Thursday, May 28, 2009

Huge Shopping Trip(s)

Wow, what a week for grocery shopping. Since this past weekend was Memorial Day weekend, The Grocery Game list maker for the local Kroger area didn't put out a list, so I had to make one myself, just like old times. I only went by the salepaper, so I don't know what other great deals there were to be had, but I spent plenty of money just fine without knowing. Check it out.

These items are brought to you by:
Food Lion (2 trips), Kroger (2 trips), WalMart and CVS.

Gal. Kroger Milk - $1.99 (Manager's Special)
Gal. Kroger OJ - $1.99 (I hope this sale goes on and on!)
3 Daisy Sour Cream - FREE
1lb. block Kroger Butter - $1.99
"Processed Cheese Product" - $1.28
(Better known as "breakfast cheese" at this house)
8oz. bottle Shamrock Choc. Milk - FREE
18ct. Kroger Eggs - $1.19
Vitamin10 Water - FREE
Doritos - $1.98
2 Apples - $.87
4 boxes Dr. Pepper/Pepsi - $10.00
(Had to buy 4 to get the sale price)
4 Weber Creations Seasonings - FREE
5lb. Bread Flour - $2.14
5lb. GV All Purpose flour - $1.74
2 GV Strawberry Jello - $.38 ea.
Pint GV Whipping Cream - $1.62
7 (36ct) Chinet Lunch Plates - FREE
4 (24ct) Chinet Lunch Napkins - FREE
1.05lb. Roast Beef - $3.14 ($3/lb)
7 lb. Sara Lee Honey Smoked Chicken Breast - $21.12 ($3/lb)
*2 Colgate Toothpaste - ($1.99 ea.) $.37 ea.
*Men's Speedstick Pro Deoderant - ($3.99) $.37
*Altoids - ($.50) $.37
*Butterfinger Crunch - ($.22) $.37

Shelf Price - $157.90
OOP - $54.71
Saved - $103.19 / 65%
Earned $5.99 in Extra Care Bucks

* These are the things from CVS. I used my ECB's so I just divided the OOP by number of items to get the "each" price. The price in the ( ) is the after coupon price. After my CVS savings and regular coupons, my total was $7.07. I had $7 in ECBs, but after he scanned the $4 and $2 ones, it was only $1.86 and wouldn't take the $2 one. I got befuddled and was thinking backwards, so I grabbed another toothpaste and used another coupon on the toothpaste. It did bring my total up enough to use the $2 ECB but I ended up paying more OOP. I should've just grabbed another $.22 candybar and gotten it all for free. Oh well. I came home with more ECB's :)

I had some exciting shopping trips this week! The first trip to Food Lion was to the one in town. I had to run some errends pay a bill that was due that day so we were in town anyway. On that trip we got 3 pkgs of the Chinet plates and 1 lb. of roast beef that was on sale. While we were waiting in line at the deli counter for the roast beef , I nonchalontly looked at the date stickers on the pieces of meat in the display case. I noticed the Sara Lee chicken breast (originally $6.99/lb) dated for Monday (it was now Tuesday). When it was our turn, I asked the lady about the date and if I bought the whole thing, how much would she discount it. She was able to discount it to $3.99/lb, but not any lower. I told her I couldn't buy it for that much, but I would take it for $3.00/lb. Then she thought I wanted the whole thing for just $3!!! She started to get a little huffy, and then calmed down and said that the computer wouldn't let her mark it down any lower, but she was sure the manager would let me have it for $3/lb. So we walked over to CVS and picked up a salepaper (it was next door) and then came back. While we were gone the manager had gotten back from her lunch break and had to take the piece of meat to the main office or something and actually lower the price in the computer. We (Glen and I) had to wait several minutues, but we got it!! I was a little nervous bargaining/bartering like that, but I wanted it and knew that they wouldn't sell it later anyway whenever they would find it. I actually got my nerve to do it from seeing a short TV blurb on Terri Gault, the founder of The Grocery Game, doing it on TV a couple weeks ago. I figured it she can do it and get results, I can, too! When we checked out there the first time (with the Chinet and beef), the price rang up to close to the price of the beef. The cashier asked me if all those coupons were for the Chinet, which they were. Then she said "Wow! You made out like a bandit today!" :)

After we got home from that trip, we went to pick strawberries. On our way back from that, we stopped at the Food Lion that is right down the road from us because I had more Chinet coupons and wanted to see if they had any left on the shelf. They did! That's where we got the other 4 pkgs of plates and the clearance napkins. The napkins were $.77 ea. and the coupons I had for them were for $1. I told the cashier that she might have to lower the amount of the coupon since it was for more than the shelf price. She just scanned them in at $1. She hit "the button" and the screen showed -.47. She got a weird, confused look on her face and hit the button again, and it still showed -.47. Her eyes got big and she said "it's showing me that I owe you money!" then she turned to the lady that was bagging and asked what she should do. The lady that was bagging said "oh yeah, we just credit the amount". So they gave me $.47!! I didn't know that any stores did that, so I was about ready to jump outa my skin, I was so excited!! We were walking out of the store and Glen said "I've never seen anyone get paid to buy groceries!!" He talked about it all the way home, asking about the List, coupons, etc. I showed him the list and explained how it works and all. He was pretty excited over it! I had to laugh, because at the first Food Lion stop he bought some oreos. I offered to put them in with my order and he could pay me back and he was very adamant that "he had plenty of money". I asked if he had an MVP card, "no, I don't need one, I have enough money!". When his order rang up the cashier asked if he had an MVP card and I gave her mine and it took off $.58. After we were out of the store he was telling me how it was "only $.58!!" and I shouldn't have used my MVP card on him because he has enough money! And then a couple hours later he's so excited over the things you can do with coupons! Ha ha.

Yesterday afternoon I sliced up the Sara Lee chicken and bagged it up. I know it put me WAY over my weekly budget this week, but I won't have to buy sandwich meat for at least a month, maybe a month and a half now. Plus, with my brother, Glen, being here for 10 days, he's about eating me out of house and home! Instead of having leftovers from supper to eat for lunch, the whole meal is consumed at supper. Then we eat sandwiches for lunch, which means more bread to make. I just bought bread flour last week and had to buy more this week! It did make a difference that the last batch I made (3 loaves) I made all white instead of multi-grain (which uses alot less white flour). Oh well. Minus the Sara Lee meat I only spent $33.06, so for 3 people, I don't think that's too bad :) He is definitely putting a hurtin' on our meat supply, though! I think I'll need to start restocking beef next week and chicken before too long.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009


There are so many things I want to blog about...

The sibling party with all my siblings but one of my sisters on Thursday of last week... Laura is on a missions trip. Poor Julia ended up helping her husband with hay the whole day so wasn't able to join in on all the fun until the very end. She was so kind to let us barge into her house for our party while she was out working. We ended up having our first annual Sibling Party Summer Olympics, complete with heavy-weight lifting (picking each other up), foot-races (I think it was mostly Glen & Rachel), and then for the finale, 7 of us plus my nephew (3 y.o.) played leap-frog across Julia's big yard and back. It was also decided that we will have our Annual Winter Olympics at our New Year's get together. It will be fun to see what we do then.

That night my youngest brother, Glen (11), came home with me for several days. Mom, Katie & Luke are attending a school convention out of state for all of this week, so I offered for Glen to come hang out here instead of being shuffled around among the other sisters who are closer by. We've had alot of fun and lazy times so far, but have done our share of work, too.

Yesterday (Memorial Day) we stayed home. Glen had been wanting to mow our yard with our lawn mower, so I showed him the gist of things and let him go at it. He enjoyed it except for all the bugs. Yesterday was a buggy day. Daniel worked all afternoon at some digging, and then in the evening we transplanted 2 maple trees that were growing too close to the cellar out to the front yard where we'd tried to transplant some a couple years ago but they never survived. These are older and bigger, so hopefully they will make it with faithful watering from us!

Today Glen and I ran some errands and then went and picked about 8lbs. of strawberries. When we got home, I made pizzas and he made a shortcake. He opted for ice cream and oreos (that he'd gotten) for dessert, I went after shortcake, strawberries and ice cream!!

Tomorrow I plan to show him the ropes of serious couponing :) We made a couple stops today, and the first stop didn't impress him too much. The second stop got him more excited, and me too!!

Daniel and I went for a walk tonight, it has been a very nice day today. Cloudy and breezy. While we were walking it was lightly misting, which was refreshing. Now I'm sitting here working on my shopping lists for tomorrow. I soon need to quit for tonight and finish it in the morning.

Last night we stayed up late watching Robin Hood, Prince of Thieves (Kevin Costner) and it was 1am till we got to bed. I need to get to bed earlier tonight (heh heh, it's 12:07!).

But I wanted to do some blogging today, so I did :)

Monday, May 25, 2009

Menu Plan Monday

I have slacked off on this for so many weeks, and it has been such a pain to not have a plan. I need to make myself make the time to do it each week again.

Monday - Crockpot BBQ Chicken, Pasta w/ Alfredo Sauce, Fruit Salad
Tuesday - Pizza, Peas
Wednesday - Chicken Pot Pie
Thursday - Pork Chops, Mashed Potatoes, Corn
Friday - Hotdogs, Jello Salad
Saturday - wedding
Sunday - leftovers, pancakes or waffles

For now, I must get the last thing on my list done for today - washing the kitchen and pantry floors :) Then it's off to bed for me. Going to bed earlier is something I want/need to do more often and hopefully once I do it enough I'll get in the habit of doing it :)

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

BIG Shopping Trip This Week

It took several stops to get everything, but there were items that I needed and some that I wanted. I went over budget, but I chalk that up to my brother, Glen, coming to spend 10 days with us :P

Food Lion, Kroger, WalMart and Ukrops:

*Gal. Orange Juice - $1.99
*Gal Milk - $1.99, Markdown
3 bottles Shamrock's MMMMMilk - FREE
*2 CoolWhip - $.50/ea.
4 Condensed Soups - $.50/ea.
3 Handsoap - $.30/ea.
3 Wacky Mac Pasta - $.59/ea.
Bananas - $.45 ($.29/lb!!!)
Mango - $.50
Tomato - $.62
2 Doz. Eggs - $1.00/ea, Markdown
*Lays - $1.88
*Pancake Syrup - $1.60
*Shortening - $2.53
Gal. Ice Cream - $4.99
3 Weber Seasonings - FREE
*Vegetable Oil - $2.84
*.54 lb. Provolone Cheese - $1.61
*.98 lb. Canadian Maple Ham - $2.93
*1.04 lb. Black Forest Ham - $3.11
3 Kraft Salad Dressing - FREE

Shelf Price: $78.33
OOP: $34.41
Saved: $43.92 / 56%

*"need" items. The ice cream was definitely a splurge. But it will sure taste good with fresh strawberries this weekend :) The cool whip is for the dessert I'm making for a party tomorrow :)

Me Time

Today after finishing my grocery shopping (which I will post about tonight) I had an appointment to get my hair trimmed.

I know guys go to barbers, ladies go to hairdressers, right? I think so. So I'm going to refer to "the lady that cuts my hair" as my hairdresser. Just so you know 'n'all.

So we (my hairdresser and I) are chatting along, I'm telling her about how I use coupons; she's talking about how she just found a local butcher shop that sells fresh meat and how their prices are supposed to be really good (I want to check them out, it did sound good!), and so on.

She's almost done blow-drying my hair and giving the final cuts and makes this comment:
"You don't get much me time, do you?"

Umm.... I didn't know what to say. I wasn't sure what she meant by "me-time". And secondly, do I look that bad??!! Sure, I didn't have any make-up on, I walked in with my hair pulled straight back in a pony tail, my clothes weren't worn or ragged and I even had on nice shoes and not my white sneakers... I don't think I come across as the old country woman who is chained to the washboard and boiling tub of lye water every day. I hope not. Please tell me if I do. And how I can change that.

I bumbled around and said something like "well, I'm home all of the time...." meaning, "I like what I do every day and enjoy being home." I felt super lame-o giving that answer, but I'd never had that question asked before.

On the way home I was thinking about it and wondering what would I do if I specifically were to have "me time"?

Would I go get a manicure? Probably not. I might would get one sometime, but not for everyday living.

A pedicure? Maybe... if I had enough money that I didn't know what else to do with it. I think a pedicure might be fun sometime :)

A massage.... oooo, now you're talking. A weekly massage, that would be nice. But I don't have an oil field in my back yard. Unless the frogs have been keeping something from us.... have you been hiding an oil field, frogs?

Trips to the mall? Nah, not my type. I usually wind up with a headache when I go to the mall. Too much hustle and bustle for me. Now, could I spend $$ at a mall?? You betcha!! But again, see the previous item.

Then I got to thinking, what are ways that I could have "me time" without costing money?

Reading. I love to read.

Sitting on the deck. If we had one I think it would almost be my favorite spot. Many a time do I wish I could eat breakfast on our deck, or take a nap, or whatever.

Playing the piano. Blogging. Facebooking. Emailing. Do those things count?

The more I got to thinking about it, I think that "me-time" would be anything that I enjoy doing, for real and honest. And that's pretty much what I do, all day, every day. I'm the most happy when I'm in my element (and not a Honda Element, either), and that's home for me. Some of those things would be luxuries. I do read when I make/take time to. Playing the piano is the same. Blogging and facebook... well, they just happen.

Even more, I think I would prefer "us time", just Daniel and myself, over "me time".

Am I missing something? Is my backwoods, hickster, country-woman lifestyle missing something that I've been in the dark about all this time? Is "me time" something great and wonderful that I've just never experienced so I don't know what I'm missing?

Do you have me time? What is your me time?


If you read this post, you'll remember that something caused a couple of my precious plants to *poof* into thin air and I couldn't figure out what.

(I also need to note: in that post I mention it taking me all afternoon and evening to get the garden planted. I took lots of drink, bathroom and "I need to rest a minute" breaks. It was the cold and all, of course.)

Yesterday I took a trek out to the garden, not really wanting to in case my whole garden had vanished somehow. It hadn't. Everything was still there minus the two original MIA pepper plants.

But, I spied something new! New evidence! Time to call in the CSI (Crime Scene Investigators). I spied MOLE TRACKS. Dirty buggers. I couldn't find where they tracked in to the garden (usually it's easy to find their tracks), but I def. found a couple feet of mole track in the garden... and you betcha, it was tracking right up to the one vanished pepper place. It wasn't a super obvious track, so I poked around a bit with my fingers, being careful to not cave the tunnel in, and lo and behold I found the tunnel.

I high-tailed it down to the shed (as if my speed 2+ days later than the occurrence of the crime was going to make a difference...) and grabbed my big jug of Mole Out. I've never used the stuff before, but I've had it waiting for such a time as this.

I mean, this is serious business!! If they can't leave my plants alone from DAY ONE, it is time to pull out the big guns. Since I couldn't find any more of the track, I just put one "dose" of the crummies in the section of tunnel that I did find. I'm not exactly sure how it's supposed to work either, it says it's "mole repellent". So I don't know if it's poison, some kind of stinky something that they don't like the smell so they stay away or what. But it's anti-mole, so that's at least a start.

On the flip side... it's possible that it could be a vole, too. Voles use mole tunnels to get around. I wonder if Mole Out works for voles?

Anyway, I plan to search around and find a couple more (hopefully) sure-fire ways of keeping these boogers out of my garden and away from MY vegetation. They can eat grubs, I can't won't. I'll eat my green beans and peppers and tomatoes and corn and whatnot instead and leave the fat, juicy, underground crawlies to them. I mean, what critter wouldn't prefer grubs over vegetables, c'mon!

Plan A: acquire some pinwheel thingies and put plenty of them around the garden. I'm guessing hoping that with it being Memorial Day weekend that I'll be able to find some at Walmart or something.

Plan B: (and this is my more long-term, hopefully really works "as seen on TV" thing) Get some of those little green disc thingies that you poke into the ground and they vibrate and the moles and voles don't like the vibration so they stay away. I used to see them all the time as a kid in the Carol Wright type magazines, so I hope I won't have too much trouble hunting some down.

If you have any great remedies, ideas, know what works, anything, I'll be most glad to listen! Last year after my 1st round of green beans came in, the m/voles went down each of my bean rows and ate the roots off almost every plant.


Monday, May 18, 2009


This past Saturday was an exciting day! To start things off, I felt like my head was going to pop off most of the day. I came down with a bonafied cold Friday morning but didn't expect to feel that awful that fast.

And nope, I don't have the pig flu. No oinking or curly tails here.

We finally decided to go ahead and plant a garden, so Friday I hauled off to the feed store and bought a bunch of plants and some bean seeds. So of course we needed to get the plants planted, so we made arrangements with Daniel's dad to borrow his tractor and tiller for the initial tilling of our garden.

Saturday morning I didn't feel like it, but it had to be done. And here's how the first part went:

Here is our garden in all it's grown-up, wintered glory. Time for a makeover!!Daniel pulled up on his fine steed, his $150 lawn-mower and a wagon.First off, we have to haul out last years equipment. Daniel tied the pea fence panels to the wagon and dragged them to the back yard behind the shed where they'll wait until next year... we didn't plant peas this year.Then it was time for a good haircut. Every makeover has a haircut in it somewhere. Hello, beautiful! You are looking finer by the moment, but we're not quite finished. You're looking a little stressed. Tense. Worn out. Let us help you.Serious tenseness and worn-out-ness requires serious equipment. Nice rig, huh? :)Ahhhh, time for a deep-tissue massage ;)Lookin' much, much better :) Soon you'll be all ready for your implants. Don't worry, they'll be earth friendly ones. No botox.
I like seein' my man on a tractor :)

It took all afternoon and part of the evening, but I got everything planted that I wanted to that day:
2 double rows of Incredible Corn (with space for 3 more double rows)
almost 3 double rows of Tenderette Green Beans
20 tomato plants (6 Celebrity, 12 Roma and 2 Early Boy)
15 bell pepper plants, red, yellow and green.
I hope to plant squash and zucchini this coming weekend.

However..... today when I went out there to take a look, 2 of the pepper plants seem to have vanished into thin air :( 1 green and 1 yellow, I think. There was nothing left. The plants are still pretty small, only about 3" tall, so I'm wondering if a bird plucked them up... or if an underground varmint pulled them down under, but I didn't find any mole or vole tracks. I'm just hoping that the rest of them stay put!

Or, maybe it was a mouse. We killed 4 field mice throughout the day. Y'all should be proud of me! I stomped one of them in my bare feet!! I saw the mouse skittering across the garden and I thought for a split second "ok, I'm barefoot. I'm not one to jump at the change to squash a mouse... but Daniel's busy... and I don't want him to get away..." and I started running. We recently had some mouse trouble in our house and for sure aren't going to condone potential trouble.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Feeling 5 Again :)

+ Freshly Tilled Garden Dirt
+ Barefoot
I feel like a little kid :)

Daniel tilled up the garden late this morning, and I couldn't help but take my shoes off to work in it. Besides, being barefoot is 100 times more enjoyable than shoes full of dirt.

Check back later for a progress update and some pictures!

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Weekly Grocery Store Raid - 75% Savings!!

Hee hee, I got my first "wow!" from a cashier!!!!! I went to Food Lion yesterday with my list from The Grocery Game and saved 84%!!!! Her comment was "Wow! Those coupons really made a difference! You're a good shopper."

All this from Food Lion, Kroger and WalMart:
3 Kitten Chow - FREE
All Purpose Flour - $1.74
Bread Flour - $2.14
Sugar - $2.38
1 Gal. Orange Juice - $1.99
2 Ketchup - $.60 ea.
5 BBQ Sauce - $.10 ea.
3 A.1. Steak Sauce - $.50 ea.
6 Electrasol - $.27 ea.
4 BirdsEye Steamfresh Corn - $.50 ea.
Sandwich Singles Cheese - $1.28
Lettuce - $1.38
24oz. Block Cheese - $3.99
2 apples - $.48 (1 not pictured because I ate it :P )
5 Grillmates Marinade Seasonings - $.19 ea.

Shelf Price: $98.61
Total OOP: $25.03
Saved: $73.58 or 75% (woop-woop!)

Daniel asked if I was going to start buying steaks to go with all the BBQ sauce and marinade I've been getting the last couple weeks. I told him no, but it will give us different ways to eat chicken other than "just chicken"! And who knows, with The Grocery Game I might just be able to buy a steak or two now and then :)

This week the flours, sugar, Orange Juice, Cheese and lettuce were on my needs list.

Aaaaayaaand, while I was in town I got my watch battery replaced!! It died 2 weeks ago and I've felt naked and lost without it. I seriously don't know how people who don't wear watches stand it. I even made sure to carry my cell phone around with me more, but I hated having to fumble with it to simply look at the time. Now I have time on my hands wrist again :)

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Coupon Sidebar

There are some really nice coupons over in my sidebar right now***. My guess is that stores will be running sales on condiments over the next while as we are heading into the summer-time-for-grilling-and-picnics season. I made sure to print them off so I'm ready and waiting when the sales come around :)

The ones that caught my eye are:

$1 Kraft Velveeta Cheese, 1lb. or larger
$1 any Kraft Miracle Whip
$1 any RITZ cracker variety (13.6 - 16oz)
$1 any Kraft Mayonnaise
$1 any Kraft Salad Dressing
$1 any A.1. Steak Sauce*
$1 any Kraft BBQ Sauce**

*A.1. Steak Sauce, 10oz, is on sale at Kroger this week for $2.99. Use this printable coupon and it's $1.99.
**Kraft BBQ Sauce, 18oz, is on sale at Kroger this week for $1! Use this printable coupon and it's FREE!

***You can scroll through the coupons to see the pictures/values and "quick print" (which is 1 coupon per page), or you can select to see them all, and then select all the ones you want to print and it will print up to 3 coupons per page. It does print in color, so if you don't want to use your color ink, you can either change your printer settings or pull the color cartridge out while the coupons print. The coupons I printed today expire 6/11.

Monday, May 11, 2009

A Visit in Pictures

This past Thursday evening my 2 oldest sisters, Gail & Sally, along with their small fry, Bobby (Gail's) and Paul & Hannah (Sally's) came for an overnight visit :)

Grandma was going to come, too, but ended up deciding that she wasn't up for the ride Thursday morning. We missed her but still had plenty of fun!!

After going to bed late and getting up early - for the kids, anyway - we had breakfast and then spent quite a while outside in the morning. Bobby had packed his own bag with a nice selection of farm toys that he and Paul had fun playing with in our sand pile.

Gail, Bobby & Paul
While they played in the sand, Gail, Sally and I took turns entertaining Hannah and keeping her out of the sand. She loved going up and down the back steps :)

Sally & Hannah


After lunch it was soon nap-time for 3 very tired little people :) Since Paul and Hannah have different lengths of nap-time, we managed to squeeze Hannah's Pak'n'Play into the laundry room, and Paul slept on the guest bed in the guest room. Bobby is used to enough noise that he took his nap on the sofa.

Some after-nap pictures:

Gail and Bobby
Hannah on her little potty.

Paul playing with toys while I get supper.

Hannah waiting for supper.
(can she get any cuter??!!)

After supper they loaded everything and everyone up and headed back home. It was such a great visit! I was really glad that we managed to fit everyone here for the night. If Grandma had come, she would've slept in our guest room and the rest of them would've spent the night at Daniel's parents house which is just a few miles from us. Since Grandma wasn't here, we could squish and squeeze and make everyone fit :)

Menu Plan Monday

Here 'tis!!

Monday - Baked Chicken, Baked Potatoes & Veg. Mix
Tuesday - Turkey Turnovers
Wednesday - Meatball Stroganoff, Peas
Thursday - Sweet & Sour Chicken
Friday - Pork Chops & a vegetable
Saturday - leftovers
Sunday - leftovers

Monday's To-Do List

I've been absent for the past several days. They went something like this:

Thursday: Clean all day, 2 of my sisters and their kids (3 total) arrived late evening to spend the night. Grandma had decided that morning that she wasn't up to the ride.
Friday: Had fun all day with them
Saturday: Did nothing other than breathe, eat and sleep all morning and afternoon. Watched a movie with Daniel in the evening and made some bread and supper.
Sunday: Church, nap, church, made meals for 2 families.
Monday: MOPS, home...

This morning I told myself that I will do everything on my to-do list today before I spend too much time doing other things. So I will be posting pictures and blogging about the weekend later this afternoon/evening.

Here's what I need to get done first:
Make bed
Start Laundry
Get Dressed (I'm sure the MOPS ladies and kids appreciated it)
Counters & Table
Put Laundry to Dry
Empty Slop
Replace belt on sweeper
I was making good progress, then while I was repacing the belt on the Oreck I got slammed with a headache. Grr. I took Excedrin and might put my feet up for 15 minutes.
Sweep floors
Wash Kitchen & Pantry floors
Fold & Put away laundry
Make Menu
Work in our bedroom for 30 min
Work in 2nd bedroom 15 min

Yay, all done!!

PS: Several of you use "strike-through" on your posts. I've tried to figure out how to do that and have asked Daniel about it too, but neither of us can figure it out. If you know what I need to do to get that feature, let me know! There are several times that I wish I could use it but don't know how. Thanks!

Thank you for your help, Jenn!!!!

Thursday, May 7, 2009

For today, Thursday May 7, 2009

I am thinking... that it's nice to have a little sunshine :) It's been rainy most of the week so far so sunshine is a welcome change, though I don't mind the rain too much.

I am thankful for... Daniel's work having picked back up to relatively normal the past 2 weeks. I about jumped up and down and yelled with excitement when his first full paycheck since the middle of January was deposited last week :D I wondered if I could call it "the Jehovah Jireh Jig" since Jehovah Jireh means "the Lord will provide"??

From my kitchen... nothing super exciting. I made a frozen peach pie Tuesday, ahh, it was so good to be able to pull it out of the freezer, put it in the oven and have fresh peach pie in the middle of May :) I'm so glad I made and froze them last summer!

I am wearing... a big gray t-shirt and yellow smiley face shorts. I will be changing clothes later today before my company gets here :)

I am going... I may go borrow Mama's box of toys or I might ask Daniel to pick them up on his way home. We don't have any toys here and our little company would probably be happier with toys :)

I am reading... "the Johns"... I John, II John, III John.

I am creating... I made a batch of laundry soap this morning first thing so that it can set up a little bit before I need to start laundry. I also need to make bread today.

I am hearing... nothing too exciting. The breeze is blowing outside so I might open up the windows a little more so I can hear the wind in the trees :)

Around the house... I need to put away the clothes that are on the drying rack and put the rack away, and do a general cleaning of the main part of the house. I will also finish packing up the 2nd bedroom and get it ready for my company tonight! I'm excited :D

A few plans for the rest of the week... enjoy the visit with 2 of my sisters, nephews and niece :) (Paul and Hannah are 2 1/2 and 1, respectively.) Grandma decided not to come :( I'm not sure what I'll do on Saturday.

One of my favorite things... talking with my siblings :)

Picture thoughts I am sharing with you...

Wednesday, May 6, 2009


Am I the only one that checks multiple times a day to see if anyone has posted anything REALLY exciting??

Please tell me I'm not.

Thank you.

The lady that her 88 year old Grandma is coming to visit and is spending the night tomorrow night and the 2nd bedroom is still not overnight company ready. I'm not really bored, just bored of the things I need to be doing.


The Grocery Game

Early last week the curiosity got the best of me. I have several blogs that I follow faithfully for grocery store deals. I get great information from them and love how much I save using their sale/coupon match ups.

But I kept hearing great things about The Grocery Game, too. I wasn't sure how different it could be from the blogs that I follow, but I decided that for $1 I would try it. And if I didn't like it I could always cancel my subscription.

I am still very new to TGG (as it's called), but so far I have really liked it. Since for my trial period I can sign up for as many stores as are in my area, I am getting lists for Kroger, Food Lion and CVS.

In the 1 1/2 weeks that I've been using TGG here's what I've learned:

The store lists that get posted each week are lists of advertised and UNadvertised sales, along with coupon matches.

TGG also tracks sales cycles and rock-bottom prices. The idea of using TGG is the same as other couponers: Stock up when it's low so you don't have to buy things at full price. One of my problems is knowing "is this the lowest price??" The list does it all for me :) Each list is color coded with the items in either black, blue or green.

~Black items are on sale, but only buy them if you need them.
~Blue items are on sale at the lowest prices for that store - it's time to stock up! Coupons sweeten the deal :)
~Green items, my favorite, are FREE when you combine the sale and coupon.

So far, there have been several things on the lists that I wouldn't know about unless I went looking in the store... and my goal isn't to spend hours in the store but to get in, get my stuff and get out.

Like I said, this is only my second week, but I've already scored some really great deals :) I'm not sure that I will keep all 3 stores after my trial period. After my trial period is over, it costs $10 for 8 weeks ($1.25/week) for the 1st store and $5 for each store that I subscribe to after that. I know I want to keep Kroger for sure, I'll have to wait and decide about the other two.

As I learn more, I'll share more.... just not my lists :P

If you want to sign up for The Grocery Game, please let me know. I'll give you my reference information so that you can put me in as having referred you. For every so many referrals I give, I get free weeks of TGG :D

Here is Teri Gault, founder of The Grocery Game, explaining how it works:
What is The Grocery Game?

Grocery Stockup

Wow. I did pretty good this week! We're stocked up on cereal, bbq sauce and mayo for awhile :)

Here's the breakdown:

Food Lion
4 Kraft BBQ Sauce (BIG bottles!)
3 Mayo
2 Choc. Chips
5 GrillMates
5 lbs. Potatoes

Milk - Manager's Special :)
Orange Juice - this is yummy stuff and when it's on sale it's cheaper per gal. than concentrate :)
2 Corn Pops
2 Frosted Flakes
1 Mini-Wheats
Kitten Chow*
2 VitaminWater10 (thought it was free, ended up being $.50/ea - what I get for not paying attention)

Bread Flour :)

Before Sales/Coupons: $69.17
Total OOP: $24.75
Saved: $44.42 or 64%
I had coupons for everything but the produce, dairy and flour.

*So last week I got cat food, too, and a couple people wondered what I was doing with cat food since we don't have any cats. My original plan was to find somebody to give it to that had cats. The cat food was free, why not get it (he he, it helps my savings, too :P )?? Daniel had an even better idea... just mix it in with Rascal's dog food. Hmm... I like that idea. Stretching our dog food with free cat food. We only do a little bit at a time and so far he's not meowing or purring or anything. He's a dog... he would eat human food if we let him, so I'm not worried about feeding him cat food. I can understand that straight cat food for a length of time might not be the best for him, but a little bit watered down with his reg. dog food shouldn't hurt him at all.

Is anybody missing the prices? It takes a little more time to list the items with the prices so it's a bit easier to not list them. I think last week I didn't even list all of the items. I'm just wondering if my faithful readers have a preference :) You're the ones reading, not me :P

April Grocery Budget Recap

(Don't forget to read how you can vote for my reusable Kroger shopping bag here!)

There are a ton of things that I keep reminding myself that I really need to get done because I haven't done them in a while.

Things like balancing the checkbook... updating our budget spreadsheet... I have a million and one things I want to blog about...

And today I'm taking the easy one: checking to see how well I did with my grocery spending in April.

My first week was a major pocketbook emptier. I kept that in mind all the rest of the month, but it was H.A.R.D. Man, it was so hard. I don't know that I could ever shop with less than $25/week regularly. Some weeks it's easy to do, but in April it seemed like every week had some really great deals that I couldn't pass up or I'd end up paying out the nose for some stuff later. It all panned out o.k. Not under budget, but not so over budget that I feel like I have to lock up my coupons, checkbook and car keys.

It came out to $27.12 per week for the month of April.

Just for kicks, here's what I would have spent if I had bought all of those groceries without the sales or coupons: $394.31

What I did spend: $135.57! My April savings were $258.74 or 67%!! Woohoo!!

I have been checking out different websites and blogs recently and 67% is the average that the big couponers out there save! I must not be doing too bad :) Granted, I've never gotten $200 worth of groceries for $5, but even they themselves admit that trips like that are not the norm.

I am hoping that my percent saved will creep up a little, though. I've made some minor changes that I'm hoping will help me get even more groceries with my budget. We'll have to see how things are at the end of May to see if they worked or not :)

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Vote for My Bag!

I designed a reusable Kroger bag today and it was approved for the Design a Bag contest.

Here's the link where you can vote for my bag :) You can vote 1 time a day until the contest is over (sometime towards the end of this month, I think).

Why vote for me? 'Cause the prizes are pretty cool :P All the way from a Kroger gift card to having my bag "published" and sold in stores. How cool is that?

And of course, feel free to design and enter your own bag :)

Still Here :)

I had someone email me to make sure I was ok since I hadn't posted for a while. I guess it has been a whole 3 days :P

I'm fine, still alive and kickin'. We had a very busy Friday evening-Saturday and Sunday was as usual... gone most of the day. This morning after Daniel left I was going to catch "40 winks" on the couch before starting a load of laundry and dishes and what-not, and next thing I knew I was waking up and the clock on the wall said it was quarter to 11. So much for getting my whole list done in the morning... ha ha. At least I was plenty rested to work on my list the rest of the day :)

Tonight Daniel and I watched the 2nd half of Fiddler On The Roof. I'd never seen the movie (I might have seen parts of it when I was really little??) so it was interesting to see. Not one that I'd put on my favs list, but it was nice to finally see it and see what it's about.

Friday, May 1, 2009

Will It Work?

I had one of these on my "Big Items Want List" for about as long as Daniel and I have been married. I got one for Christmas last year.

If I put one of these on my list, I wonder how long it will take to get one?

Seriously, we're workin' on year 5 of not having a decently working lawn mower. And no ones fault but our own tight-wadded stingyness - on both our parts. There have been times when I've begged and pleaded and gotten on my knees and kissed his feet wanting to go spend money on a "new" mower. And he's always said "but I can fix the one we have". And he does. And it works... a little better... for a little while. And we've saved money.

This year... I ... I ... I just want one that works!! We have our tax refund coming in sometime, I think I might just present it to the committee that we use it for a late model lawn mower and give up on all the 25-year-old ones. They're probably not energy efficient anyway.