Thursday, February 28, 2008

My Bible thumping baby!!

My 6 year old, Sydney is one of the most passionate, intense children I know. When she has an opinion about something, she really has an opinion!
Most of the time, this is not my favorite trait about her. I usually hear myself telling her to calm down (10000 times a day) or to be a little bit quieter. As in every area of her life, she either responds with a polite, "yes, ma'am" or a disrespectful, loud "Ugghh! I don't want to!". There is not much middle ground with this child.
So, the title of this post should clue you into what is coming next. If you know anything about me, you know that we are committed to the Lord and we strive to teach the same to our children. Well, this principle has sunk in good with Sydney so far.
That girl is in LOVE with Jesus!
We recently gave her an easy reader Bible that she can read all on her own. She was so happy! She takes it with her everywhere. Last week, she went on a trip with her Aunt Jaime and cousins to the beach for 5 days. Of course, she brought her Bible with her. Jaime told me that every night she let the girls read a book. Every night, Sydney chose to read her Bible. She even asked her cousin (who wanted to read Aladin), "don't you think that GOD is better than CHARACTERS?!!!" Apparently we haven't covered the non-judgemental side of Christianity enough.
Then, on Sunday they were going to drive home. In the morning, Sydney asked if they were going to church that morning. Jaime explained that they were going to have to skip that day because they were going to be packing and traveling home. Sydney's response was an indignant, "OoooKaaaay?!!" (can you hear this?). She then proceeded to let Aunt Jaime and her cousin know that she was going to spend some time reading her Bible and praising Jesus because it was Sunday and that is what you should do on Sunday. She also invited her cousin to join her.
The funniest thing about all this to me is that we really have never told her that you should never miss church. But this girl sees something she likes and she goes head first in!!
I sure hope the passion stays in the direction it is going so far!
On those days that I think I am going to go crazy trying to reign her in, I need to remember moments like this.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

ING

Angie @ Thrifty Florida Mama is holding a contest and giving away $25 GC for Publix. All you have to do is leave a comment on this post and tell her why you love ING or that you started an account through her link or what other savings program you use. Check it out!

Wordless Wednesday - 3 year old dressing himself


All of his sisters were gone and I told him to get himself dressed. Should I have expected anything else? I especially like the way he layered the long and short sleeved shirt (it was a high of 80 degrees). BTW, his explanation was that all three pieces of clothing had blue in them. Hmmmmm....

For more Wordless Wednesday posts, check here and here.

Monday, February 25, 2008

Publix and Winn-Dixie for 2/19-2/26

PUBLIX -

(3) Bertolli Complete Dinners (sale for $4.99 minus 3 $2.50 coupons here)
(6) GM Cereal (bogo @ $3.99/2 minus 6 $.75 coupons from recent inserts)
(2) Motts 9 pack applejuice (bogo @ $2.99/2 minus 2 $1 store coupons from Publix magazine)
(10) Dole Fruit cups 4 pack (bogo @ $2.63/2 minus 6 $.75/1 and 2 $.75/2 and 2 $.55/1 coupons from recent inserts)
(10) Del Monte Tomatos (bogo @ $1.27/2 minus 2 $1/5 coupons from recent inserts)
(2) Kraft Mac 'n Cheese (bogo @ $1.19/2 minus $.55/2 coupon from recent insert)
(4) Oust Air Fresheners (bogo @ $3.39/2 minus 2 bogo coupons here - all 4 for free!!)
Bananas @ $1.19

Total Before Savings/Coupons = $113.28
Store Savings = $50.98
Coupons = $34.33
New Total = $27.97 (that's a savings of $85.31!!)



Winn-Dixie -

(4) PF 5 Cheese Bread (bogo @ $2.99/2 minus 2 $1/2 coupons from recent insert)
(4) Honey Bunches of Oats (bogo @ $4.29/2 minus 4 $2/1 coupons here)
(6) Uncle Ben's Rice Blends (bogo @ $1.69/2 minus 2 $1/3 coupons from recent insert)
(2) Doritos (bogo @ $3.49/2)
(2) BB Prime Fillet Tuna 4 packs (bogo @ $6.89/2 minus 2 $1 coupons from recent insert)
*note* I bought 30 of these $1 coupons from the "buy coupons" site on the right hand side of my page. This is the only tuna I like and with those coupons it makes this great tuna only $.50 a can!! I should be getting these coupons today and I plan to go back and stock up on this great deal.

Total Before Savings/Coupons = $60.02
Total Store Savings = $30.01
Total Coupons = $14
New Total = $16.01 (that's a savings of $44.01!!)

Friday, February 22, 2008

Australia

I have never been overseas (or out of the U.S. for that matter), but I would love to take a trip to Australia some day in the future. I have seen the pictures, heard the stories and now I want to see it for myself. I found this site flight to Australia that helps you plan your vacations from the flight to the hotel to sightseeing. After looking at the site, what looks the most tempting to me is the trip to Sydney. The water looks so crystal blue and the landscape is amazing! (Plus, I am found of the name:) The price right now is 460 in euros per person. Does anyone know what that translates to in U.S. dollars?

"Your Child is 44 months old!"

This is the title of the e-mail I received from Pampers this morning. I'm just wondering, how many of you refer to your 3 1/2 year old as 44 months? I found this quite strange. Next time someone asks me how old my little Jordan is, the reply will be a sentimental "44 months today :)".
That is the sound of a mother who really doesn't want her baby to grow up.
By the way, I also have a 60 month old, 76 month old and a whopping 101 month old!

New Printable Colgate $1 Coupon

I got this in my inbox this morning. If you are looking for a $1 Colgate coupon, click here.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

CVS Venus Razor

Here is a $2 store coupon for the Venus Razor that is giving you $6 in ECB. You should be able to stack this with the $4 or $2 man. coupons from recent inserts and make some money on this deal.

Entrecard

I heard about this site from Sense to Save and I really like it. If you have never heard of this before, check it out at Entrecard.
I was tagged by Stream of Consciousness of a Wife and Mom and I was in her top 5 "Best Value by Widget" stats.
I have only been doing this for a couple weeks, so I do not have any "Best Value by Widget" stats yet. I do have my "Top Card Droppers" that I will list below. Check out these sites and give them some love taps.

Stream of Consciousness of a Wife and Mom
Sense to Save
Mommies Home
My Big World of Crap
Mrs. Hannigan

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Happy Birthday x Two!!

Today is the birthday of my husband and my 3rd born, Sydney. She was born on Cory's 27th birthday. It has been a lot of fun for them to have the same birthday. Even though they don't have a day just to themselves, there are advantages.
For example, tonight they went to dinner at Kobe's (they offer a free meal ON your birthday). So, the plan was for the 2 of them to go on a date and get 2 free meals and only have to pay for a tip. Well, it wasn't until they got there that they were told that the policy has changed. Now, the policy is 1 free meal with the purchase of another meal! Not great news for my birthday girl and guy. My hubby talked to the manager and was able to get Sydney's meal for free and a gift certificate for $15 off our next visit. He did have to pay for his meal though.
So, these 2 free birthday meals ended up costing $28 (after tax and tip)! Not exactly what we had planned.
On that note, grocery shopping is going to be very slim again this week. I went to Winn-Dixie and spent $24 and that will have to be it.
They did have a great time together and have the pictures to prove it...

I also have to share a little bit about earlier in the day. Let me explain a couple things. We don't do parties or real big deals for birthdays (except those milestone ones), but you do get some perks on your birthday at our home. The first is the privilege of no chores for the day. The second is the chance to pick all 3 meals of the day. The third is getting to spend the night at grandma and grandpa's all by yourself.
Well, my little girl spent the night last night so she had breakfast with them in the morning. They gave her the choice of going anywhere she wanted (Perkins, IHOP, etc...). Wanna know what she picked? Burger King.
Ok, on to lunch. I also need to clarify that birthdays are the one day a year that if we go out to eat, they are allowed to order a kid's meal. So, I call Sydney to ask what she would like to have for her birthday lunch and here is the phone call:
Me: "Sydney, what would you like to have for your birthday lunch? I can make you something special at home if you want (hoping that she would pick at home)"
Sydney: "Ummm... ya or we could go to Chick-Fil-A."
Me: "Ok, which one to you want?"
Sydney: "Ummmm.... Make me something special at home."
Me: "Ok. What do you want me to make?"
Sydney: "I don't know. Something Yummy."
Me: "Well, if you could choose your most favorite lunch, what would it be?"
Sydney: "Ummm.... Egg salad sandwich (pause).. with a pickle."
Me: (Trying to contain my amusement at the simple choice) "Ok, egg salad and a pickle. Anything else?"
Sydney: "Nope."

Sounded great to me! Do you think she realizes that she can have that choice about 3 days a week around here? I guess she likes to stick with what she knows. Since they ended up spending so much for dinner, I sure am glad we didn't go out for lunch.
Isn't she adorable?! I know she is 6 now, but she is still adorable!

Monday, February 18, 2008

I've been tagged by Thrifty Florida Mama

To see her answers, check out Thrifty Florida Mama

1. What is the one BIG goal you hope to accomplish this week?

Exercise every morning!!

2. What is the one household chore you do NOT like to do?
Putting away the laundry, cleaning floors and bathrooms (oh, wait, did that say the ONE chore, oops. :)

3. What would you buy if someone gave you $2,000.00? (all debts and bills paid)
Go on a cruise with my hubby for our 10th anniversary.

4. Describe yourself using one word.
Loud

5. What is the one saying or theme that you live by?
"Don't count your chickens in one basket", or was it "Don't bite the hand you can chew"? No, no it's "Don't put the horse out with the bath water".

6. What is the one houshold item you can NOT live without?
My Garlic Press. I use that thing with almost every meal.

7. If you had one chance to go any where in the world where would you go?
Hard to say. I've hardly been anywhere so most things sound wonderful. I would love to go to Italy or most places in Europe.

8. List the one person you admire the most.
My mom (I know, sounds cheesy, but it's true).

9. What is one thing people may not know about you?
I don't care for sweets that much. I can definitely pass on the desserts. Now, give me some potato chips or fries and watch out!

Ok, now I am tagging Jessica, Donna @ Helpful Homemaker and Jen. Check out their sites to see their answers.

CVS Deals for Week of 2/17-2/23

There were only a couple of things to take note of in the sale paper this week. The best deals I see are:

Buy $30 participating product, get $15 in ECB.
Products included in this deal are
Energizer Batteries
Kleenex
Cottonelle
Poise
Depend
Pull-Ups/Huggies Diapers
Palmolive
Kotex
Viva Paper Towels
Ziploc
Glade Air Freshener
Scrubbing Bubbles

The other deal is for Colgate Toothpaste and Toothbrush (pay $2.99, get $2 in ECB. Use this $1 Coupon to make them free. Limit 5.)

Here is a deal:

2 Packs diapers ($8.99 each minus 2 $2 coupons from Sunday paper or here or here - answer any product other than huggies and pregnant)
1 box of Kotex ($2.50 minus $1 coupon from Sunday paper)
Use $4/20 (scroll down until you see the current $/$$ coupons link. If your CVS lets you use expired coupons, stack with a $3/15 and $2/10)
Pay$11.50 or $6.50

Then, next transaction is
4 Ziploc Products (2/$5 minus 4 $1 coupons from Sunday paper)
Venus Razor ($9.99 minus $4 coupon from Sunday paper)
Use same $/$$ coupons from above
Pay $11 or $6
Get $15 in ECB from 1st transaction and Ziploc of this transaction combined.
Also get $6 in ECB from Razor.

So, your net spending will be either $1.50 or you'll make $8.50 in ECB.

Friday, February 15, 2008

Happy Valentine's Day!!

I had a great Valentine's Day yesterday! In the morning, I went to the park with some friends and let our kids play and have cupcakes and brownies. We came home, did some school and played outside some more (the weather was gorgeous and is again today!!).
For the evening, my oldest brother offered to babysit. My brother is 36, single and has never babysat any child before. He offered to watch my 4 kids AND my other brother's 2. I told him he was crazy, but he said he was up for the challenge. Well, how I can I pass on an offer like that.
So, I started planning what Cory and I could do for the evening on a very tight budget. At first, I thought about cooking a nice dinner at home and having a "home date". Then, I remembered that I only spent $19 of my $50 grocery budget last week. I also don't think I will spend the $50 this week because there are not a lot of great deals again. So, we decided that we could actually use the extra $30 and go out to eat.
Don't be alarmed, we did not spend $30 on dinner! I looked at the local dollar theater to see what was playing and we planned to see the 7:00 p.m. showing of P.S. I Love You (I would give it a 3 out of 5 stars). Anyway, we had no intention of dressing up and waiting 2 hours for a table at a nice restaurant. So, for dinner we went to a restaurant called Five Guys. It's a burger joint. It's way better than fast food but you still order at the counter so you don't have to tip. That's my kind of restaurant. We were able to eat for $13. The total at the movie theater was $3 for both of us. It was a fun night out. Even though we didn't go to a fancy restaurant, it was still a splurge for us. We haven't gone out to eat in months!! We had planned on topping the night off with some Cold Stone (because I had a gift card) ice cream but they closed at 9 and we got there at 9:15 :(
Tonight we are going to a Chocolate Ball at our church. It is a night of dessert and dancing (with a professional dance instructor). I think it is going to be fun but I sure am not looking forward to putting on the one dress I own that doesn't fit so well right now. I'm sure there will be pictures to post later.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

CVS for week of 2/10-2/17

There is not a whole lot to rave about at CVS this week. But, there are a couple of things to make note of. Thanks to Jess for the links to a new $4/20 and monthly booklet.
More free razors!!
You can buy the Gillette Fusion Razor and Gillette Venus Embrace Razor for $9.99 and both offer $6 in ECB. Use 2 $4/1 coupons from 2-10 insert and get both razors for free!!

Gatorade (G2) - buy @ $1.29 and get $1.29 in ECB (limit 1)

Garnier Hair Color - 2/$10 and get $5 in ECB. Use 2 $2/1 coupons from recent inserts and you pay $1 for 2 boxes of hair color (limit 2 deals or 4 boxes)

Colgate toothpaste (includes kid's sizes) for $1.88 and get $1 in ECB. Use $.75/1 coupons from recent inserts and get each tube for $.13 (limit 5)

Excedrin 24 ct. for $3.99 and get $2 in ECB. Use $2 or $3 off coupon from recent insert and get it free! (limit 1)

There are also some great monthly deals to make note of (if you are in an area that is not printing the monthly booklets anymore and would like to see a copy for this month, check out this link):

Precision Xtra Monitor - buy for $19.99 and get $19.99 in ECB. Use $10 coupon from December insert and make $10! (Limit 1)

CVS Chewable Aspirin - buy for $1.79 and get $1.79 in ECB. (Limit 5)

Nutra-Trim Gum - buy for $3.99 and get $3.99 in ECB. (Limit 3)

Boost Smoothie individuals - buy for $1 get $1 in ECB. (Limit 5)

Sambucol - buy for $12.99 get $10 in ECB and send in for $12.99 rebate (Limit 5)

So, here is some good deal ideas for ya:

Buy 4 boxes Garnier Hair Color @ $20
Use $4/20 coupon
Use 4 $2/1 coupons
Pay $8
Get $10 in ECB

Buy both razors @ $19.98
Buy G2 @ $1.29
Use $4/20 coupon
Use 2 $4/1 coupons for razors
Pay $9
Get $13.29 in ECB

Buy Precision Monitor @ $19.99
Buy CVS Asprin @ $1.79
Use $4/20 coupon
Use $10/Monitor Coupon
Pay $7
Get $21.78 in ECB

Buy Excedrin @ $3.99
Buy 2 Nutri-Trim Gum @ $7.98
Buy 5 Colgate Toothpaste @ $1.88
Use $4/20 Coupon
Use $2/Excedrin Coupon
Use 5 $.75/Colgate Coupons
Pay $12
Get $15 in ECB

Buy Sambucol @ $12.99
Buy Nutri-Trim Gum @ $3.99
Buy 5 Boost Smoothies @ $5
Use $4/20 Coupon
Use $1/Boost Coupon from recent inserts
Pay $17
Get $19 in ECB

Monday, February 11, 2008

Government Idea of Grocery Costs

Ok, I saw this on Angie's blog and just had to share. This is a table that the government put together (I think for our amusement). There are 4 columns showing the USDA's idea of what the American cost of foods at home are. There is a liberal, moderate, low-cost and thrifty plan.
According to this site, my family of 6 would be spending $346/weekly or $1498.80/monthly on the liberal plan!! I don't think I would call that liberal, I would call that foolish!
Even on the "thrifty" plan, my family would be spending $177/weekly or $769.60/monthly! I can't believe that our government is issuing a statement like this! If people are spending this much on groceries and believe they are being thrifty, it's no wonder our country is in so much debt!
Our grocery budget is $50/weekly or $200/monthly. That includes all toiletries items and make-up, etc... The USDA plan is only counting food. This plan must include several eating out splurges. If not, I have no idea where all that food must go.
Check out how much your family could be spending and compare to what you actually are spending.

No Grocery Shopping This Week

There is not much to speak of for grocery deals this week. I spent $7 at Publix and I plan to get the Dole salad kits and Old El Paso Dinner kits at Winn-Dixie today. Other than that, I am going to get my staple items (milk, eggs, etc...) at CVS with my ECB's. There are a couple of deals this week worth mentioning at CVS. Those will be coming soon.
The nice thing about shopping the way I do, is that I have a pantry and freezer stocked with food. It should be fairly easy to go 1 week without doing a "real" grocery trip.
The coupons in the paper are a different story. This week there were $198 in coupons and I got 4 papers!

Saturday, February 9, 2008

Trying to add Excercise

Ok, we have been doing the new schedule for a while now and it seems to be going well (most days). Now, I am ready to add in some excercise. After 4 children so close together and little to no self-control when it comes to food, I am in serious need of a weight loss program! I would really like to lose about 30 pounds. My big motivation now is the fact that we could be going on a cruise in a couple of months. So, I have 5 months to whip this body in to some type of shape.
After thinking and contemplating how this will actually work, I have come up with a couple of ideas. I now have 3 children old enough to ride their own bikes well. My sister-in-law has a bike with a trailor attached for a kid to sit in. So, if I borrow her bike and put Jordan there, I should be able to work some bike riding into my routine.
So, here's the plan. Every Tue. - Fri. morning I am going to get up at 7 a.m. and get myself ready to go. My kids usually wake up about 7:30. When they get up, I will have them get dressed quickly and we will head out on our bikes. This will be an adjustment for their wake up routine, but I think this will be a great way to start our day.
I also would love to go on rides in the evenings with daddy. That will only be able to happen on those evenings that he gets home on time and we don't have anything else going on that evening.
After we get this going pretty consistent, I would like to add some weight training at home. I also plan to adjust my diet as much as I can. Although eating super healthy seems too expensive right now, I know I can change some of my eating habits and even drinks (no more soda!!).
I should take a before picture but I don't think any of you want to see that. Maybe if there is an "after", I'll show the before.

Friday, February 8, 2008

Free or Discounted Cruise?

Ok, so my 30th birthday is coming up this June. I also will be celebrating my 10th wedding anniversary to my wonderful husband. So, this calls for a good celebration.
We were only married for 6th months when we found out we were expecting our first child. That being said, we have not had much time to ourselves since we have been married. We have never taken a vacation or getaway longer than a night or 2. Neither one of us have ever been on a cruise and we both think this would be the perfect romantic getaway.
Well, here comes the problem.... $$. As I'm sure you know, a cruise is not that cheap. We would like to go with a cruise line that is well known and not a "booze cruise" or "casino cruise".
I know that I have heard of people that have listened to the time share pitch and earned a free or discounted cruise. We have done that before in order to win free theme park tickets. We are not easily persuaded and we don't mind wasting a few hours of our time for that big of a discount.
So, I'm wondering what kind of success or lack there of have you had in this department. Any suggestions or warnings would be appreciated.
Although I know you get what you pay for, I also know that there is always a deal out there (you just have to find it).
If you have worked with a particular company or know of a great deal, please share the love!! :)
I would love to have some time away with my hubby!

Thursday, February 7, 2008

Winn-Dixie Unadvertised Deal

Winn-Dixie is running a deal right now with their Green Giant Veggies. When you buy 3 of the frozen boxed veggies, you get a $1 coupon on your next shopping order. When you buy 4, you get a $2 coupon off your next order. And when you buy 5 or more, you get a $3 coupon off your next shopping order.
These are not on sale right now, but I will be looking for them to go on sale in the next couple weeks. Then, I will combine my coupons with the sale and have a sweet deal on veggie side dishes.

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Field Trip - Ponce Inlet Lighthouse

Today we went on a field trip to Ponce Inlet Lighthouse (close to Daytona Beach). We had a good time and learned a lot about lighthouses, the keepers and the history of that area. We climbed 175 ft. up and then back down. That is a total of 202 steps each way. 4 of the children (Morgan, Sydney and my nephew and a friend) were not afraid at all and went running up the stairs. Avery got a good ole' anxiety attack about 1/3 of the way up and we moved very slowly with Jordan the rest of the way. We talked our way through and focused ahead. By the time she reached the top, she was so glad she did. The view was incredible. Amazingly, Avery did better on the way down. Even though it is more difficult, I think she realized she could do it and she was able to keep control of herself the whole way down.
We also were able to tour the old homes of the keepers from a hundred years ago. And we went on a nature walk where we learned a good bit about the natural remedies from a number of different plants. We also some wild coffee beans (way crazier than those tame ones :).
After touring the lighthouse, we decided we needed one more tour the kids would like even better. We went to the Chocolate Factory in Daytona. They have a guided tour to show how the candy is made. We even bought a box of chocolates to share among the kids when we were done (thanks Carrie). It was a long, tiring and fun day.

Monday, February 4, 2008

Publix Deals for 1/31 - 2/6

Here is the great shopping trip I had today! *note that I paid $56 and saved $99!!*

(4) Bird's Eye Voila Meals (bogo @ 2/$4.69 minus 3 $1/printable and 2 $1/2 Publix)
(2) Barber Chicken Cordon Bleu (sale for $2.99 minus 2 $1 coupons from paper)
(3) Perdue Perfect Portions (sale for $6.99 minus $2/printable and $1/publix)
Publix Butter (sale $2.39)
(2) Philly Cream Cheese (sale $1.25 minus 2 $.25 from paper)
(2) OM Beef Franks (bogo @ 2/$3.59)
(6) Post Honey Bunches of Oats (bogo @ 2/$3.59 minus $2/printable and 2 $1/2 from paper)
(12) Progresso Soups (sale 4/$5 minus 2 $1/2 printable, $1.10/1 printable and 9 $.50/1 from paper)
(8) Mt. Olive Pickles (bogo @ 2/$2.69 minus 6 $.50 from paper and 2 $.55/printable)
(4) Juicy Juice (bogo @ 2/$3.19 minus 2 $.50/2 from paper)
(2) Peppridge Farm Goldfish (bogo @ 2/$1.99 minus $1/2 from paper)
Bananas @ $1.38

Total Before Savings = $156.42
Total Coupons = $34.20 (including $5/50 from Entertainment Book)
Total Store Savings = $65.33
Total After Coupons and Store Savings = $56.89

In-Law Hiatus

For those of you who have been eagerly awaiting another post, I have a really good excuse. My father and mother-in-law were in town this weekend for my niece's birthday. They got here on Thursday and are leaving today. We have been so busy playing with Mimi and Papa that I decided to take a little time off from the blogosphere.
We also had friends here this weekend from out of town. So, between the family and friends, our schedule has been pretty tight.
I should be back tonight or tomorrow.
I know you miss me. Try to be patient.