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, 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!