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

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!!!