Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Until Next Week

To all my (few) loyal blog readers, I think I'm going to take a week off of blogging. This week has started incredibly insane....I'm hoping it ends with me napping after a big, huge turkey dinner times THREE!! Yes...three Thanksgiving meals! I'm pumped.

But today, I'm tired and sore. I had a minor emergency outpatient surgery yesterday. I'll spare you the details, but all is well!! It means the pain I was having wasn't in my head and it was real. (I started to feel like I was going crazy!) Now I'm going to feel MUCH better! Seriously, everything is okay....I SWEAR, no need to bombard me with questions...please! :-)

Then this morning, while I'm feeling kinda puny, Robert accidentally put his hand through the glass window in our kitchen!! So needless to say it was chaos this morning.

Thank goodness it's a short week and we have a long holiday weekend!! I'm sure all the blogs out there will be posting their festivities!! I know I will.

Oh, I intend to use my "laying in bed" time finishing Twilight - this new series everyone is talking about. I have to say, it's not nearly as "vampirey" as I thought it would be. Much different...but REALLY good. I can't wait to see the movie when I'm done. And then read all the sequels!! :-)

And finally, a funny picture of the kids high on sugar eating s'mores from the fire we made the other night!!!

I promise Landon really is happy...I think we had asked him to say cheese too much! :-)

Friday, November 21, 2008

Club Pub

Ok, so I totally stole that nickname of Publix from Fiddledeedee's blog. But I like it!! :-)

I quickly ran into Publix to get all the kids a free cookie - snack time before ballet - gotta love Publix. I also had to get cheese cubes for Olivia's Thanksgiving feast for school!! Oh, and while I was there, I used up some of my coupons on this week's deals. I may or may not go back, we'll see what Sunday's coupons bring us! :-)

Total before coupons/sales: $71.57

Coupons used: $21.95
Sales: $27.53
Total Savings: $49.48

Total Out of Pocket: $22.09 a savings of 69%!!!!!

Keep in mind, the cheese was NOT on sale... :-( Also, I messed up a little and got Sister Schubert biscuits (not on sale), instead of rolls....making my total higher. Though I did have a coupon for them.

To give you an idea...this sale/coupons made the: pickles ($0.39/each), cream cheese ($0.75/each), chex mix ($0.24), frozen veggies ($0.19/each) etc, etc, etc.

Y'all still like it when I post my deals??? :-)

Thursday, November 20, 2008

They Said What?!?

I'm thinking about having random posts of "They Said What!?!" on the crazy things people say or do. Half the things I think are hysterical. Others....well, it's just plain crazy what people say!

A few thing happened the past week or so that made me say in my head, "She said what!?!"

1) We were at the park playing. I had all the kids...must have been Veterans day. I'm chasing Lillian while keeping an eye on the other two from a small distance. But I was close enough to Olivia when someone said the craziest thing to her. This woman was clearly foreign. She was speaking to her kids and friend in what sounded like russian or something to me. I'm guessing (I wasn't close enough at this point) that Olivia asked them why they were speaking funny, or what language she was talking and they proceeded to have an innocent conversation about it.

Well, this woman asking Olivia if she spoke spanish! And kept asking her to count or say something in spanish!!! hahahahaha I mean, I know people have asked me if she was adopted (amongst many other things), but this one was new! So she's a little senorita now, huh!?!

2) This is short and quick. At story time on Tuesday, a mom said to me, "I have to go tinkle do you mind watching "L" for a minute?"

Umm..yes, but NEW FLASH - I'm not a 2 year old. And you and say "I'm running to the restroom".


3) Another day and different park, I was talking to some moms. Somewhere in the conversation I said, "....and if we have another baby....."

One mom boldly/seriously said, "Why would you want to do that!?!?!?!" And looked at my like I was clinically insane!

Well, let's see, they're a blessing, I actually like my kids, and is it really up to us?? I'll gladly take whatever children God wants to lend me!!! I'd love more! And maybe not even one more....bring on the babies!!!!! :-)

Have any crazy things said to you lately?

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

CVS Trippin' and Clothes Deals

Not too much happenin' for me in the CVS ads this week. But I did manage to turn my $14.00 ECBs into $15.99 ECBs for $1.17. Watch how. :-)

L'oreal moisturizer - $15.99

l'oreal - $1.00
$14.00 ECBs

TOTAL out of pocket - $1.14
Received back $15.99

There is a really good batteries deal going on where I could get tons of batteries for a few dollars. I may or may not do that. BUT, with Christmas coming up, it always seems like we're searching for some size of battery for a toy.

I've also scored some more great deals on kids clothes in the past few days. Being frugal for me means always keeping my eyes peeled for deals. Even if that item isn't on my list. I went to K-mart the other day to buy some random things...bday present, toilet paper, etc. As I was just walking around, I spotted a $0.99 rack of kids clothes. And they just happened to be another 30% off that!! I found four pairs of shorts for Landon (next year of course) for $0.69 a piece!!! Even if they fall apart or don't work, I'm out the amount of money I could probably find in my couch right now.

I also snagged another $0.99 Bailey Boys outfit for Lillian from Jimmy Hale. I debated a little because it looked pretty gender neutral and not as girly as I usually dress her. But I was thinking about adding some bows to the shoulders and ankles. I think I may have some from some other Bailey Boys outfits. You can pin them on and take them off to wash it.

Have you had any frugal finds lately?

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Accountant = Electrician??

We had nice weekend. Just the normal bumming around and cooking out. I like it when there's not too much going on. Just the fam!

After taking Olivia to a build-a-bear party, I came home to this.

Robert had tools everywhere attempting to rewire a 4-plug socket in the kitchen, into a 2-plug/disposal switch combo.

You can kinda see the spark in this picture.

I'm not exactly sure what time he started this project, but he finished right when we were putting the kids to bed. Had to be around 4 or 5 hours that he had been working on this.

He even blew out power to the entire house several times!!! hahaha

He was getting pretty frustrated at one point and kept saying, "I'm a degreed accountant and I can't figure out how to wire a light socket!!!!!"

Finally, after dinner, he ran downstairs to flip the switch and said , "CROSS YOUR FINGERS!" He flipped the switch and nothing happened! :-) (that was a good sign!)

Voila! My nice neat disposal socket. It really beats the plug sitting on my counter that I had to plug in every time I wanted to run the disposal!

My husband is pretty awesome! He can do anything!!!!!!

Friday, November 14, 2008

Publix Deals

I had a great trip at Publix today!! Thought I'd share and branch out from my usual CVS $$ saving posts.

Landon wanted to model our groceries!

Total before savings: $97.86
-coupon savings: $23.05
-store sale savings: $40.59

TOTAL savings: $63.64

Total Out of Pocket: $34.22

I got 12 creamed soups (I think around $0.50 each), coffee creamers were $0.50 each!! Texas toast was $0.45 each, lysol $0.35 each, veggies $0.50, lettuce $1.00, olive oil around $2.30. The only things I didn't have coupons for were the cheez-its or mac and cheese - but the prices (with no coupons) were better than walmarts! Oh, and I used a $5.00 off $50.00 purchase or more!

Got to love those Publix BOGOs!!! :-)


Quote from Landon at breakfast this morning.

"Mom, we may need to go look at houses again and get some candy...we're almost out."

Other funny things he says:

- "Bank you" (thank you)

- "Roll, Roll, Roll your boat...."

- "Helmic" (helmet)

- "Chick a Lake" (Chick fil A)

- "pannie cakes" (pancakes)

- "babycation bible school" (vacation bible school)

- "hairplane" (airplane)

- "lastyearday" - said really slurred together...he's trying to say yesterday - but in his context of saying it, it's really anything that happened in the past - and it could even mean years!

- "gudults" when he's reference to adults

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Better Than I Thought

So yesterday, as I was forcing myself to iron through 2 weeks worth of laundry, I turned on Oprah. And I actually learned something - I may not be as messy as I thought. She is having an "Oprah's Clean Up Your Messy House Tour". Now, if this woman thought it would be worth the time on her show to do a "tour" of America and clean up houses, it must be an epidemic!!!

First, I'd love for them to knock on my door. They had great ideas for organizing and storing, but I'm pretty sure Oprah footed the bill to practically redo these peoples closet/rooms, etc. It wasn't cheap getting organized. Now that would be a great show - organize your house for $200 or less!!!

Also, the biggest thing for me when I was cleaning out the past couple weeks (and also what they said on the show) was that you actually create more space. They would time themselves on how long it took to clean out one big kitchen cabinet. It was like 6 minutes. The point being, it doesn't take all day to clean out something. He said start with 10 min a day and in month you should be organized.

I went through the same steps he did in piles - trash, donate, sell, keep. It worked for me.

BUT, it was CRAZY to see the inside of some of these people's houses. After seeing a few, I was like, "whew...well, my house isn't quite as bad as that". Not trying to be judgmental...I'm sure it has looked like that some days. But I guess we always tackle it before it gets out of hand.

Anyway, I just though it was funny that Oprah is making such a big deal about it. It must mean there are lots and lots of people who struggle with this like me. And as they said on the show, "You can't control the chaos in the world right now, but you can control what is inside your home." I have to say, I kinda quit watching Oprah lately....it was getting a little much. But this was one of her better shows - applicable to me. :-)

Now what would a post be without any cute pics of the fam!! :-)

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Winking 2

Here's another one. I just love how she's cracking up at us. :-)


One of my favorite "tricks" to teach all my kiddos when their small is winking. I just love when they scrunch up their little face trying so hard to only close one eye!!

So here's a quick clip of sitting around the Sunday lunch table trying to get Lillian to wink.

Pretty cute, isn't she!

Monday, November 10, 2008

CVS Trippin' and Great Opportunity (bottom of post)

If you didn't realize this already, my CVS superstar friends, this was a GREAT week for CVS and ECBs. :-) There were tons of "moneymakers" and great deals for rolling your ECBs.

I'll start with my first transaction - which I really only did to turn my $10 ECBs into $14.99 ECBs for the next transaction.

L'oreal $11.99
St. Ives $3.99


L'oreal $1.00 (which made them pay me $1.00 to buy it)
St Ives $2.00 (which made them pay me $1.01 to buy it)
$10.00 ECBs

Total out of pocket: $3.46
Received back $14.99

So even thought it seems like I spent $ I netted a $1.53 "profit" (including taxes being taken out). And everyone needs soap...the wrinkles stuff, well, it's never to early to be taking care of your skin!!! :-)

I think this is the part that is hard to wrap your head around, but it makes sense after you've been doing it a while! :-)

SOOO...next transaction:

3 Palmolive dish soap $4.47
3 Kids Listerine $11.97 (anything to make teeth brushing more fun around here!)
1 Garnier shampoo $2.99
BOGO Colgate $2.29 (and I bought 2)


Palmolive $0.25
Palmolive $0.25
Palmolive $0.25
Listerine $1.00
Listerine $0.50
Listerine $0.50
Colgate $1.50
Colgate $0.75 (could use 2 colgate coupons even though I was getting one for free!!)
ECBs $14.99

Total out of pocket: $2.40
Received back: $14.00 ECBs

What I technically paid for was $0.99 for shampoo, $0.24/each Palmolive, and only $0.49 for 2 of the Listerines (one they paid me a $0.01), and about $0.04 for TWO toothpastes!

So, the grand total for both transactions was $5.86 (savings of $48.88) and I upped my ECBs to $14.00!!!!

Oh, and listen to THIS. I mean, if I had only be a little less impatient to go save $$. I get an email this morning (apparently after leaving the house) for a $5.00 from CVS!!!!!

Are you kidding me...I pretty much could have paid $0.86 for all this stuff!!!!! Well, it expires Sunday, so I'll be looking ahead to see if I should hold on to it, or use on some more great deals that I passed up today. :-)

One more thing. I just wanted to address one of the biggest questions about all of these money saving tips and clipping coupons. I get questions/comments about how much time this takes. Yes, learning it and developing your own system takes time. Learning prices and what's a good deal, tracking sales...it takes time. But not as much as people would expect. It becomes quite fun after a while. And you learn to become efficient. It makes me feel so good to know that I'm doing my part in our family budget and cutting as many corners as possible. Every penny counts these days...we're always looking for a good deal. I guess what I'm trying to say, is that the time learning/clipping/tracking is time well spent. And my kids have gotten involved in it as well. Olivia is a GREAT coupon clipper!!! I want my kids to learn about how money works. I want them to be good stewards with their money! Labor=Value. And I want them to learn to value the things that Robert and I work hard for - and eventually what they work hard for. They've learned to start some of their sentences like, "Do we have any coupons for Chick fil A Mom? Can we eat there today??" I love it!

*** For those who are interested in learning from the person that taught me about saving money, she is doing a one day (FREE) Strategic Shopping Seminar Saturday Nov. 15th. If you would like more info, leave me a comment with your email (I WILL NOT POST COMMENTS WITH EMAIL ADDRESSES IN THEM) and I can forward you the email I received with all the info! When I did it 2 summers ago, it was SO much fun. I want to go again! There is never too much you can learn about saving money!! :-)

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Don't Knock It 'til You Try It

So during this time of economic hardship....yeah, yeah, yeah, well...we're always trying to be frugal - economy or not. But I've never "stooped" to this level. And will a lot more now!!

First, let me say, I am not "brand loyal" to many things. Maybe pepsi and I have some favorite brands of jeans, but I really could care less what the labels on our things say. Second, we've been blessed with lot of nice children's clothing. My mother-in- law used to work at an adorable children's boutique and would shower her grand kids with lots of cute clothes. Not to mention the hand-me-downs from the older grandchildren!!! It was through her generosity that I learned all these different brands of cute children's clothing lines. I still do not know all of them, but can usually recognize or spot them with ease now.

Now, I certainly do not have a "standard" to which I dress my kids. They wear walmart clothes, target clothes as well as nice "boutique outfits". If they are the pricier outfits, they were either hand-me-downs or bought at a %75 off sale!! But recently, the hand-me-downs are starting to run out. Which means...dun..dun..dun.....we have to actually start buying seasonal clothes for out kids!!! Uh oh. I mean, I just haven't had to shop for seasonal wardrobes before.

Needless to say, we're starting to find some frugal ways to dress our kids. I love the clearance racks anywhere. Whether it be target or a cute store we've picked up clothes for them there.

But the other day, Robert suggested I go to the Jimmie Hale Mission Bargain Center to shpe for the kids. My first gut reaction was, uh....NO! My reasoning being, I'd rather find newer clothes that would last longer. (What was I thinking!)

So last weekend we started redoing the girls room. Really, recycling old matching headboards that were my brothers and turning them into cute white headboards for twin beds in the girls room! We just needed some cheaper bed rails. (They were going to be $40 each at a "clearance center") As I was driving home Saturday morning, I decided to pull into the Jimmie Hale Bargain Center. I mean, I was just going to look and see if they had bed rails. And then get out quick.

But when I walked in, and realized how neat and organized everything was and how kind the workers were, I decided to look around a little. I cruised the kids racks and was blown away with the deals I was seeing. A Bailey Boys outfit (retailing for probably $50) for $1.99!!!!!! What!?!?! That can't be right! Flap Happy shorts (around $25) for $0.99!!! WHAT!?!?! I should buy these even though I have no one to fit into them!!

And then I finally made my way to the bed rails. $14.99 a piece!!! OH MY GOODNESS!! I walked out of there with 6 outfits, and 2 bed rails for less than I would have paid for ONE bed rail at a "clearance center".

Below are 2 of the outfits I got for Lillian. The blue, $1.99 Baily Boys outfit. The pink corduroy was $0.99. I'm thinking of getting them monogrammed for $4 bucks a piece. Still cheaper than I could have made it!!

Can you see the ruffles on her bottom!?! So cute!!

Landon and Olivia also got some pants and shirts. Some cute cords for Landon!! And play jeans for Olivia.

I didn't see and kids clothing over $1.99. Incredible. The kind workers told me they get stuff in everyday and you just have to frequent the store to find the deals. And you bet your sweet bottom they will know me after a while!!

So, I will never "knock" a place before I at least go in. You just can't judge a book (or store) by it's cover (or location or name!)!!

**One more thing. I think the reason it was bearable for me was because it wasn't like a TJMaxx or Ross, where the racks are so jammed pack with stuff that you have to use all your might to move the clothes just to look at them. It was easy to spot the good stuff. And the kids racks weren't so tightly packed. :-)

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

CVS Trippin'

Long time no trips!!! Until lately! Soooo......thought I post my recent CVS trip. I haven't been CVSin' too much in the past weeks. It just may be because.........wait for it...........Robert threw away $25 of my ECBs!!!!!!!! My heart only stopped beating for a couple of seconds after I found out. It was pretty devastating. I mean, that's like free money...to turn into more free money!

Needless to say, I've had to slowly rebuild my ECBs. Which had only amounted to $10 for this trip. I'm also only trying to buy things that our family uses on a daily basis, or stuff that's free or less. :-)

My trip:

2 Pampers cruisers $20.00
2 Olay lotion $12.00
1 candy 50% off $2.49 (ok, so I didn't have coupons for this...the chocolate and peanut butter was screaming my name from the sale bins)

Sub total: $37.93


$1.50 - pampers
$1.50 - pampers
$2.00 - olay
$2.00 - olay
$5/$30 - CVS halloween coupon
$10.00 - ECBs

Total: $13.20 (Would have been less if that candy hadn't been yellin' at me)

Received back $10.00 ECBs from pampers and olay.

So this isn't one of those transactions that you pay pennies for, but I got TWO packs of diapers!! AND some lotion! And the candy that was screaming my name! You would pay $13 bucks at Wallyworld for ONE pack of pampers diapers alone.

I'd say well worth it.

Have you been saving lately??

Saturday, November 1, 2008

1 Down, 2 To Go

One holiday down, 2 more to go for the year !! It seems like halloween kicks off all the rush of the holiday season. But I'm think I'm ready for it. I've been seeing Christmas decorations for a while now in my local CVS and Walmarts. Craziness.

We did do a tiny bit of trick or treating. I tried to take advantage of having the kids dressed cute together and get some pics. I'm so close to giving up even trying to get a decent pic of them all looking at me. It went a little like this:

Oh well.

We also tried to get some of all 5 of us. Even though Robert had eyeliner on...hey, at least we're all 5 in a picture. We got one decent one then then it was downhill after that!

Forget it. I'm starting to think it's impossible for us all to be dressed cute, clean faced, looking at the camera and smiling for a picture.

We trick or treated went with another family and it was so much fun. When Landon, not remembering at all how it worked from last year, realized that all you do is go door to door and get candy, he said in his bestest little boy voice, "Ooooohhhh, this is soooooo cooooooool!!!!!!!!!!" And then it really clicked and we followed them the rest of the evening.

Look at Lillian's face...that child has never had so much candy in her life. No one got sick, thank goodness. But they were in a sugar-induced rage the rest of the weekend. And they're all still alive. :-)

Now bring on Thanksgiving...I can use some good excuse to eat a lot and then nap a lot!! Mmmmm....turkey!!!