! Enough about that...the big boy is pretending to be a dinosaur watching Land Before Time (I think the 5th one...which I wouldn't acknowledge other than it was free HBO weekend and I had to record the dinosaur movie for my dino-loving-boy. I am srticly a Land Before Time-the original-fan.)
We have been building fires because the boys LOVE it! When I say boys, I am including Steve-the hubby. They are so silly! We did smores last night. They were so cute getting all sticky. I have to toot my horn in that I am getting quite used to boys and their uncanny knack for getting sticky, dirty, muddy, and worse, and I just remember that the bath tub and the washing machine are in our house for a reason! Is it cute (and random) that they all match??? Also notice the great garden bench that I got my friend's garage sale for $10 delivered and the massive amounts of gravel! We moved it all over 2 days (10-11 yards of it) and I dug a "trench" around it all for the bricks that go around the perimeter of our huge graveled area...you can see them if you look close! We are feeling very productive lately...probably because the sun has decided to grace Oregon with it's presence a little more now!

I also wanted to share my fun project from yesterday! I have been very convicted by all the design shows about having framed mirrors in bathrooms and non-ugle fixtures. I have to say that our fixture was way-ugly. (Do you see the redeemingly cute boy, though??)

So...I decided I needed a frugal fix for my design dilemma. I had my wonderful, handy dad make me a frame to mount over the mirror. I painted it with the paint I used to paint the vanity a while back (along with a cute fork and spoon for my kitchen) and I hung it, and I mounted and wired the new fixture all by myself, too! I got the fixture at Walmart for $30 (no guilt there!). Gavin had to stand in the hallway to tell me when I had found the right switch to turn off power to the bathroom light--no electrocution in this house, thank you very much!

A few tips...If your new fixture is not as long as your previous, then there will be some paint issues (as you can see, there is the end of the white rectangle on the left side of the light!). Another tip is that if you are going to mount a frame over your mirror, paint the back. It is impossible to get it totally flush and the back of the frame (complete with small bits of paint and stuck on newspaper) will show in the mirror! Yes...I learned this by bringing in the frame, holding it in place and noticing my error. I took it back outside and painted the back!

Next item on the list...I need to get a quart of the paint I used for painting the bathroom from my family's building supply, Lester Sales!

Friday, June 25, 2010

My post as a new Hybrid Chick!!!

So many of you may be thinking: "What is a Hybrid Chick?"
Well, I think it has been said that I love scrapbooking. Over the past couple of years, I have dabbled in digital scrapbooking. I started with an HP program that my father-in-law gave me after reviewing it for him (he worked for HP). It was good, especially for someone who just wanted to do quick stuff, but I now use Adobe Photoshop Elements exclusively. I often don't print the layouts I do on the computer, but they can be printed at Costco (in 12x12) and there is a place online where you can upload and order them for $1.99 per 12x12. If I want to print them, I do 8.5x11 pages, and then I mount them on 12x12 cardstock with perhaps some "real" elements or other cut out printed digital elements. This makes a project "hybrid."

Many hybrid projects are little boxes, mini-albums and gift type items. The point is that they combine the digital things with actual "real" things. Hybrid is ideal for me because I love the paper and glue and all the goodies of the traditional scrap world, but it is so much fun to buy elements and paper (at great low prices) that are all digital and can be used over and over again, resized, edited, etc. to meet my personal needs. It is AWESOME!

So you can look back at previous posts and see some of my projects (digital, traditional and hybrid). They were posted so the ladies at The Hybrid Chick (part of The Digichick) could determine if I was worthy of joining the Hybrid Chick creative team. They decided YES! So I am now doing 1 blog post a month (sometimes more) at THC that shows a project I have done along with a simple tutorial on how I did it. Many of them will be things you can do with even having a digital scrapbooking program. The one I did for June (in the picture above) is the perfect example because all I used on the computer was Adobe Acrobat Reader (for pdf files...a free downloadable program most people already have on their computer) to print out the template.

I cannot post my tutorial here, so please check it out! You can click here. The picture above should also be a link to it. :-) I am learning so much about blogging and linking and all of that!!
Feel free to add THC blog to your reader or favorites and check back often. New posts are done almost daily! You can sign up to receive them in your email, too!

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Safeway and Rite Aid scores!!!

Okay...I only took one picture of it all because it is a warm day, and the ice cream and popsicles were going fast!

3 4-pk yogurts ($1 each after 2 $1 coupons, 1 $.50 coupon + 1 dbl)
1 lucerne butter ($1.99 super coupon)
10 lb potatoes ($1.50ish for 10)
1 kraft dressing (free with $1 coupon and dbl)
2 onions
1 sour cream
grapes ($.99/lb)
2 dentyne gums (free w/ $1 coupons)
4 Ben and Jerry's (2 $1 off 2 plus dbls)
2 Starbucks Ice Cream ($1 off 2 coupon and dbl)
fudgepops and popsicles
Total: $24.32
Saved 59%!!

Rite Aid
1 megapack Pampers ($2 coupon and they are on clearance for $8.99)
2 Garnier styling products (2 for $7, plus 2 $1 coupons)
1 Suave Professionals cond. (free with facebook offer coupon)
Total: $8.27
Total before clearance and coupons: $28.47

Monday, June 14, 2010

Safeway and Walmart finds!!

I tried to take a picture of my deals from today, but my batteries are dead. I happened to buy a new charger with 4 rechargeable batteries today at Walmart, and they are charging right now. So...you have to read the deals without the visual...sorry!

Pampers Wipes tub $2.24 -$2 coupon = $.24
Pull-ups travel pack wipes $1.76 -2 $1 coupons = $.76 each
Del Monte Fruit Chillers $2 -$1 coupon = $1 (I got some at Safeway, too! I LOVE these!!!!)
Dentyne Pure Gum $.96 -$1 coupon (they had to mark it down to $.96) = FREE (I got 2)
I also found a t-shirt on clearance for Gavin for $2!

2 Bull's Eye BBQ sauce $.99 each
1 Purina Beggin Strips $2.50
2 Del Monte Fruit Chillers $1.99 each
2 Crystal Light to-go $1.49 each
1 Cheetos (Cheddar Jalapeno for my hubby!) $1.49

Total: $12.93
-2 $1 bbq coupons
-$1 Beggin Strip
-2 $1 Del Monte Fruit Chillers
-$2 doubles
TOTAL PAID: $5.93!!!!

I also got some other things, but this was a highlight and part of the Buy 8, Save $4 promo!!

Oh...I got a 6 pack of Dan-a-nino yogurt for the boys for $.50!! (on clearance because they expire Saturday...$1.25 - $.75= $.50. It would have been better if I did another transaction for the doubles, but I had the kids! )

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Stacy's Score!!

Here is what my friend, Stacy, sent me today:

After a full year of couponing, in March I decided I needed a break. We have been successfully living off of “stock pile” items for 3 months now, and I have been very grateful for the break. However, last month I found that I was completely out of shampoo and conditioner. (That part of my stock pile had been depleted in December when I gave my sister over $100 in free hair products… the best Christmas gift ever). So I took myself to Walmart without a single coupon and no plan whatsoever. BIG mistake. I couldn’t believe the prices! After leaving the store with two measly bottles of Pantene shampoo and conditioner (of course, I had to get the most expensive kind to make my blonde blonder) and $10 dollars less in my pocket I made a vow… “never again”!

Today I redeemed myself. With just a small amount of planning, I was able to leave Target with 5 bottles of John Frieda Shampoo and 5 bottles of John Frieda Conditioner for $4.96! Less than the cost of ONE bottle at regular price. Yes, my friends, the extra work is well worth the effort.

Thanks, Stace! This is awesome!!!!

Some of my work...

Here are some pages and projects I have done. A couple are hybrid, but otherwise they are either digital (using Abode PSE) or done traditionally using paper, etc.

Boys Like Cupcakes, Too!
(Using a template by Kelleigh Ratzlaff...won her cupcake contest)

The Sirius Black layout shows a wide variety of techniques including embossing!

I used my Cricut to make the letters for this title (My 2 Dreams Come True). I used Adobe PSE to change the coloring on the pictures to match my paper more. I love this layout!!

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Metamorphosis! Meet the new Charky!

On May 7, 2010 we welcomed a new creature into our home. Anyone familiar with Curious George will recognize the name of our dear Charky. "She" as Gavin called her (though I am pretty sure it is a male), started out her stay in this lovely suite as a fuzzy caterpillar! Now he is a moth. I think they are called Tiger Moths, but don't quote me on that. I am just amazed at how God created things to grow and change, but you never expect to be able to watch it. I wish I would have taken pictures through the whole process, but we got to watch the cocoon be built and today I went to check on Charky and was surprised to see this lovely creature in the bug house.
Gavin was such a big boy saying good-bye to his winged friend! He was so excited to see her changed, and he was so strong letting her go. I can still see her sitting out on the deck, so I hope she can fly and get to safety before Copper goes outside again!

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

My Sister's Target Diaper Deal!!!

Oh yes! I have sucked my sister into my little hobby!

Here is what she sent me...

So I bought...
2 boxes of Huggies Little Movers (76 each) $19.79 ea
1 bag of Huggies Little Movers (31) $ 8.99
1 bag of Huggies Cucumber & Green Tea Wipes (184 cnt) $ 5.99
Total: 54.56


2 $3.00 off Huggies Diapers (Target.com)
$3.50 off Huggies Diapers & Wipes Purchased (Target.com)
.50 off Huggies Wipes (MFR Coupon from joining Huggies.com)
$2.00 off Huggies Diapers (MFR coupon)
2 $3.00 off Huggies Diapers (MFR Coupon)
Total after coupons: $36.56

Plus, they gave me a $5.00 gift card for buying 2 big packs!

SC Johnson Rebates for 3 purchases--ZIPLOC included!!

SO! Thanks to Angela over at Frugal Living NW, I know now that I can submit receipts from my Ziploc frenzy to get $15 back!!!

I found 3 receipts from transactions where I purchased at least 3 SC Johnson items listed on the rebate form. There is a limit of 3 $5 rebates per household, so not only did I get all of those Ziploc containers and bags for free, I will PROFIT $15!!

They have to be mailed separately, so I guess you have to subtract the cost of stamps, but still!

This is what a couponer/deal-seeker/frugal woman lives for...when all of the sales/promos/rebates/catalinas ($ off coupons printed at register for next shopping trip) align so that you get savings from every direction! Surprisingly, it happens a lot! That is how several of us get such great diaper deals and other things!

For this deal, I used ziploc coupons (some BOGO, some $ off), Safeway doubles, Rite Aid BOGO sale, Safeway buy 4 get them for $1.99 each sale, I got several $2 catalinas for every purchase of 2 containers, and now I am getting the rebates! Phew!! I LOVE this!!!

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Rite Aid!!!

Rite Aid...Total OOP: $8.56!!
Yes...that is a TREE behind my son!

Micah and I were on our own today. Daddy went with Gavin and the Aunties (Steve's sisters) to the Goonies 25th Anniversary thing in Astoria (long drive for one day, but they loved the Goonies). So after church, Micah took his nap and woke up and he played outside while Mommy did some clean-up stuff. Nothing too fantastic, but I did something today at the very least! I wanted to go see if Rite Aid had tomato supports. I didn't find them, but I didn't ask either. I figure the boys and I can head to Walmart tomorrow for them.

So here is what I did/got:
1 Pear Tree marked down to $5.99
2 Pampers Wipes (-2 $2 coupons from today's paper)
1 Gillette for men face lotion (-$2 coupon from today's paper)
6 Stride gums (3 regular, 3 "shift" used 3 Buy one, get free shift gum coupons)
1 Lubriderm lotion (in Micah's hand...used $1 off coupon and $3 off in-ad coupon)
You should also know that I went to Rite Aid this morning and got one other lubriderm lotion for free! This one cost me $.29, so that is not bad, either!
Used $5 off $25 coupon from Video Values at www.riteaid.com
Yeah...all of that for $8.56!!!!

I will also get a $2 rebate (though single check rebates at www.riteaid.com) for the face lotion!! :-) The Lubriderm, along with this morning's purchase and some suncsreen I bought last week will add to my Skin Care rebate of $10 gift card when you buy $25 worth of certain products! (I am at $17.57 now.)

Friday, June 4, 2010

Even More Safeway...I think I am done for a few days!!

I know...I know...I have a problem, but the problem is saving me money!!

Transaction 1:

4 packs of Ziploc containers $7.96
-$1.50 off 2
-2 $.55 off 1
-$1.50 doubles
TOTAL: $3.86 got 2 $2 catalinas for next transaction

Transaction 2:

5 Pantene products...I had 1 coupon at home, but I am not worried about it. They were $.99 each!! (Check out the hair/body area at your Safeway...ours has a tower with $1.99 and $.99 Pantene products that have the old packaging!

Total: 4.95 used the $4 of cats

TOTAL Out-of-Pocket: $1.00 (bumped up $.05 for cancer research...generous, right??)

We also took back cans!! We got $6!
Then we went to the Dollar Tree and got 2 pairs of sunglasses for the boys and Gavin used his money to buy a silly fishing pole toy that will chewed up by the dog in the next 20 minutes, but he was excited! Micah put his glasses on and was so proud! I need to get a picture of that!

Then we went to McDonalds and used my Happy Meal coupons, and we had a cheap lunch! You can see one of my little munchers enjoying his nuggets! They were so happy!
Needless to say, it was a good morning!!

Thursday, June 3, 2010

More Safeway...Okay...I may have a problem!!!

Alright...I had a big post typed up, and my 19 month old in my lap deleted it all and I couldn't get it back. I have no energy to re-type that!

Long story short, I went back to Safeway (stop laughing at me, Lisa!), but I didn't do another $10 off $50 coupon transaction for moral reasons. On the coupon it states 1 per household. I am assuming that is for the week, though I don't know, but I didn't want to push my luck and ruin future saving for me and others!

So I did 2 transactions.

If you want coupon links/other ideas, please go to http://www.frugallivingnw.com/ because they have the links for printables. I had them all on here, but again, the boy deleted it.

I got the Ziploc containers in the first transaction, used coupons and paid $4.96 (because I saved my doubles for the next transaction. I am sure I could have used doubles for both, but I didn't have another paper coupon for it, and my cashier wasn't going to do it without the paper coupon. Again, not going to push it. I got 2 $2 catalinas for my next trip.

In the second transaction, I got the rest of the stuff and used several coupons (though I was out of the Coffee-mate coupons...still a smoking deal, though!). I think all the coupons I used can be printed, so you don't even need insert coupons from the paper!

Remember that you have to buy 8 or more of the promo items together in a transaction to get the $.50 off per item

The total was $7.05 after doubles

I paid with $3.05 cash and my $4 in catalinas!!

Total Out-of-Pocket for all in the picture...$8.05 (because they rounded up my first transaction for cancer research...Aren't I a giver?? 4 whole cents! Yikes!)

Lisa's Deals!

Here are pics and notes from my friend Lisa. She sent me her deals from Rite Aid, Albertsons and Target this weekend and rocked them both!! Keep in mind that you probably won't be able to duplicate her deals. The Albertsons transactions were done on Sunday, and those sales are over. You also probably don't have the $20 gift of savings certificate she had, but the point of our postings on deals is to inspire you to try. Start out small.
Check out www.frugallivingnw.com and www.hip2save.com to get deal scenarios. They tell you exactly what the sales are and do the coupon match-ups. They have how-to sections, and Frugal Living NW does classes in the NW.
Albertsons was 8 transactions.

22-BBQ sauces
Solo plates
Solo napkins
Solo cups
1 gallon of milk
6-Heresy's sauces
1 loaf of french bread
4-boxes of crackers
2-boxes of shake n bake
1-graham crackers
1-bag of marshmallows
4-cans of Ortega chilies
2-Jell-O instant pudding mix
1-lunch meat
bunch of bananas
1- 6 pk of Hershey's chocolate bars
2-100 calorie cheese bits

Total 16.63 oop
Still have 3.00 cat and 2.00 from register survey

Target was 6 transactions. 0.0 oop (because I had a 5.00 for the first transaction)

Getting 32.00 back in rebates
12.00 in Target gift cards left over

Grant helped with this one!

10 face washes
1 lotion (not pictured)
1 face wipes
8 bars of Olay soap.

What I am doing with it all??? Donating it to Christmas Cheer.

Rite Aid-$.04 oop
3-boxes of cereal
5- boxes of gold fish

Used 5/25 coupon 10/1 wahl clipper coupon, wellness card, 20.00 allergy gift of savings

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Safeway Awesomeness!!!

I spent $36.93 on my first transaction. I took part in the buy 8 or more and save $.50 per item and I used the $10 of $50 coupon.)

3 Coffeemate Creamers (used 3 $.50 off coupons and super coupon)
3 Snyders Pieces (used 3 $1.00 off coupons)
2 Bar-S 3-lb smoked sausages (super coupon-ended being a mistake...I thought they were .99, but they were 2.97...I have taken them out of the running to keep as close to $50 as possible, but it is a good deal, and they will be good for bbq's this summer. They are more upscale than my regular dogs!)
2 6pk Motts applesauce
1 Motts applejuice
2 Sobe lifewater (I used a printed BOGO coupon)
2 Gogurt (used $1 off 2 Go-gurt)
10 Kraft Mac-n-cheese
4 ziploc containers (used 2 $1.50 off 2 containers...got 2 $2 catalinas for next purchase)
4 Crystal Light to-go
2 Safeway Frozen Fruit Bars (super coupon)
1 Kraft Dressing (used $.55 off coupon)
1 Pantene gel (there is a tower with discounted Pantene products... $.99 and I had $1 coupon)
I got MEAT!!!
1 Roast and 2 London Broil steaks!!!
I think I got everything...you see the picture...
Total: $36.93 and I got 2 $2 catalinas for my next trip from Ziploc

Then I turned around and did my next trip! I wanted Little Swimmers swim diapers for my 19 month old...

1 package of Little Swimmers $8.99
(I had $1.5o internet coupon, $1.50 ecoupon on my club card, and my $4 in catalinas)
I paid $1.49!!!

I say that was a well worth it trip, and I did it WITHOUT kids!!! SO nice!!

Rite Aid and Walmart! And a splurge!!!

So the boys and I hit up Rite Aid and Walmart today...(yes, Rite Aid again!)

I got the Ziplocs at Rite Aid, but I was looking for the Buzz Lightyear phone we got Gavin yesterday. It has brought up some insane jealousy issues, and we went back to get Micah one. Coincidentally, we have Lightning McQueen phone that is identical with dead batteries, but the batteries were $2 more than the phone! Sadly, Rite Aid didn't have any more, so we have to check on Friday when they get shipments.

Anyways...Ziplocs are BOGO, and I had 2 BOGO coupons. The coupons were only good up to $2.19, though, so I paid $1.60 for 4 boxes of bags. Not too bad!! I would have gotten them yesterday, but in my coupon sorting, they got abandoned at home.

So...I got the Whiskas (priced $3.72) with $2 off coupons for $1.72 each!! Yay!! I got the 2 packs of wipes for $1.33 each (with my expires-today-$2 off 2 www.coupons.com coupon. I got the Pull-up wipes for $.72 (with a $1 off coupon). I also got 4 packages of Bar-S hot dogs. They are $.88 each, and I had 2 $1 off 2 coupons...so $1.52 for 4 packages! I added them to my Oscar Mayer dogs from last week at Safeway, and my freezer is ready for summer!

My splurge...I had to buy it! It was $14.97, but after all my deals, I am sure I saved in the long run. It is for ... can you guess??...MEXICO! It will be for other things, but I couldn't leave it there on the shelf! Yay!!

Anyways....Be sure to check out www.frugallivingnw.com for Safeway deals for this week!! They are killer!!!

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Rite Aid Deals! An Ad for Video Values!!

I went to Rite Aid today...I don't have any pictures because I wanted to get stuff put away.

I spent $15.74 on a tower fan and a package of Twizzlers ($.50 off coupon on video values at www.riteaid.com). I used a $5 off $20 from watching 20 videos.

I spent $9.31 and got 1 jumbo pack of Huggies (with free Huggies voucher from the buy 5 packs get a free pack rebate), 1 spf 45 chapstick (for Mexico!), 1 Coppertone kids spray ($3.00 coupon from video values ... there is a $2 off coupon in the ad, but they don't stack video value coupons with store coupons), 2 packs of Ziplocs (on BOGO sale with a $1/2 coupon), and a Toy Story 3 cell phone for Gavin (on sale from $4.99 to $3.74). I used a $5 off $25 from one of the videos.

I don't know if you can tell, but the Rite Aid video values are pretty sweet! Last month and this month there were 2 $5 off $25 purchase videos and 1 $5 off $20 for getting 20 video credits. Check it out!!!

Monday, May 24, 2010

More Rite Aid Deals!!

With our trip to Mexico rapidly approaching and thoughts of my very white husband looking like a lobster after day 1 (I love you, honey!), I have been on the look-out for good deals on sunscreen. With the boys' from last year being expired (though I have used it a few times this spring), I also needed some for them. Because I tan easily, and want to be nice and bronze during and after our trip, I wanted some with a lower SPF.
Rite Aid is selling Coppertone sun care as a buy 1 get a free sunscreen stick. There are $2 off Coppertone coupons on http://www.coupons.com/ and you can print 2 per computer. I had my father-in-law print me 2 so I would have 4. The Hawaiian Tropic lotions are buy one get one free, and I had $1 off coupons....BUT!!!....I found some with $2 off coupons peelies (these are coupons stuck to products that you can use right then). I also had a $5 off $25 coupon.
When all was said and done....
2 Coppertone sprays (1 for Steve, 1 for boys)
2 Coppertone sticks (1 for Steve, 1 for boys)
... Another plus is Steve HATES lotion...so the spray and stick are perfect for him!!!
2 Hawaiian Tropic (SPF 15 and 30) for me (and they smell so good!!)
Total before coupons and sales: $55.54
Total after coupons and sales: $15. 47!!!

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Home from Girls Weekend and Rite Aid Bliss!

I just got home...literally 5 minutes ago...from a girls weekend with the wives from our Sunday school class. It was so much fun...for me it was food, Agricola (a game you need to know about), scrapbooking, food, scrapbooking, food, Agricola, food...not too much sleep. I am wiped.

However, I have to share the Rite Aid deal I did before I went on Friday.
I did 2 transactions, spent 12.40 and $10.68. Not only did I get all of this...4 packs of Huggies, Herbal Essence Shampoo and Conditioner, 2 3Musketeer bars, 1 Airhead (to get over $25 to use my $5 off $25 coupon), Mentos gum (for Gavin), 2 nail polishes (for Mexico...did I mention I am going to Mexico in 6 weeks!), and Aussie hair spray and 3-minute Miracle cond...but I also just entered my receipts in Rite Aid's rebate program online, and because I bought a box of diapers (For $2 after my $5 off $20 coupon, $3 Huggies coupons and $10 gift card from 2 months ago), I qualify for the buy 5 Huggies and get free Huggies jumbo pack! So my voucher is being sent to get another pack of Huggies!! This is amazing!!!! Now watch Micah outgrow the size 4s...I would be mad...
Anyways, I need to start unpacking before the boys get home from church! I just had to share while it was quiet in the house. I miss them so much! I can't wait to squeeze my munchkins and my man!!
Comment with any deals you have gotten or ask a question!!

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Walmart Deals!!!

Okay...many couponers have found that Walmart is just not their friend. I can't help but go there for certain things, though, and today was a great experience!
I had the $2/2 IP from www.coupons.com for the Huggies wipes. These soft packages are not the small 40 or 42 ct. ones. They are 72 ct (more than most tubs) and are priced at my local Walmart at $2.33 each. So...I paid $1.33 each. Not the best I have ever done, but not bad for Walmart. I got the Reach floss for free ... it is always priced at $.97 and there are always coupons in the inserts for $1 off floss. Crazy, huh!? The cat food (3.5 lb) set me back $2.57 with my $1 9 lives coupon. I had a $2 off Nivea for men face product coupon. (My husband requires me to buy him face lotion and I hate to do it...) This cost me $2.58 after the coupon.
Pretty good! I got some other things...but without coupons...Oh! They have some discounted tee shirts in the baby section. I got a striped 4T shirt for $2 for my son! Yay! They finally have Great Value brand applesauce without sugar added in a plastic container for $1.50ish.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Getting Some Deals!!!

Here is my score from Albertson's today!! I paid $1 for all of this! Actually, I only paid a $1 for the 10 Michelina's frozen entrees.

Here is what I did:

Transaction 1:
1 Toll House cookie $2 (-$1 IP coupon and -1 DBL)
10 Michelina's frozen entrees $5 (- 2 $1/5 coupons, - $2 for 2 DBL)
Total: $1

Transaction 2:
1 Toll House Cookie $2 (-$1 IP coupon and -1 DBL)
2 Tree Top Juices $2 (-$1/2 IP coupon and -1 DBL)
1 Capri Sun $2 (-$1 coupon and -1 DBL)
Total: $0

Transaction 3:
2 Smart Taste Pasta (-$1 coupon, -$.75 IP coupon -2 DBLS)
1 KC Masterpiece BBQ sauce (-$1 coupon and - DBL)
Total: $0

For more information on this go to www.frugallivingnw.com

I got 2 of the sets of dbls from my papers and the 3rd set from the customer service desk. The McMinnville Albies is very coupon friendly!!

Other Deals:
I have gotten 10 other boxes of Capri Suns for a total of $3.75 after buying some coupons on the internet.

I bought 7 boxes of Cap'n Crunch, 5 boxes of Quaker Life and 8 boxes of Quaker Granola Bars for a grand total of $12 after buying the coupons for that.

I should explain this concept to newbies and non-couponers. There are folks out there who buy many Sunday papers, cut coupons and sell them (really selling their labor) in bundles on ebay. It may seem silly to buy coupons, but by buying the paper or printing coupons, we are also buying them. This way we can get 10 or 20 or even more of the coupons we need while just paying for what we want. $1 off coupons are usually less than $.20 each with shipping. I figure that is a savings of $.80 and if I go to a store that dbls coupons, I am saving even more!!

:-) I NEVER EVER EVER thought I would buy coupons! I am addicted now! Pay attention to the deal blogs (I check frugal living nw and www.hip2save every day). They usually get tips ahead of time on sales at stores and you then get a heads up on what to look for.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Shhh! Don't Tell Him He's Eating Carrots!!!

My darling baby boy (almost 19 months) started out life as a great eater. He nursed well, he ate pureed veggies and anything he was given except white bread. Well, he is now one of the pickiest little boogers I have ever met. This means that getting his vitamins and nutrition in is a huge challenge.

I know it is not a new concept, but still I think that many home cooks don't do this.
I am now "The Veggie Shredder!" I shred carrots into every red sauce and into many other pasta and rice dished. You can't even tell other than the slight sweetness they add (which is great for red sauce!). I also shred up zucchini, spinach and all kinds of other veggies into food. My husband (who loves veggies the most in our house) loves it! For me, someone who doesn't really like cooked veggies besides corn, green beans and peppers, I actually enjoy not only eating them, but figuring out how to get them into our food.

Again...I am not the creator of the shred technique, but I am a believer and a shredder!

I had the breakthrough (since he won't eat peas in his mac-n-cheese) to add shredded carrot to his portion. Carrots are the SAME COLOR!! He gobbled it up thinking he was getting the best lunch ever and winning! Hee hee...I love it!

Mother's Day and My Rite Aid Deal!

I love Mother's Day! This year (like most) I didn't want presents. I wanted to go shopping and spend time with my mom, grandma and sister, and I wanted my husband to simply show he cared by doing things he knows I appreciate. It was GREAT! I had a great day out with my ladies and shopped my heart out. I had breakfast made for me (and everyone else). We went to my in-laws after church and had lunch prepared for us and Steve's sisters. We played outside, had family pics taken (coming soon!), and had a great time. What a great weekend drenched in family! Stevie even rubbed my back and feet last night to top everything off!

I also got to do another of my favorite activities yesterday:

My Pre-Church Rite Aid Run!

This is where I do my homework Saturday night (or early Sunday morning) and I have all my stuff organized so I can get to the good deals right when the doors open Sunday morning!!

The bummer part of the story: I had a great scenario where I would have gotten 4 more hair care items for like 50 cents LESS than I paid, but they didn't have the exact kind that the coupons were for! BUMMER!

So I got Infusium 23 Shampoo and Conditioner, 2 pk dark choc pb cups and the 6 oz Lubriderm for $2.17 and I get a $1 rebate from the lotion! I still left feeling pretty pepped for the day!

Oh...and if you haven't started using Swagbucks, you should!!! Please use me as your referral to get me swagbucks, too! I have earned 2 $5 gift cards to amazon.com (which I just used the other day!) just for using the swagbucks search engine in my toolbar.

Friday, May 7, 2010

Album Organization

I think that anyone who is interested in scrapbooking along with anyone who does it is always faced the question: How do I organize my ablums?

There are different ways to organize:
*by theme
*1 album per year

I organize my albums this way:

Each boy has 2 albums. These will be their albums to take when they leave home/get married.

*Album 1: The First Year. This album contains layouts of the pregnancy, ultrasound photos, showers, hospital, coming home, then one 2-page layout per month and a 2-page layout for the first birthday party!

*Album 2: Birth to 18 (or whenever!). This album will be added to every year. Each year there is a new 2-page layout done with my favorite picks in between birthdays, the birthday celebrated that year and a letter from Mom (that's me) about things they did that year. This letter will evolve over time as they go from being infants, toddlers, preschoolers to teenagers (gasp!).

So for the first year all I have to do for them is one 2-page layout a month, then a 2-page layout per year after that. Not too hard! (Although I haven't done Gavin's third birthday layout yet!...I have the letter done and pictures printed, though!)

For our family, I do one album per year. I like to scrapbook everything from the everyday snapshots to the big events and all the in between stuff. I need an album per year. I started this the year Gavin was born. I am still finishing up 2009's album, but if you read my last post, there is no such thing as being behind in scrapbooking!! You will always be behind because pictures are just like laundry and dishes in that they are NEVER DONE! There are ALWAYS MORE!


So...this is not meant to frustrate, but to inspire. Come up with your own way to organize your albums. This must be a way that doesn't overwhelm you. It must be a way that you can actually accomplish in the time you have to scrapbook. It must be something that works for your family. The way I do it is what works for us.

If you do not want to part with baby books or if you want to do an album for your kids all the time and an album for you all the time, that is okay, too. A good thing to remember is that you can always get color photo copies to do duplicate albums (most places do something around 11 1/2 x 11 1/2, but you can mount those on 12x12 cardstock).

Another option is digital scrapbooking. I am getting interested in this, but I don't prefer it yet. I enjoy it for some layouts...I usually print 8 1/2 x 11 sheets and mount them onto 12x12 cardstock to put in my albums. There are also a few places I have found online where you can upload them as jpeg files and order prints in 12x12.

Adobe Photoshop Elements is the best program for this, and if you check them out, you will probably find that they come with a scrapbooking tutorial cd-rom. Mine came with one, and it was great. The best option is to take online classes from Jessica Sprague. She has many classes that you buy and watch the lessons when you have time. I can't wait to take a class from her! I need to save some money for that!

:-) Happy Scrapping!

Sunday, April 25, 2010

I Scrapbooked!! (And my scraphilosophy)

I actually did some scrapbooking this weekend! With my hubby gone, one boy away and the other asleep Friday evening, I was able to get some much needed scrapping done.

Yes...these pictures are from last June. Yes...I only got 2 pages done while nibbling on chocoloate frosting covered chocolate graham crackers. Yes...I feel accomplished.

My scrapping philosophy may make many of you out there feel much better about your progress.

For starters...I don't think there are people out there that can't scrapbook. There are those who do not want to scrapbook, and there is nothing wrong with that. I don't like to garden or play sports. So I understand not having interest. However, if someone has any bit of interest, I think they can scrapbook. There are wonderful how-to guides, idea books, online tutorials and more that make it easier everyday to scrapbook even if you do not consider yourself crafty.

I have seen the overwhelming side of scrapbooking, and I know of many who feel as though they could never get "caught up," and with this threat looming over their heads, they simply give up.

I am here with good news! You can start scrapbooking from any point in history that you wish! There are no rules. There are great suggestions, but there are no rules. There are aesthetics guidelines, but they are not rules. I do not like the concept of being "caught up" on scrapbooking any more than I like the idea of being "caught up" on laundry and dishes. There will be always be more photos, dirty clothes and dirty dishes! YOU ARE NEVER CAUGHT UP!! But you can take whatever amount of time you wish, work at whatever project you wish and call it good whenever you wish. IT IS FOR YOU!

So Friday night, I took these pictures from the page protector I stored them in until I was ready, and I scrapped only those pictures. When I got done, I was satisfied because I had a chance to relive the 2 days that those pictures captured. I also got to expel some creative energy and swim in my paper and stamps for a while. I had a great time!

Soon I will post on how I tackle scrapbooking. I get asked alot about how to arrange the albums and what to do for your kids. I also get asked about photo organization. I hope to share this with you soon! Thanks for reading! (If anyone does!?!?) ;-)

Friday, April 16, 2010

Burger King Budget Meal for 3

I have many weaknesses. One of which is my nearly constant need for large, icey diet-pepsi/coke fountain beverages. Being budget conscious (is that a nice way of saying I am cheap), I don't get these often, but once a week or so, I have to indulge. So when going to a fast food restaurant or to substitute or when there are still 3 hours left until Steve gets home, I find myself really, really craving my drink.
So...due to my addiction, I must include a diet coke in my BK order.
I get a cheeseburger (the same kind that comes in the kids meal) in a medium sized value meal. This is usually around $3.99 or so. Then I get an extra cheeseburger (for Gav) and a 4 pk of nuggets (for Micah). This adds about $2.29-$2.49 to the order. So now my total is somewhere below $6.50. I get my soda, I share my fries with them and I bring maybe some sliced apples or something from home along with drinks for them. This saves so much on the mark-up of chocolate milk, the apples (which add $.49 to a kid's meal), etc.
Otherwise, a meal for 3 at BK is around $5-6 just for me, then add on $3.50 each for the boys! Yikes!!
(For Calorie Budgeting...FYI...Steve and I did a Weight Watchers knock-off diet last year, and we still ate at BK. I got my diet soda, cheeseburger and usually ended up with a small fry order after sharing...that is 12-13 points. This is not great if you only have 21 or 22 pts a day, but I was nursing Micah, so I had 32 or 33 a day. A Whopper, Jr. meal with small fries and no mayo is around 11 or 12 pts, too.)

The American Revolution

Okay...now I have never been very interested in history. I don't like memorizing dates or knowing all of the battles fought in a war (let alone who one each), and I just never understood the drive that people had to learn about it. Well, now I do. Do you know how often times as an adult things you disliked as a kid become some of your favorite things when you are an adult (for me: avocados, black pepper, grocery shopping, and now...HISTORY!)

A little backgroung...I am a licensed teacher, but I currently have a sub-only license because I never taught at the high school level (which was my authorization originally). I could have taken a class each year or done some other things to keep it, but money and time held me back.

After quitting my job and having Gavin and then Micah, I have subbed and tutored off and on for the school district where I live. I fell in love with elementary! Go figure! I think that is a rare thing (going from high school to elementary), but I also think that maybe I was never meant to be a high school teacher. I love too many subjects to only teach math!

That being said...let's get back to my original topic: history. I wanted to teach all the subjects, but history?!?! I never liked it in school (except studying the Holocaust and Oregon).

Now I am teaching the American Revolution to a great group of 5th graders, and I love it! I am getting my elementary authorization and have to do a practicum at that level, so I am doing 5th grade. I am absolutely enthralled by the study of this great war! Wow! I am a person who definitely likes to argue and bicker, but I am not a fighting person. I purposefully married someone that uses his words with everyone, and I do not like the idea of war. However, I do know that it is necessary at times and that even Bible has shown how God helped the Israelites battle their enemies. But I am still surprised at how much I LOVE this!

I read Longfellow's peom, "Paul Revere's Ride," to the class yesterday. It is a great read, but best done after a tiny refresher on events of April 18th, 1775 and those just prior. Paul was an express rider (in Boston) who needed to get word to the colonial militia in Concord that 700 British soldiers were also coming from Boston to destroy the stores of military supplies the Continental Army had there. So Revere waited in Charlestown (across the river from Boston) for lights in the top of the Old North Church (1 if by land, 2 if by sea) to know how they were coming and then to be off to warn all of the minutemen and Patriot leaders on his way. He was captured on the west side of Lexington and 2 other riders continued on the Concord. Check out the poem if you have time! I did some hand motions and some foot-stomping, galloping, etc. while I read it and it really seemed to come alive! After reading it, they were assigned partners and one stanza per pair to translate into an easy to read, everyday language paragraph. We will read our version of the story on Monday!

You can check it out at the site below! Sorry if I bored you, but I am so excited about this!!


Wednesday, April 14, 2010

First Entry!

I am sitting at my computer (obviously) with my delightful cup of coffee. Curious George is on in the other room for my 3 1/2 year old and 18 month old boys who are quietly enjoying their morning ritual. For this very first entry of my very first blog, I want to share a little and ask a couple of questions. I am hoping that there is at least one person out there who reads this and comments!

For a bit of entertainment this fine April morning (at least in the PNW), I would like to share a story from this morning involving me, my big boy (Gavin) and his "baby" named "Sweetie" who is really one of those bunny heads with a small blankie attached. (You know what I mean, right??)

So...Sweetie and her Dadda (Okay...this calls for a little background information already! My Gavin has this habit of becoming a character and maintaining that character for months on end. He was SuperWhy (or Whyatt) for a couple of months aorund Halloween (you can guess the costume Mommy made!) and we were each another character. We couldn't use our real names or he would correct us with our SuperWhy character name. I was Princess Presto. So Gavin has a new thing now. He is the proud Dadda to Sweetie and a tiny Koala bear he name "Micah" (his little brother). I can't call him Gavin, but I also can't call him Dadda because he is not my Dadda. He told me I can call him "Steve" (my husband's name), but he is not the same "Steve." Do you follow? It gets more complicated. Anyways, the real Steve (my husband and their father) is "Dr. Wilson" (who happens to be their pediatrician), Micah (our 18 month old) is "Steve's" Dadda and his name is "Grant" (but he is not the same Grant that is Gavin's friend Amber's dad--this Grant also happens to be husband to one of my dearest friends who is joining me in this blog effort and my walking buddy of 5 1/2 years). Are you with me? Oh...are you wondering who I am in this little charade? I am the MAILMAN! Yes! The mailman! I feel special.)

Okay...So back to this morning...Sweetie and her Dadda (I call him Steve) get into bed with me and Gavin starts to read to me from Sweetie's "book" (a Taste of Home magazine order card that I am assuming is the scrapbook her Dadda has made her).

He reads: "Sweetie went to spend the night at Sasha and Rawlly's house (my parents' house...these are their dogs) because her Dadda is going somewhere. Her Dadda takes all of his friends in his pick-up to the 'hoptipal' to have their babies. Sweetie is already born. And after they have their babies, I will pick them up in my pick-up and take them home." I think too many babies are being born amongst our group of friends! It seems like every week there I was saying...hey! let's go see the new baby that was born! I love that he doesn't care yet that he is a boy and having a baby. At least he is the Dadda not the Momma!

Okay...down to business! If you haven't read the caption under the title, the two verses listed or my profile information on the side of the page, please read these things now. This saves me from writing all of it down in my first entry, and it gives you a chance to see a bit of who I am and a bit of the direction in which this blog will be headed.

I would like to offer up a prayer now for you and for this blog and my contributors (Sarah, Lisa and anyone else whose expertise I may utilize...don't worry, I won't take credit for your genius!!)

Heavenly Father, I ask that Your hand would be over the words written hear and the hearts of all who read this. I ask that You would provide wisdom to know what to say, what not to say and what things really would be better with a picture! I thank You for being a provider of hope and the giver of grace. Give us each the grace we need to handle today's surprises and normalcies and allow us to be gracious with one another, and give us hope that tomorrow You will be there to help us do it all over again! In Jesus' Name, Amen