Thursday, January 31, 2008

Toilet Paper at CVS!!

For those of who have not already heard, there is a great deal at CVS on toilet paper right now. They have a 20 pack of Cottonelle 50% @ $4.98 and it gives you $2 in ECB back. There are $.50 coupons from the paper. If you by 2 packs of TP and use a $2/10 and 2 $.50 coupons, you will pay $7 and get $4 ECB!! Great deal for TP!!

So I don't have to link so many times. All the CVS coupons are here:

Some other good deals this week are:

Garnier Nutritioniste are buy 2 get $7 in ECB. Prices start at $5.99
Garnier Shampoo/Conditioner are 2/$10 and get $5 in ECB.
You can buy the Shampoo, Conditioner and 2 $5.99 products.
Total will be $22
Use $4/20, $3/15, $2/10
Use $3/2 and 2 $1/1 coupons from paper.
Total will be around $8 and you will get $12 back in ECB.

Buy $20 of Advil or Robitussin products, get $10 back in ECB.
Advil/Advil PM are on sale for $4 each. There are $2/coupons here and here.
Robitussin is on sale for $6 each. There are $3/coupons here.
Dimatapp in on sale for $6 each. There are $2/coupons here.
You can buy 5 Advil products.
Total will be $20.
Use $4/20, $3/15, $2/10
Use 5 $2 coupons
Total will be around $1 and you will get $10 back in ECB!!

If you didn't already get 2 free razors last week, you still can.
Gillette Fusion Razors are sale and you get $6 back in ECB.
You can buy the power razor at $9.99.
Use a $2/10 and $2/coupons from paper.
Your total will be $6 and you will get $6 back in ECB.

You can buy the manual razor @ $8.99.
Use a $2/10 and $2/coupons from paper.
Your total will be $5 and you will get $6 back in ECB.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008


I will be the first to admit that I have not done my homework very well concerning the republican candidates. I didn't even know we were voting today until my dad told me this morning. Obviously, I do not watch the news or listen to talk radio or have much contact with the outside world. Anyway, after doing a little research and hearing what others had to say, I did vote today and I am hoping Huckabee can make it through!
For a great summary on the different candidates, check out Jessica's blog.

Frames for Glasses

I don't actually wear glasses myself, but my husband has reading glasses. Now, let me just say that his reading glasses are the same ones he's had since high school. I try not to be too much of a fashion guru but these glasses are HUGE and UGLY!! So, being the good wife that I am, I found this web site Zenni Optical: Sell Rx Glasses $8 with case! that offers a large variety of frames for only $8!! Now that is the kind of birthday present I am talking about. His birthday is in a couple of weeks and he may just be getting a new set of frames. These are the ones I am looking at.
What do you think?

Tuesday Toot - The Grocery Budget

Blogamama is kicking off a new meme this week and it is called Tuesday toot. The point of this meme is to toot your own horn about something you have accomplished. While I'm sure there is a long list of things I could write about :), the thing most recent and always on my mind is the grocery budget.
I have been so pleased that God has provided a way for us to cut our grocery bill in half. This has taken a lot of creativity and work, but has been well worth the results. Every week I am amazed at how little I actually have to spend on groceries, and household products to get everything we need (and often things we don't).
So, if there is something I feel I am doing well at right now, that would be it.

To see more Tuesday toots, click here

Monday, January 28, 2008

SAT Prep

I went to a SAT prep class for Morgan today. This is the first year she will be tested. Although I am very confident that she will do fabulously, I still have slight anxiety at the thought of that what is truly being tested is my teaching. After receiving all the information today, I became a little more anxious. I realized some of the things we have spent little to no time on and she would be clueless about. As overwhelming as it was to sit and listen to the amount of information my child is expected to know, I am so glad I went. It was also nice hear from someone who has already been there, done that. She was able to speak from experience and give some of what works and what doesn't. So, here are my highlights that I took away from it. If your child is going to be tested this year and/or you have some other good tips to share, feel free.

As far as the test taking abilities:
Sharpen Pencils the night before and then dull them slightly. That's right. She explained that sharpened to a point pencils will slow the child down.
Give scrap paper that is college rule and teach children how to turn paper sideways to work Math problems. This will help them keep the numbers in the correct place value.
Teach them how to use scrap paper to cover answers as they go. This has a 2-fold reason. The first is the obvious to cut down on cheating. The second is to help the children to focus on the question at hand and not be distracted by earlier questions.

As far as knowledge:
Presidents order, names and money they are on.
Math (times tables, addition, subtraction)
Traditional Seasons (in Florida we don't see the change of leaves and snow and such)
Species (mammal, amphibian, etc...)
National Holidays (Dates and Names including Memorial, Veterans, etc.. and symbols associated with each)

These are the skills I will be working on more heavily for the next month and a half. I have gotten a couple of test taking skills books and I plan to get a couple more that she recommended. After that, I will see any other areas that need a little extra work.

I have to be careful not to allow Morgan to see my stress over this. I don't want her to be scared or intimidated from the start. She has already shown signs of that.

Publix Deals for 1/24 - 1/30

(2) Strawberry Chex (sale 2/$4 minus $1.10/2 printable)
(2) Rice Chex (sale 2/$4 minus $1.10/2 printable)
(4) Quaker Chewy Granola Bars (bogo @ $3.19/2 minus 4 $.55 from paper)
Bisquick ($2.93 minus $1.10 printable)
(8) Mueller Pasta (bogo @ 2/$1.29 minus 4 $1/2)
(14) Yoplait Yogurst (7/$5 minus $1/8 printable and $.40/6 from paper)
(2) Duncan Hines Brownie Mix (bogo @ 2/$2.49 minus 2 $1 from paper)
Bananas ($1.35 @ $.50/lb)
(2) Smithfield Bacon (bogo @ 2/$4.79 minus 2 $1 from paper)
(2) Nestle Cookie Dough (3/$6 minus $1/2 from paper)
(4) Kraft Cheese (sale 2/$4 minus 2 $1 and $.75/2 from paper)
3 lb. Red Delicious Apples (sale $2.99)
(2) Lipton Noodle Sides (bogo @ 2/$1.39 minus $.75/2 from paper)

Total Before Coupons/Savings = $89.19
Total Coupons = $23.90
Total Store Savings = $31.71
Total After Savings = $33.58

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Smorty - Getting Paid Again!

Well, I figure if they are going to pay me to blog, how can I say no? I just signed up for Blog Advertising - Get Paid to Blog and I am really excited about the potential I have there to make some extra money every month. They are very easy to use and straightforward. It only takes me a couple of minutes to write a post and I think that is a good hourly wage. Check out this link or click the button above or go to advertise on blogs for more info.

Friday, January 25, 2008

5 Weird Things About Me!!

Jessica tagged me to write 5 weird things about me. I had to think really hard to come up with 5! I am such a normal, run of the mill, kinda girl. But after some great deliberation, here is the best I could come up with:

1) I still LOVE to tight roll my jeans!! (just kidding, are you crazy?!) But, I hey, I got your attention. Actually, I must have the correct proportion of eggs to toast to O.J. In case you are wondering what that means, I will explain. I eat 2 eggs, 1 piece of toast and a about 3/4 glass of O.J. The really weird part is that I eat 1 egg on half of the toast (starting with the crust and working inward), then drink half the glass of O.J. Then, I proceed to eat the other egg on the other half of toast and then finish the O.J. I cannot deviate from this plan, so please don't ask.
2) I cannot stand the sound of paper napkins being rubbed together!! It's like fingernails on a chalkboard to me. Dinner time is always a hazard. For some reason, people enjoy doing this just to annoy me.
3) I hate the beach!! I have lived in Florida most of my life and I've never been a fan of the beach. I know, how can I not like the beach? I'll tell you. JAWS scarred me forever. I am always afraid I am going to look over and see that fin coming my way. I also had plenty of friends who have been stung by jellyfish and I have no desire for that. I also cannot stand to be dirty. Now that I have 4 children, I really don't like them to be dirty. The thought of 4 children getting in the car with sand in every crevice of their being and transferring it to ever crevice of my van makes me cringe. So, if you don't like to be dirty and you're not going to get in the water, why go to the beach?
4) I rarely listen to what my doctor tells me. I actually have found a pediatrician I agree with now. I tend to do things way more natural and homeopathic than the doctors in the medical profession. This carries over to how I care for my sick children, what I believe keeps us healthy and the labor/birth/nursing process.
5) I love when the days get shorter in the winter! Most people I talk to hate this time because it is dark by the time they get home from work. I like this time of year because my kids go to bed earlier with less of a fight. Now that my kids are old enough to tell time, this doesn't work as well.

Now, I am tagging Brandi!

Thursday, January 24, 2008

American Girl History

We have been reading one of the American Girl books as part of our school the last couple of weeks. I know I dogged the price of these dolls in an earlier post (BTW, Morgan and Avery did each get one for Christmas and they LOVE them!), but the books are just the best! There are a couple of reasons I love these books so much.

One is that they are written in a way that is easy enough for my children to read them themselves without them being 2 sentence pages. When Morgan finished one of them a couple of weeks ago, she really felt like she had accomplished something. And, so did I. She read 5 chapters in her own spare time. That brings me to reason #2.

The story line in these books really keeps their attention and they feel like they know these little girls. The fact that the stories are all written about girls close to their age makes it seem even that much more real to them.

And one of my favorites reasons is the historical and cultural content in each book. We have been reading about Addy (a 9 year old girl who grew up as a slave in the 1800's). It has been so eye opening to my children and I think they will remember more reading this history as a story instead of reading it from a text book.

If you are looking for a good, clean and interesting read for your 2nd-5th grader, these would be the first books I would recommend.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Valentine's Day Shopping List

I know it is not even February yet, but I am the kind of girl who likes to plan ahead. So, I have been thinking about what I can get for my friends and family without spending a large chunck of change. Well, of course, I had to find a site that will offer me discounts on what I buy. coupon codes offers discount codes and coupons for just about any store you can think of. So, here is the wish list I have for some special someone's on my list:

The hottest guy I know (Yes, my husband:) - I am looking at something from Aeropostale coupon
My 3 little princesses - $5 off my order at KB Toys deals
1 little dude - Free Shipping at KB Toys deals
All their little friends - Free Shipping at Target coupon codes

CVS Trip

Well, this week was a little better at CVS. They actually gave me a reason to go. Still not the best deals ever and if you want to see more than what I got, check out Crystal's blog.

Transaction #1
Pack Pampers Easy-Ups ($8.99 minus $2 coupon)
(2) Tide Detergent ($4.99/each minus 2 $1 coupons)
(2) Puffs Plus Tissues ($.99/each)
Gum as filler ($2)
Pampers Kandoo Disposable Wipes (I had a coupon from paper for free Kandoo product when you buy a pack of diapers or Easy-Ups so this was just a freebie.)

I also used a $4/20, $3/15 and $2/10
Total was around $10.50. I used a $10 ECB and paid $.50 OOP. I also got a $5 ECB for buying $20 worth of P&G products from ad.

Transaction #2
Gallon Milk ($3.99)
(2) Dozen Eggs ($2/each)
(2) L'Oreal Lip Products ($2.39/each because they were 75% off minus 2 $2 coupons)
(2) L'Oreal Lip Products ($2.09/each because they were 75% off minus 2 $2 coupons)

I also used a $4/20, $3/15 and $2/10
Total was around $5. I used $5 ECB from first transaction and everything was free!

I plan to go back Saturday after noon (don't ask me why this was part of the requirements this week for a particular sale) to get the razors that are sale. There are 2 Gillette razors on sale:
Gillette Fusion Power Razor @ $9.99 get $6 ECB. I have a $2 man coupon from paper and will add on a $2/10 coupon and get the razor for free.
Gillette Fusion Manual Razor @ $8.99 get $6 ECB. I will add on the Mennen Deodarant @ $3.99 and get $3.99 in ECB. I have a $2 man coupon for razor from paper and will add on a $2/10 coupon and get both for free.

That's about all I see at CVS this week. If you find a great deal, let me know.

Wordless Wednesday - Avery as Ariel

Monday, January 21, 2008

Grocery Shopping (Publix and Winn-Dixie)

Well, the last couple of weeks, I have stocked up pretty good on cereal (although the 16 boxes will only last a couple weeks in this house!). This week, both Publix and Winn-Dixie had bogo deals on granola bars. Well, my kids will eat at least 2 of those at a sitting, so I now I am stocked up on those. I especially like having them around as a quick breakfast (or breakfast in the car) and for easy snacks. So, without further ado, here is my groceries for the week:
(2) Smuckers Preserves (bogo sale @ $3.09/2 plus 2 $.35 coupons from paper)
(8) Nature Valley Granola Bars (bogo sale @ $3.09/2 plus 4 $1/2 coupons from paper)
(2) Betty Crocker Blueberry Muffin Mix (bogo sale @ $2.49/2 plus 2 $.75 coupons)
(12) Motts 6-pack Applesauce (bogo sale @ $2.29/2 plus 2 $.55/2 coupons from paper)
(2) 1/2 Gallon Simply Smart Milk (2/$6 plus 2 $1 coupons from paper)
(2) Ruffles Chips (bogo sale @ 2/$3.49 - no coupons, just a little splurge)
(2) Frito Corn Chips (bogo sale @ 2/$2.49 - no coupons, another splurge and great on chili!)
(2) Rold Gold Pretzels (on sale for 2/$3 plus 2 $1 coupons)
Bananas @ $1.31
Garlic @ $1.19

Total Before Savings = $88.98
Total Store Savings = $39.82
Total Coupons = $15.50 (including $5/50 coupon from Entertainment book)
Total After Savings/Coupons = $33.66
Winn-Dixie -
Edy's Ice Cream (bogo @ $5.89/2 - nope, no coupons here either. I sure am splurging this week!)
(18) Yoplait Yogurgts (on sale for $.50/1 plus 3 $.40/6 coupons from paper)
(8) Quaker Chewy Granola Bars (bogo @ $3.29/2 plus 4 $1/2 coupons from paper)
Total Before Savings = $50.99
Total Store Savings = $22.91
Total Coupons = $5.20
Total After Savings/Coupons = $22.85

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Bad Day!!

Last Thursday started out bad. I started my monthly cycle that morning which always brings a delightful day for the rest of the family. By the way, the thought of myself and all 3 girls having our cycle at the same time scares the daylights out of me. Anyway, I was already in a bad mood. Even though I may be a little on edge or emotional the couple days before and during, day one is the only "stay clear" day. That seems to be the only day that I have bad cramps and I really am on edge. Well, that's how the day started. I'm sure the children were being their normal selves, but they were getting on my last nerve that day. At about 4:30, a child was going down the stairs and knocked over a can of a paint on the bottom stair (I know the paint shouldn't have been there Jaime!! :). Apparently, this half full, white gloss gallon of paint did not have the lid on tightly. The small tap of a foot and here is what happened. This picture is actually taken after the initial scraping up took place. At first this spot was about 1 inch thick on the carpet. I decided the only good thing that could come out of this was a funny blog post. So, I took the picture before we finished and then smiled a little.
Let me ask you all: Have you ever tried to get paint out of carpet? It's not easy. You have to keep adding water to it so it doesn't dry. Because the spot was so large, we had to use a wet-dry vacuum to suck as we poured the water. Well, after about 1 1/2 hours of this, we realized that this piece of carpet could easily come out. We decided to yank the whole piece out, take it outside and let the rest of the neighborhood see our mess. We stood out on the driveway (while 8 children ran around in the yard) and hosed down this carpet. The white paint covered the driveway all the way to the sewage drain. After about 4 hours of cleaning and cleaning and cleaning, all the paint came out of the carpet. Next, we had to get a de-humidifier for the landing (the water had soaked through the carpet, padding and possibly plywood. So, now we have this machine sitting there and no carpet. How long before this unexpected project is completed??
Oh, did I mention that this happened at 4:30? By the time I came inside, it was 6:30 and I had a house full of hungry kids with no dinner in the works. This is when I offer the fun night of cereal for dinner (really, my kids think this is a treat).
It was just one of those days you are thankful for it to be over. In the end, I don't think the carpet was worth all that work.

Friday, January 18, 2008

Pay Per Post

I just signed up for PayPerPost! Take a look here blog reviewsI have heard about this opportunity on a number of other blogs and decided I would give it a try. The great thing about this site is that you can pick what you want to write about and you know ahead of time how much you will be paid. I have been looking for a way to earn a little extra money from home. This is the perfect fit for me. I can do what I am already doing (blogging), stay at home and still make some cash. I have heard from a number of reputable sites that this company is good for their word. I am going to find out myself. I plan to take the money I earn from this program and put it towards a special savings plan for date nights. Since we have been trying to cut back the budget lately, we do not have any spot in there for dates. Now, I know we can have dates that don't include going out to eat or movies. But, if I can make the extra $$ to do it, I would be thrilled! I think my husband wouldn't mind either. Check it out.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

In Real Life

Sometimes I think my kids say the cutest things. Here is one of the most recent. My 3 year old, Jordan, often says things that I am sure he has picked up from his 3 older siblings. There is no way he comes up with it all on his own.

So, the other day I am in the kitchen and Jordan walks up to me and says,

"Mommy, are we going to grandma and grandpa's today?"

I say, "yes."

He says, "We're going to grandma and grandpa's? In real life?!!!"

He has now adopted this statement with many things in his life. For instance, I heard him today asking his cousin if she could help him clean his room, "in real life." Perhaps there is so much pretending that takes place with his friends and siblings that he feels the need to clarify. I am not sure but it is sure darn cute to hear him say it.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

No Time to Wash My Hair!!

I am a mother of 4 and some days I just feel I don't even have time to wash my hair. The other day I was trying to get myself and my children ready. Being the great mom that I am, I got them ready first. This is a great idea except by the time they were ready to go we were supposed to be walking out the door. Ummm... I'm not ready yet. In fact, I haven't taken a shower, brushed my teeth or even gotten out of my nightgown! Doesn't it seem like it is always those days when you feel you really need a shower? I mean, my hair was looking it's greasiest. I have never heard of this product before, but I sure could have used it that day! Now, don't get me wrong, I still plan to take a shower when I can (and shampoo my hair). But, on days like that day, I need an emergency stash of this leave in shampoo. My favorite part of this line is that it matches your hair color. It also it not out of my budget. I know this is sold at RiteAid. Maybe I can find it at CVS and pay with my ECB's!! I'll let you know. You can find out more about this at shampoo

Wordless Wednesday - Wrestling with Daddy!!

My kids favorite part of the day is when they get to wrestle with daddy. He is so much more fun than I am. Part of our schedule includes daily time with daddy and the request is almost always to do some good ole wrastlin'! This match was only with 2 of our 4 (2 were spending the night elsewhere). Usually he is even more out numbered.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Back into the swing of the things

Alright, today we are full force back into schooling. Last week, we were back but lax and we didn't do all subjects every day. Well, today is going to start boot camp :) I'm glad my kids don't read my blog yet. They would be whining and complaining before we even got to school time.
The schedule has been extremely helpful in getting us all going and keeping order around here. The kids love knowing what is expected of them every day and they love knowing what we are doing next. Don't get me wrong, they don't like their chores or doing them. They just like knowing what is expected so they don't feel like I am throwing something at them.
Having them spend time with the Lord in the mornings has also been a great thing. It's one of those things that you know you need and you know they need but you forget what a difference it makes until you do it again. Remind me of this when I start to slip back into bad habits again. Well, according to my schedule, I only have 10 more minutes on the computer. So, I am going to sign off. Wish me good luck today (or better yet, say a prayer).

Monday, January 14, 2008

Another Great Week of Shopping!

Publix had some more great deals this week. I also got some good deals at Winn-Dixie and Walgreens. CVS is not even on my list this week. Check out my Walgreens trip below. This is a picture of everything I got at Publix today
Here is the breakdown:

(3) Peppridge Farm Texas Toast (50% off @ $1.44/1 minus 2 $.55 and 1 $.75 coupon)
(4) Bird's Eye Steam Fresh Veggies (50% off @ $1.14/1 minus 4 $.35 coupons)
1/2 Gallon Smart Balance Milk @ $3.59 minus $1 man. coupon and $.55 Publix coupon
(2) 1/2 Gallon Simply Smart Milk @ 2/$6 minus 2 $1 coupons
(2) Ritz Crackers (bogo @ 2/$3.39)
(4) Special K Cereal Bars (on sale for 2/$4 minus 4 $1 coupons
(7) G2 Drinks (on sale for $1 minus 7 $1 coupons from Publix paper at front of the store)
(20) Cans Del Monte Tomatoes (bogo @ 2/$1.17 minus 4 $1/5 coupons)
Bananas @ $1.36

Total Before Coupons and Sales = $80
Total Coupons = $27.30
Total Sales Savings = $31.28
Total After Coupons and Sales = $22.42!!

At Winn-Dixie I only got a few things that I couldn't pass up. Now, you have to promise not to laugh at me because I got 14 boxes of cereal last week. Well, cereal was just to good not to get again!! They have their GM cereals bogo and select Kellog's marked down to $1.77

I got 4 more boxes of Kix cereal @ 2/$4 and used 4 $.75/1 coupons
I also got 2 boxes of Rice Krispies @ $1.77 each and used 2 $1 coupons from here!

So, my total was 6 boxes of cereal for 5 dollars!

Don't worry, we already went through 5 boxes this week. I'm telling ya, my kids can devour some food.

Sunday, January 13, 2008


There is not much to talk about at CVS this week. The good news is that Walgreens seems to have a pretty decent sale instead. Here is what I plan to get:

Glade Air Freshener (bogo sale plus bogo coupon in this week's paper gives me both for free!)
Oust Candle Holder (bogo sale plus bogo coupon from gives me both for free!)
Glade Scented Oil Holder (bogo sale plus bogo coupon from here gives me both for free and rebate in Sunday paper will give me $6.99 back!)
Glade Plug-Ins (bogo sale @ 2/$3.29 plus 2 $1.50/1 coupons from makes it 2/$.29)
Fantastik (bogo sale @ 2/$3.49 plus 2 $1/1 coupons from Sunday paper makes it 2/$1.49)
Lysol Toilet Bowl Cleaner (bogo at 2/$2.59 plus 2 $.50 coupons from Sunday paper makes it 2/$1.59)
Lysol Sanitizing Wipes (bogo at 2/$3.49 plus $1/2 coupons from Sunday paper makes it 2/$2.49)
Bayer Aspirin (2/$3 plus 2 $2 off coupons from paper makes them free plus $1 overage!)
Honey Bunches of Oats Cereal (sale for $1.99 plus $2 coupon makes it free!)
Pledge Multi Surface ($4.99 plus $4.99 rebate and $1.50 coupon from Sunday paper!)

I have $8 in RR from last week, so my total OOP should be close to $1 and I will get back $4.99 in rebate!
I have 2 paper this week so I plan to do all this twice!!

***An unadvertised deal this week*** When you buy 3 glade plug-ins, you get $2 in RR. When you buy 4, you get $3 in RR. When you buy 5 or more, you get $4 in RR. I didn't even know this was a deal until it printed out for me. Great freebie on top of the other freebies.

Friday, January 11, 2008

Creation Science

Teaching Science from a Christian perspective seems to be quite the challenge. I can hardly find a book about dinosaurs that doesn't talk about them living a billion years ago. I also am sick and tired of seeing so many books about evolution. So, I usually find my Science curriculum at the used book fair that the local Christian school puts on every year. A couple of my favorites are "Dinosaurs by Design" by Duane T. Gish and "Exploring Creation with Astronomy" by Jeannie K. Fulbright. There are also some good web sites you can use as resources. A couple I have come across are,, There are many other web sites that contain wonderful information. also has some great books you can buy on this topic here.
If you have any other great ideas on where to find material on Christian Science, please let me know. I want my children to know the Truth and know it well.

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

CVS Deals

Well, I have taken a couple of trips to CVS this week and here a couple of my best deals:

(2) Pepcid Complete 25ct @ $7.99/each
(1) Benadryl @ $4.99

This brought my total to just under $21
I used a $4/20, $3/15 and $2/10
I also had a $1/benadryl (from Sunday Paper) and
(2) $1/Pepcid coupons (from Sunday Paper)

I used $6 ECB's and paid $2.97 OOP and got $10 ECB back

Next Transaction:
Mr. Goodbar @ $1.50
(8) Reese Whipps @ 8/$4
(2) Reese Snack Packs @ 2/$5
Excedrin 24 ct. @ $1.99
Cottenelle TP @ $9.99 (because we like that kind and I have some ECB's to blow)
Snickers Bar @ $.69 (filler)

This brought my total to just over $23
I used a $4/20, $3/15 and $2/10
I also had (4) bogo coupons for the Reese Whips (Sunday Paper) and
(2) $.75/Reese Snack Packs (Sunday Paper) and
$2/Excedrin (Sunday Paper) and
$1/Cottenelle (Sunday Paper)

I paid $10 in ECB and $.67 OOP and got $2 back ECB for Excedrin, $2 ECB for Cottenelle, $2 ECB for Reese Whipps and I will get a $5 GC in the mail from CVS for buying $10 in Hershey's product.

Next Transaction:
(2) Keebler Soft Batch Cookies 6 ounce @ $1/each
(2) L'Oreal Vive Shampoo/Conditioner @ 2/$8
Tide Detergent @ $4.99
(4) Palmolive 13 ounce @ $1.49/each

I used a $4/20, $3/15 and $2/10 and
(4) $.40/Palmolive (from Sunday paper) and
(2) $1/Keebler and
(2) $1/L'Oreal (from Sunday paper) and

I paid $5 ECB and $.25 OOP and got $8 in ECB

I still have almost $100 in ECB to spend at CVS and I plan to go back a couple more times this week. The sale paper has so much on sale that I am loving shopping! If you want to know more of the deals this week, check out Crystal's blog.

My Grocery Shopping this week

There were some great deals this week (especially coupled with the great coupons in the paper). I bought 4 papers and each one had 6 inserts. So, the hardest part of planning my shopping trip this week was the amount of time it took me to cut and organize my coupons. After that feat was accomplished, I started planning. Here's what I got:

I went to 2 stores to do my grocery shopping this week. On the right side of the table is my Publix trip and on the left is my Winn-Dixie trip. The total from both stores is $48! This included being able to get organic milk and fresh fruit and a few splurge items that my family has been asking for. Here's how:

Publix -
(2) 1/2 gallon Smart Balance Milk (2/$6 minus 2 $1/1 coupons makes it the same price as regular milk)
(2) Taco Dinner Kits (bogo at $2.59/2)
(2) Burrito Dinner Kits (bogo at $2.59/2)
(4) Nutri-Grain Boxes (bogo at $3.39/2 minus 2 $1/2 coupon)
(4) Barilla Sauce (bogo at $2.59/2)
Bananas at $2.15
Apples at $4.99
(4) Mac'n Cheese (bogo at $2.33)
(2) Raisin Bran (bogo at $3.89 minus $1/2 coupon)
(8) Barilla Pasta (bogo at $1.09/2 minus 4 $1/2 coupons makes them $.09 per box!)
(2) BB Tuna Gold (bogo at $6.99/2)
(4) Peter Pan PB (on sale for $1 minus 4 $1/1 coupons makes them all free!)

I used a $5/40 purchase coupon from Winn-Dixie so,

Total Before Savings = $98.72
Coupons = $18
Store Savings = $44.34
Total Savings = $62.54
Total after savings = $36.18!!!

Winn -Dixie -
(12) boxes of cereal (on sale for 4/$10 with $4 instant savings at register makes them 4/$6. I used 6 $1/2 coupons which made them 4/$4)
(2) boxes Nature's Valley Granola Bars (used 2 coupons for when you buy 3 GM cereal, get 1 box of Nature's Valley for free)

Total Before Savings = $36.38
Coupons = $12.38
Store Savings = $12
Total Savings = $24.38
Total after Savings = $12!!!

Now, I know this is a lot of cereal (14 boxes to be exact) but you just can't find a deal like that. Also, I recently read on Angie's blog that you can freeze cereal. I have never thought of that before. I don't think I will have to worry about it though because my kids usually go through an entire box in one morning.

Monday, January 7, 2008

Schedule... What Schedule??

Ok, so all my lofty plans of a schedule fell flat today. Or maybe I should say, went splat. That's right, I was in a car accident today! Now, since you see that I am already sitting down to blog about this occurence, you should be able to infer that I was not injured.
Nonethelesss, the inconvenience was huge (and will be for a couple weeks)!! Yes, yes, I am thankful that I am ok and I did not have any of my children in the car when this happened. Can't you just give me a minute to complain? Ok, good. Here we go.
So, I had just gone to Winn-Dixie to get the cereal deals for this week (the weekly deals is a whole other post). I was on my way back to my sister-in-law's house to get my kids. I was in the left turning lane headed north (can you tell I've already filled out a police report and spoken to 2 insurance companies?). The vehicle directly to my right and about 20 feet ahead of me decided she wanted to turn left also. The problem was that the turning light had already turned gree (so I was moving) and she didn't see me. So, she came right on over to my lane and smacked my front passenger side pretty good.
When I got out of my van to inspect the damage, I realized the girl who hit me is a teenager (poor thing). She wasn't hurt either, but a little startled. She called her mother while I called the police (my mom is still often my emergency number too). Then, we wait.
Luckily, my 2 youngest were at my sister-in-laws and she generously offered to keep them. I also had my 2 oldest at their 1 day school and I was supposed to be picking them up in about 30 minutes. So, I had to call my other sister-in-law and ask her to pick the kids up. Again, I am so fortunate to have family so close by that I am hardly ever really in a bind.
As you could've guessed, the state trooper arrived and filed a report that cited the other driver for improper lane change. Now, my van was still semi-drivable, but if I turn the wheel all the way, it rubs on the fender. So, I didn't want to drive very much. I wanted to get it into a body shop quickly. I called my husband and found a place that was highly recommended and drove (carefully) the van there.
I may be niave when it comes to this whole insurance thing, but I thought things would go pretty smoothly and easy since this accident was not my fault. Well, insurance companies are what they are. So, I am now waiting. I presume I will be doing this a lot in the next couple of weeks.
The part I want to complain the most about though is that my whole day was shot!! This is the first day of the first week of trying to implement my new schedule and I hardly got anything done today. I had such lofty plans and ideas for the day. I am now trying to re-plan so that the evening runs a little smoother. I hope this doesn't mess up my whole week :(
Oh, by the way... this is on top of the fact that I stayed up until 2 a.m. trying to cut, organize and re-organize the 4 paper's worth of coupons that I got yesterday. There were tons!! I guess that's a good problem to have.
After last night and today, I am ready for a good nap!!

Sunday, January 6, 2008

2 Out of 4 Rooms Done

Well, I think we are really finished with the 2 of the rooms that have been in the process of re-decorating. If you can't guess by the pictures, Avery & Sydney's room is a butterfly/flower room and Morgan's room is all cowgirl. I love how they both turned out and now I am ready to finish the decorating in Jordan's room and our room. There isn't much left to do. Just hanging a few things.

Saturday, January 5, 2008

My New Schedule...

As I've said before, I really cannot function well without a schedule. So, without further ado, here is what I hope to be able to stick to on a pretty regular basis. I'm sure it will need more and more tweaking as time goes by, but that's the great thing about a schedule. You may notice there is no time allotted for exercise. Although this has been something I have been trying to add to my schedule, I have not figured out how to make it work yet. Also, I want to get my priorities straight before I try to add anything else.

7:30 a.m. - Wake Up!! (I know that may not seem super early to many of you, but I have a bad habit of waking up with my youngest around 7:30, putting a show on for him and then going back to bed)

7:30 - 8:30 a.m. - Get ready for the day (it doesn't usually take me that long, but I need some wiggle room just in case it's a particularly bad hair day!) This is also the time the kids are getting themselves breakfast.

8:30 - 9:30 a.m. - Check e-mail and blog. Kids are getting ready for the day.

9:30 - 10:30 a.m. - Quiet time with the Lord. Kids do their own quiet time (everyone goes to a room by themselves with a book or toys for the younger ones).

10:30 - 11:30 a.m. - Clean up around house. Kids clean their own rooms and then do their chores.

11:30 - 1:00 p.m. - Make/Eat/Clean up Lunch

1:00 - 1:30 p.m. - Play/Read time with mommy

1:30 - 4:00 (give or take) p.m. - School and nap time

4:00 - 5:30 p.m. - Kids play outside. I will either work outside (weed landscaping, water plants, etc...) or clean inside and then make dinner.

5:30 - 6:30 p.m. - Daddy comes home and we eat dinner.

6:30 - 7:00 p.m. - Clean up dinner.

7:00 - 8:00 p.m. - Daddy time with kids/Family Time

8:00 - 8:30 p.m. - Kids get ready for bed

8:30 - 8:45 p.m. - Bed time for the munchkins

8:30 -10:00 p.m. - Mommy and Daddy time/Blog Time

10:00 - 11:00 p.m. - Get ready for bed and go to bed!! (no more late nights for no reason)

I know everyday will not stick to this schedule and I may end up changing it all together. But I do like having an idea of what I would like my day to look like and a goal in mind. I will let you know how this goes and how much discipline I have. The hardest part is going to be only logging on to the computer for my blog 2 times a day. How sad is that?

Friday, January 4, 2008

Revamping the Schedule

Ok, so my schedule is in serious need of a change.

1. I am spending way too much time right here!! How many times a day do I need to check my blog and e-mail? Seriously, I've become a little addicted.

2. The holidays (that's what I'm blaming it on) has brought a serious neglect of cleaning to our home. I caught up with laundry yesterday, but there is still so much to do.

3. I can't remember the last time I had some good, quality time with the Lord. Yes, I talk to him while I say prayers with the kids at night (on the nights I actually take the kids to bed), but I mean some good, in depth, heart cry kinda time. I NEED it!!

4. I am loving the CVS, Walgreens and Publix deals I am finding, but they are taking over my life! I know doing this budget correctly is going to take time and effort. I just need to find a balance. It seems the deals and coupons are ALWAYS on my mind.

5. I am not spending enough quality time with my kids and my husband. I'm home all day (when I am not at CVS) but I'm not always really home.

6. The kids have too much freedom and are not living up to their responsibilities (how can they when I'm not living up to mine?).

7. School has become very lax. We have been out of our normal routine for too long and it's time to get back.

I know some of this really is because of the craziness of the holidays and I just need to get back to some sense of normalcy. Some of this is also a lost perspective of priorities. I will still be doing crazy good deals and blogging, but I am going to write up a schedule to help myself stay in line. I'll post the schedule once I have it done.

I guess this is what I would call my New Year's Resolution.

How about you? Are you back to a normal day routine?

Thursday, January 3, 2008

Financial Shape in 2008

Crystal has issued a challenge this year to live within a budget. I am joining her and would like to share how our budget looks. Please keep in mind this budget is after 9.5 years of marriage and 4 children. When we were first married with no children, we would live off Cory's income and put all of mine into savings. Even though we are now a 1 income family, his income has increased over the years and we have added 4 more people to our family. We also live in a bigger city so our mortgage is twice what it was when we first got married. We have committed to live with no debt (aside from mortgage) since we were first married. It has been difficult at times and required a good bit of compromise and creativity, but we are determined to live within our means. So, here ya go:

Tithe - 10% of gross income
Mortgage - $1415/month
Utilities (water/trash/electric) - $300/month
Student Loan - $110/month
Property Taxes - $200/month
Auto Ins./Gas - $200/month
Home Ins. - $100/month
Life Ins. - $65/month
Internet - $30/month
Phone - $35/month
Cell - $45/month
Groceries - $200/month
Juice Plus - $80/month
School (1 day program for kids and curriculum) - $200/month
World Vision sponsor - $30/month

Total Monthly Expenses - $2,965 plus tithe
Total Yearly Expenses - $35,580 plus tithe

Everything we take in above and beyond our expenses (including tax refund at the beginning of the year) goes into a CD that we use as a savings account for the year. Our grocery budget has dropped dramatically in the past few months thanks to a number of resources that have helped me learn how to clip coupons, watch sales and do the "CVS thing". It has been a great way to adjust our budget even lower. For more info on how to get started with CVS, check out Crystal's blog.

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

Wordless Wednesday - What happens when you have 3 older sisters!!

This is why my son doesn't like to give any women hugs - he's always afraid they are going to kiss him too and "that's gross"!!
Check out more Worldless Wednesday Posts here.

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

All in a Hard Day's Shopping

Well, today was an exciting day for me. This has to be one of the best shopping trips I've had yet. Way better than Black Friday! It was one of those shopping trips that leaves you with a little bit of a high because you are so excited. I know, I know, I'm gonna tell you. Now that I've built it up so much, it's not going to sound nearly as good. Ok, never mind. It was an ok trip today. I guess I'll go ahead and tell you what I got.

Walgreens -
4 Glade Scented Candle Holder (Bogo at $6.99/2)
I used 2 of the Bogo Glade coupon and got all 4 for free!

I also got 3 Glade Scented Candle Holders (Christmas scent of Apple Cinnamon so they were on clearance for $1.27/each)
I used the $4/1 Glade coupon from recent insert and my total came to $1.27 after tax.
I had no idea those scents would be on sale because they were not merchandised with the Christmas clearance items. Look in your Walgreens for everyday items that might be considered "Christmas" and see if they are on clearance.

Dimatapp chewables 20 ct. (on sale for $4 plus $4 back in RR)
Glade Scented Oil refills (2/$5 and $2 rebate)
I used the $2/1 Dimatapp
2 $1.50/1 Glade Refills
so I paid $4 and got $4 back

Thanks to Angie for this tip on unadvertised sales -
6 packs of Pepsi products (on sale 3/$10 and if you buy $20 get $10 in ECB)
I used $4/20, $3/15 and $2/10
My total was $11 and I got $10 back in ECB! Great deal for that much soda!
There are a couple more hot coupons for CVS (thanks to Crystal)
$5/30, $10/50 and $15/75 (These all expire the end of this week)

Target -
I repeated most of my Target deal from the last post.
Huggies wipes 40ct. ($1.97)
Huggies wipes 16 ct. ($.97)
Johnson's Buddies Soap ($.94)
Candy Bar as a filler ($.50)

$1/1 Johnson's coupon
$3/2 Huggies coupon
After coupons my total was $.38

Consignment Store -
I usually only buy clothes on clearance or at consignment stores. I haven't found anything in months that I truly deem a GREAT deal. Well, I sure did today! A consignment store chain had all their clearance clothes marked down to $1! This store only accepts well kept clothes. Most of them are name brand (Gap, Old Navy, Limited Too, etc...). I was so excited. I bought clothes for all 4 of my kids and only spent $34 for 34 items. Many of these items included jeans, long sleeve shirts, dresses and sweaters/jackets. It was such a fun day. They also are going to be having a sale in about 2 weeks where you can fit as many clearance items as you can in a bag for $10. Sounds like another great deal.

So, today I ended up with about $400 worth of stuff and only spent $35