Thursday, March 26, 2009

Mean, Mean, Girl

Today I was at my weekly Beth Moore Bible study watching the video when I got served a heaping amount of conviction.

You see...we were talking about meanness. Specifically about how "It's tough being a woman in a mean world."

I was following right along with her, nodding, and uh huh-ing (in my head of course, I'd be too embarrassed to do it in front of people) when all of a sudden there it was. She was speaking to me. She was standing on that stage yelling "CARRIE FRIDAY ARE YOU LISTENING TO ME???? I AM TALKING TO YOU!!!!" Seriously. It happened (okay maybe just in my head).

She was talking about how meanness perceives a threat and her basis for that claim comes from 2 Corinthians 10:12 which basically says that people who compare themselves to others are not wise. Beth (We are on a first-name basis because in my world, we are BFF--maybe because she's so southern) blatantly told us that you compare yourself to others when there is some kind of threat.

I can honestly say that I have not met many women who have not at some point or another compared themselves to another girl or woman--maybe in middle school or maybe just yesterday--but it happened. I'd like to think that I come off as a secure, happy person who is relatively pleased with herself. And 60% of the time I am. Until I see (or see a picture) of my wonderful sister-in-law who is a size two after not one, but TWO children...or when I see my friends getting smaller and me...not so much. Or EVEN when I see Beth Moore on that screen in all her beauty and awesome clothes. I compare myself with them. I make mental notes of how Rachel's body looks just right and looks like a 25-year-old's who hasn't had kids...whereas mine looks like a young person's body...who has had like 23 kids--except I've only had one. I compare myself to Beth Moore when I see how amazing her clothes are and then think about each morning when I get out clothes to wear how I HATE everything I have.

What is the threat with Rachel? I don't know. Maybe because people see us and see she has two kids and I only have one. Maybe because people know what we "used" to look like and she still looks the same but I don't. Maybe it's because I'm jealous she looks amazing and doesn't have to "tuck" parts of herself into her clothing. ***On a side note: Rachel works hard (running) to maintain that awesomeness and I don't.

What is the threat with Beth Moore? I guess I'm just jealous she has such awesome clothes.

What does all this have to do with mean girls? When I'm jealous of someone else I get a smidge of meanness in my heart. I do. I won't lie.

After I was convicted about that...she hit me with another one. She was talking about how coming in contact with a mean girl raises up your own mean girl--AMEN. When someone is ugly to me, I want to retaliate. Or at least talk about them in a real ugly manner to someone else.

Beth said that mean girls dig at other girls and I started thinking about how often I find myself giggling at some other woman's expense...or judging them, and quite often, I find myself being joined in by friends. Maybe we are all mean girls?

Just when I was contemplating what a sinful person I am and how hurtful and just plain mean I can be, Beth said something that eased my soul a little. She said that mean girls will never admit that they were mean.

So here I am...admitting that sometimes I am a mean girl--even when I don't mean to be--so that hopefully, I won't be that mean girl. I am praying for God to make me aware of these times when I want to giggle at someone, or throw up because of the inappropriate way they are dressed, or talk about them, or judge them and change my heart so that I won't be a mean girl anymore.

And to make all the rest of you that worry about your clothing size and body image feel better....Beth also made sure to remind us that our only measurements are taken at the cross of Christ and NO WHERE ELSE. So take that....

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Check Your Kmart


Several Kmarts are going to be doubling coupons under $2 and you can use up to 25 coupons (non-printables).

Go here for all the details--I love Southern Savers.

I already checked the one in Palm Bay and they aren't....BOOOOOO! But I thought I'd pass along the info just in case your Kmart is.

Also, I made a trip to CVS tonight. Did 3 transactions. All-in-all I bought a toothbrush, two boxes of band-aids, a neo-to-go (neosporin), a refill pack for that, aveeno hydrocortisone cream, and a pack of diapers. Saved $22, got $14.99 in ECB's, and spent around $25. I could have cut down the cost (and cut down the ECB's) by not buying as many bandaids and neosporin but Ansleigh walks so much these days and stumbles so much and always wants to be outside so I thought I'd stock up :)

Just in case you are wondering.

Haven't made it to anywhere else this week. I've been sick all stinkin week and we've had things going on every night this week leaving me no time to get anything done. Somehow between tomorrow and Saturday I've got to make it to Walgreens, Target, and Toys R Us....and maybe JoAnn's. Maybe Bugs will be in a good mood tommorrow.

OH! OH! One more thing....the April issue of All You magazine is out at Walmart and has over $51 worth of coupons in it.

Anyway, happy shopping!

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

This Week's Deals and Plans....

I was busy all day Sunday and have been incredibly sick yesterday and today so I am just now finally getting around to sorting coupons and sales ads to come up with my lists of things to buy.

Here is what I've come up with:

  • Waiting to make my list until new sales ad comes out tomorrow. Not really anything we can use right now.
  • I did go to Publix on Saturday b/c I found out that they have their Greenwise canned veggies on sale for $1. While I was there I noticed a lot of different non-organic canned veggies marked way down. Good stock up price.
  • I will tell you that while I was there I checked the aisles to see if there were any coupon machines and there were several. Some for Pillsbury, some for Cottonelle, and honestly I can't remember what else. But they were there so keep any eye out.

This week they have their big Dove deal. If you buy 8 Dove products, you get $8 RR, 6/$6 RR, etc. While I am overly stocked up on bodywash, I'm not on deodorant and Dove Go Fresh is what I like to use.

My plan for this is to buy 8 Dove Go Fresh Deodorants which will generate $8 RR. I have three coupons from this Sunday's paper for $1.25 off any one Dove Go Fresh deodorant or body spray. I have 2 coupons from this Sunday's paper for $1.5o off any two Dove deodorants. So with my coupons, I will only be paying full price for 1 of the 8 deodorants, and even then, they are 25% off normal price.

Including the RR I will be saving $14.75 and will be saving $6.75 with just my coupons.

My next transaction will be:
  • 3/$1 ministicker books/puzzles (in-ad coupon) to put up either for Easter or Christmas.
  • Scunci Hair Accessories (headbands/pony holders/clips/etc.) B1G1 free with a price of $3.99
  • Children's Benadryl on sale for $3.99 and have a coupon from Sunday's paper for $1 off
  • Immodium AD ($3 off WAG coupon) plus I have a $1 off printable coupon
I will use the $8 RR for this transaction so hopefully I won't be spending very much.


First Transaction
  • Colgate Max White toothpaste/toothbrush $2.99 produces 2.99 ECB. I have a .75¢ off coupon for toothpaste but I think I may just buy the toothbrush because we have a ton of toothpaste right now.
Second Transaction
  • Aveeno shave gel (7 ounce) produces $2 ECB, pay with ECB from before
Third Transaction
  • Aveeno hydrocortisone cream produces $2 ECB
  • Spend $7 on Band Aids and/or Neosporin to get $3 ECB (I have multiple coupons for band aids and neosporin so this will work out well for me), pay with ECB from before
Fourth Transaction
  • Pampers Mega pack $14.99, pay with remaining ECB's plus the $3 ECB leftover from Saturday.
Should save lots of moolah on this.


*No coupons as of right now but maybe I can find some.
  • Gerber Graduates Finger Foods (yogurt bites, puffs, etc.) 3/$5
  • Carters First Years 4 pc. sleep set $14
  • Greatland Queen sized air bed with pump $26 (for our upcoming camping trip)

Toys R Us
  • Pampers wipes refills 2/$12
  • Dr. Brown's bottles/accessories 15% off

Also, I may run by JoAnn's to see if I can find Buggy an Easter basket. I have a 40% off coupon which would be great if I can find one. Not positive this trip will happen though.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Calling In Sick....

This morning, I woke up, felt like death, rolled over, and decided to call in sick.

And then the baby started crying....

and Anthony left for work.

Oh yeah...SAHM's don't get "sick days." So it was with not-so-great joy that I got up and fixed kid some breakfast, changed a diaper, and assumed my regular morning position on the loveseat, curled up under a blanket.

At some point I think I got up and fixed myself some cereal and started eating it until I realized it was painful to swallow. That's when I decided I would call for a sub. Oh wait...teachers get subs, not SAHM's. Dang it.

Eventually, around 10ish Ansleigh went down for her nap. Perfect...mommy can take a nap too. Oh wait. The house literally looked like it was involved in some kind of terrorist toy takeover. Oh and there are coupons all over the place. And dirty dishes in the dishwasher. The laundry basket is overflowing. The bathtub edge has moutainous piles of clean, not put up, clothes. Oh and I needed to transfer over coupons, finish clipping the ones from yesterday, organize them, and put them away. Oh and don't forget about Bible study time! Oh...and just for good measure--throw in a visit to the Ped office at 1:30. nap.

Well, I tried my dangedest to pick up the living room, causing all my muscles to ache and yell cuss words at me that only body parts seem to understand. I gave up. I climbed in bed and set to sorting my coupons. Until I ached too much to do that either. Then I worked on my Bible study. Got one day's worth done and called it....I TOOK A NAP. Not because I was tired (which is usually the case). Because I felt like I was dying.

It worked too....for about an hour. I literally got out of the bed at 12:45. Got dressed. Got stuff ready and fixed Bug's lunch. Got her up at 1. Got her dressed. Gave her her scrumptous cheese sandwich and got into the car to head to the Dr. office for a check-up. Pretended I felt fine until we got back into the car around 3ish. Wanted to die...all the way home.

Put Bug's to bed. Remembered I needed lunch. Then...I remembered it hurt to swallow when I tried to eat that lunch. Gave up. Got into bed. Said some prayers for Ansleigh to nap for a very long time.

She did. Woke up at 5:30. Just in case you were wondering.

What is the point to all this?

In any other job, if I woke up feeling like death, I could have called in. Not gone. Gotten a sub. Found a fill-in. Traded shifts. You get the point. This job, you can't do that. It doesn't matter if you are sick. It doesn't matter if you are tired. You still have a child to raise. You still have a child to feed, and teach, and entertain...and in my case, take to the doctor.

Mommy is a 24-7-365 job. No breaks. No vacations. No sick leave.

Sounds like a crappy job but it is the best one I've ever had. :) Even if I can't call in sick.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

How I Do It....

I am not a pro.

Let me repeat that....


But, I am learning pretty quickly. Everyone keeps asking me how I do it or they are just simply amazed at the amount I am saving. I had help so I am passing that info along to those of you who want it. In an effort to put all the information together right where you can find it, I am going to do a basic tutorial of what I know (which isn't a lot, mind you!).

  1. How to get started:
First of all, the best way to jump on in is just to do it! The second way to get started is to read, read, read, read. Read what? Blogs. Specifically here (Southern Savers) and here (The Saving Momma)

2. Where do you get coupons?
The Sunday paper! Each Sunday there are coupon inserts (Red Plum, Smart Source, Procter & Gamble). Not all three are in every week's paper. I buy multiple papers so I can have multiples of the coupons.
You can also find coupons online at, coolsavings, a full cup, Mommy Saves Big, and Smart Source. These printable coupons, make sure you hit the back button and print as many as you can! The more you have, the more you can use!
You also get coupons called "peelies" on the actual products.
You can get coupons from little coupon printers near the products in the stores. I've never noticed these before but I started looking for them and found 8 or 10 of them in Publix. You can pull several of them. Use them on that purchase or use them later.
Also, at Publix, right when you walk in, there is a stand where you can pick up the weekly ad and their little coupon books.
Last but not least, go to Walmart and pick up your copy of All You magazine. Seriously. Best $2.49 you'll ever spend.

3. How to Organize Your Coupons:
Several different ways to do this. Expandable mini file system. Binder with dividers and baseball card holders. Ziplock baggies. Index Card Box (recipe box). The best, most informative thing I have found that explains all these systems (with pros and cons) is at Southern Savers' Extreme Couponing 101 section. Click here.
Which one do I use? Well I started out with the little file system thing. Printing as many coupons as I do and clipping coupons from multiple little file thing has basically exploded. This weekend I've put together the binder method. We'll try it and see how it works out. I haven't gotten all my coupons transferred over yet, but so far I think I'll like it. I don't take ALL of my coupons with me to the stores. I have ziplock bags labeled for each of the stores I go to. When I make my plans for each store, I put the coupons for those stores in those baggies. When I go to a specific store, I only take my coupons for that store and my plan for that store. I leave the rest of it at home.

4. How to "Match Up" Coupons:
First of all, look at the sales ads. See what is on sale. I do this on Sundays. You will immediately notice (if you clip your coupons first, then look at the ads) that you've just clipped coupons for things that are on sale. SCORE! It often works that way. Always, always, always shop from the Sales Ads. Save your coupons for when the item is on sale. Then you can maximize your savings. If you can luck up and have a store coupon (has the name of the store on it) and a manufactorer's coupon (printable or from the paper) you can "stack them" and use both on an item that is on sale and get it for pennies! Also, items that are B1G1 can use a coupon on the item you are buying and the one you are getting free!!!! Good thing to use to your advantage when you want to stock up.
Sound like a little too much work? Probably so. Each week, go to Fiddledeedee and she will give you the Publix sales ad with links to printable coupons. She also does match ups for Albertsons, Target, Walmart, and Winn Dixie. Another amazing place to go is to Southern Savers. She has tabs for Amazon, Bi-Lo, CVS, Food Lion, Kroger, Publix, Rite Aid, and Walgreen's. Basically, she tells you what to buy and which coupons to use with it.
Easy peasy lemon squeezy.

5. Supermarket Savings
Southern Savers gives the advice that you should cut all coupons, STOCKPILE when things are on sale, especially when they are on sale and you have coupons, base your weekly menu on the Sales Ads, try not to be such a brand snob (which I am still struggling with), know that the "store brands" are not usually the cheapest, and don't be fooled into thinking that Sam's, BJ's, Costco will save you more money. To get all the dirt on these items, click on the link.
Know your supermarket's coupon policy. You can find this on their website or just get some guts and call the store and ask. Ask questions like "Do you double any coupons?" "Do you accept other stores' coupons?" "Do you have to buy both items to get the sales price on B1G1 free items?" Know these answers ahead of time and you can be prepared. Also, if you are checking out and they won't accept your coupons for that item and that makes you not want it, don't feel obligated to buy it! Seriously. It is not that big of a deal.

6. Shopping at Drugstores
I cannot believe how much money I am saving by buying things at drugstores. Let me begin this by saying that I have NEVER been a "drugstore" kind of girl unless I needed medication. That has all changed. I am learning that by using the store's policies to your advantage, you can get all kinds of the everyday things you need for free or basically free. Again, don't be a brand snob. I'm still working on this, but fortunately for me, the brands that I will use have been on sale.
One of the biggest things that will save you money is using the store's "in-store-money" to your advantage. Walgreens calls their money Register Rewards (RR) and no, you don't need any kind of card for those. CVS calls their money Extra Care Bucks (ECB's). You do need the CVS Extra Care card for those. How do you get the in-store-money? Buy the products that produce them. How do you know which ones do that? The Sales Ad. Too much work? Go to the Southern Savers blog and let her do the work for you! Sweet lady!
The next thing to save you the most money out of pocket (OOP) is to do multiple transactions. Buy one thing that gives you RR or ECB's (usually the one that will give you the most). Use that in-store-money on your next transaction. Try to buy things that will produce in-store-money that you also have coupons for. That lowers your OOP cost. When you do your multiple transactions, make sure you let people go ahead of you between transactions, warn the cashier if you are the only one in line, or try to check out at the beauty counter. I'm still not so amazing at the multiple transactions thing so I take a list with me that tells me exactly what I am going to buy for each transaction and what coupons or in-store-money I will use for that or the next transaction. I follow my list.

Last but not least....

Keep up with your savings! Why do all this work and not figure out how much you've saved yourself? Yall know I'm not a numbers girl and if I can do it, anyone can. In fact, I've set up (with help from the master of all numbers, Hubs) a pretty basic spread sheet that keeps up with what I'm spending each week at each store...what I'm saving each week at each store, and what I would have spent at each store. If you want a copy of my spreadsheet to use for yourself, comment below (which sends me an email) and I'll email you a copy of it.

I've been told that you can go subscribe (it costs some money) to The Grocery Game and it "does all this work for you." You are MORE than welcome to go do that. I am not. Why? 1-Because I have the time to do this, 2-Why pay someone to do something that isn't that difficult?, 3-I'd miss out on all the fun.

Yes! Fun! It is so exciting each week to see what is on sale and what you have coupons for and the rock-bottom price you are going to be spending! In fact, I'm not going to is addicting. It is such a wonderful feeling to know that you are getting your family everything they need at such a reduced cost! Plus, it will make your hubs smile and be proud of you. Especially if you stay at home (like I do). Anthony often tells me how glad he is that I'm doing this. It makes me feel good to know that I'm stretching his hard earned dollars as far as they can go.

Why did I start couponing?
Well aside from that whole "saving money" thing...I started doing it because I was seeing friends I know from college...REAL LIVE PEOPLE I KNOW who were doing it and it was working. Not only were they saving, but saving big time. A sweet friend, Jessalee (The Saving Mommy), had a post on her blog that I saw one time where she saved a kagillion dollars. Ok, really, these are her facts from that week: before coupons and savings it was $315.83, she paid $43.38 out of pocket for a savings of $272.45 which is 86%. I started wondering why I am paying that extra $300 a week when I don't need to. I knew if she was really doing it, it was possible. So I asked for help. I started reading and ......DUN, DUN, DUN, DUN...

I started saving moolah. Lots of it.


Thursday, March 12, 2009

God Speaks...

You know that song, "Word of God Speak?" Today I heard the word of God speak...

While listening to Beth Moore speak.

Then, a few hours later, I heard God speak...AGAIN, while working on my The Frazzled Female Bible study.

Then, a few minutes later, I heard God speak...AGAIN, while I was working on my new Beth Moore Bible study.

Let me explain.

For the past few weeks I've been struggling with making a decision about some opportunities that have come my way. I am generally not that great with decisions, especially when they involve the future and unsureness. I've been praying. And talking with a few friends. And praying. Before today...I felt like I had gotten nothing from God. No matter what was said, or what I talked to God about, I just didn't feel like I was being led in one direction or another. I felt like my heart was playing tug-of-war with my brain. This decision will will have an effect on my family, our finances, my child's future, and the amount of time I will have available. BIG DECISION, people. And yall know I get nervous about every little thing anyway.

This morning I was sitting in the first session of the ladies' Bible study at church, watching Beth Moore talk and preach and be funny. All of a sudden she starts talking about a specific section of a bullet point that reads, "Even when we're blind to the evidence, God works out everything in conformity with the purpose of His will." Then she said something along the lines of that God is working it out! He has the whole world in His hands and He has MY whole world in His hands. That's when I heard Him...

He told me, "I am working it out. Take the __________ opportunity." Why the blank? Because it isn't the right time yet to disclose that information.

When I first heard Him, I thought it was just my heart speaking. And it was God speaking to my heart. For the first time in a long time, I heard God. I understood exactly what He was telling me. It wasn't if-fy.

When I left the Bible study, I honestly still couldn't really believe it. I called Anthony and told him what I felt like God was telling me and he said ok. Who was he to argue with God?

As I arrived back home and started thinking about it, Doubting Thomas came to visit me. You can just call him Satan. He was trying his best to fill my mind with all the "What if's?" But my sweet Savior had my back.

After Buggy went down for her nap, I got out my Bible study books and went out to the sunporch to my swing. My place of peace and quiet. I got out the first study because it is shorter...and I had two days of it to do because I *might* have opted for a nap yesterday instead. Idiot. Anyway, as I was reading through the passage I could literally feel God smiling at me and saying, "I am working it out." I'm not so sure if it is what the lesson was about, but God revealed to me that when I am seeking Him and not worried about my daily things, and I actually begin to listen, really listen, I will be able to hear Him. And because that's what I was doing....I heard Him. Loud and clear. Big flashing neon sign. He is working it out.

I was at peace.

After completing both days of that study, I moved on to my new study to spend a little time getting used to it and to really read and re-read the introduction. I was reading, and reflecting, and looking at the things I wrote down during the video and all of a sudden, I hear Him AGAIN. "Carrie, I am working it out." Seriously? Three times in one day? Wow.

Finally, I had to stop what I was doing and just flat out tell God, "I hear you. You're working it out. And now, I believe you. I'll make the arrangements. You are working it out." Even now, as I write this, I am taking a leap of faith by accepting this opportunity because I do not know what the future holds. BUT I KNOW WHO HOLDS MY FUTURE and I'm pretty confident that it will work out because He knows the plans He has for me...plans for me to prosper and not to fail.

I am at peace. And I'm excited. I can slowly see the desires of my heart unfolding before my eyes. What blessings I have had today! Praise the Lord and to Him be the glory. No matter what happens.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

My Plan

Let me tell you a story plan. My CVS plan to be precise.

Out of their entire ad, I saw 4 things I really want to buy. After going back and looking at it, I'm pretty sure I may do one other transaction...but for now, let's just talk about the basic plan.

I am learning that the trick to maximize your savings and minimize your out-of-pocket spending is to do multiple transactions (being courteous to cashiers, letting others go ahead of you, etc.).

So...with that in mind:

Transaction #1:
Palmolive Dish Soap $1.49
Earning $1 ECB

*I am going to try to get this to work with the Palmolive Free & Clear...which is what I prefer, but also because I have a 75¢ off coupon which would put me spending 74¢ and earning $1 in-store money.

**You could do this plus all the rest minus the coupon (which is what I'm going to have to do if it doesn't work) and get all these same bargains because I have no other coupons. Just so you know.

Transaction #2:
Oral B Dental Floss $2.99
Pay with $1 ECB (earned from previous purchase)
Total = $1.99
Earning $2 ECB

Transaction #3:
Physican's Formula Powder $14.99
Pay with $2 ECB (earned from previous purchase)
Total= $12.99
Earn $10 ECB

Transaction #4:
**There are several products that qualify for this....ANY Maybelline product or ANY Garnier product. Buy $10 worth, earn $5 ECB

Maybelline Mascara (2) $6 each
Total= $12
Pay with $10 ECB (earned from previous purchase)
Total= $2
Earn $5 ECB

Total spent (if coupon doesn't work)= $18. 47
Total earned in ECB's = $18
Essentially I will have spent 47¢ on all these products.

If coupon does work, total spent would be $17.72, earning $18 in ECB's. I would essentially spend $0 of our money.

Those of you who don't coupon and/or don't know how to "CVS"...this would be something easy to do. Usually I print out my plan and carry it in with me so you could just print this. Seriously. It's that easy. Get the stuff. Take it to the register. Follow the instructions. Easy peasy lemon squeezy.

My 5th Transaction that I will most likely do is this:
4 12pk. cokes for $13
Pay with $5 ECB (earned from 4th transaction)
Total due= $8
Earn $3 ECB's to use on next purchase

***This would make me paying $5 for 4 12pk. of cokes making them $1.25 apiece. That...I can handle.

If you really wanted to, you could add this 5th transaction to your list too :)

DISCLAIMER: I am in no way a pro at this and it is possible/likely that there is a better way to purchase all this mess and spend less out of pocket although, if there is, I don't know of it.

Get This Magazine!

Several of you have commented asking me to help you, give details, share deals, etc.

Well I've got one for you!!!!

Reading all the blogs about couponing, I came across a mention of All You Magazine. I'd never heard of that before. That would be because it is only sold at Walmart...or you can order a subscription.

Why get another magazine? Because this one cost me $2.49 and I clipped a little over $18 worth of really good coupons out of it. Let me mention that I didn't clip all the coupons...this one issue of the magazine actually has $48.12 of total savings.

I found on someone's blog where you can get a two-year subscription for $17 and some change. I searched for it a second ago and didn't find it. I'll let you know when I come across it again. However, you can go to the website and get two issues for free. Just click the bill me later and then remember to cancel your subscription if you no longer want it.

If you are going to look for it at Walmart (which I did because I didn't want to spend $20 on a magazine and then hate it), I found it right when you walk into the magazine section, on the VERY bottom, kind of near the scrapbooking, crafting, hair magazine type things. I can't promise that is where you'll find your's.

You will more than get your money back out of this magazine. has really amazing money saving tips in it.

Like what you say? Like these:
  • Don't feel compelled to use all your coupons at once
  • Buy more than you need right now.
  • Use "in-store" coupons
  • Pass up "big" bargains
  • Don't go to warehouse stores to stock up
  • Don't let one good deal drive you
If you are anything like me and trying to learn to squeeze EVERY penny out of each dollar, just getting those tips above is worth the $2.49. To get the full details on these money-saving tips, you'll have to get the magazine and read it!

Tuesday, March 10, 2009


At least...that's what I feel like when I walk into these stores and swipe my little green debit card for a few dollars and a handful of change and walk out with bags and bags (and sometimes small shopping carts) of stuff.


But I've yet to be arrested so I guess I'm alright.

Today I went to Walmart (a VERY rare occasion) to buy Scattergories and a magazine (a post coming soon about *that* magazine). I went armed with NO coupons of any kind. I roamed a little while and then grabbed my game, and my magazine, and maybe a princess hooded towel that was on clearance. I got home and started looking...I saved $12.80 which was 29% of my purchase. Apparently my game was on sale, and that towel was WAY on sale. Oh and by the way, I got over $18 worth of coupons out of that magazine.

Tonight I made my last minute trip to Publix before the new sales come out and I've missed the old ones. Since I was going--CHILD FREE--and Walgreens is across the street, I decided to go there too.

At Walgreens I got a CRAP-LOAD of stuff for a grand total spending of $21.79. What kind of stuff?
  • 4 12 packs of Coke products (canned drinks)
  • Crest Pro-Health toothpaste
  • Right Guard deodorant
  • Axe bodywash, deodorant, and body spray
  • Garnier Fructis Shampoo
  • Garnier Fructis Conditioner
  • 2 Russell Stover's chocolate covered marshmellow eggs (for Buggy's basket)
  • Kraft Mac & Cheese
  • 32 ounces of Alcohol (not the kind you drink, mind you)
The total I should have spent was $62.60. Yep...I had a savings of 63%.

Oh...I should add that with their sale, I got the 12 pack drinks for $2.50 each (factoring in their sales and Register Rewards). Oh and the shampoo and is marked down to $2.99 with a $2 instant coupon. I already had $1 off coupon...FOR BOTH. When you do the math...there was an overage of two cents. That's right. I got those hair care products for nare one penny. I also made money on the Right Guard deodorant. When you factor in the sales price (cheaper than the ad says!!!!) and the coupon I had for it, I ended up paying $.64 for it and got $2 Register Rewards--in store money.

Before you jump on me for buying the cokes...they are for our upcoming camping trip. I don't buy cokes for myself except on the RARE occasion.

After I left Walgreens with the sales lady smiling at me, I headed across the street to Publix where I ended up saving $16.30 and only had a bill of $45.88. While my percentage saved from last week went down, my need for staples is going down. I am not needing to stock up on things, which means I don't need to buy as much.

My total spent for the night = $67.67
My total saved for the night = $54.11

If you factor in the Walmart trip, I spent $98.67 and saved $66.91.

I'm still spending a good bit of money, which I am not a fan of, but my savings are really getting up there and I can tell a difference just in our house. Things are filling up (fridge, pantry, freezer, bathroom cabinets) and for A LOT less money.

Couponing can seem a bit...psycotic, but it makes a huge difference. Plus, it is so addicting. Seriously.

Where Does it Go?

Lately I've been thinking a lot about where my time goes.

Yes, I spend time cleaning the house, doing laundry, washing dishes, etc. But I have a lot of time on my hands that I think gets wasted.

For instance, if I sat down and counted how many hours of tv I watch in a day, I'm pretty sure the results would blow my mind. Even if I just counted the "prime time" shows that we watch.

And not only the tv, but the computer too. How many hours a day do I waste getting on my computer checking Facebook for status updates or ebay (although I am a day short of being two weeks ebay free) or any other website for that matter.

Watching tv is relaxing and is like reading a good book. It's exciting, it is entertaining, and most of all, it provides something to do. But what would I do if we didn't have tv? My friend, Lacey, mentioned to me last week-ish that they don't have cable anymore and I remember telling her that I would die without it. Seriously, I think I would die...from boredom. How did I get to that point? Ansleigh watches tv all day (in the background) which I know is "bad for her" but it is on while she is playing and eating. We might could make it through the day without the tv on...maybe. But what about at night? If we took away the tv shows, it would be replaced with computer stuff...which we are already doing while we are watching tv.

As Christians, we are command to think about "whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable" but honestly, I'm pretty sure that doesn't really happen when I am watching tv. And if it does, it is most likely me thinking about these good things that are no longer on tv. So tv is out? Right? ....probably not. But maybe I should focus a lot less on having the tv on and spend more time playing outside, or reading a good book.

As far as the internet goes, that makes things a little more complicated. I think there are things on the internet that are pure, lovely, and admirable....even on Facebook. It *can* provide a place for Christians to fellowship, share encouragement, and just be friends. There are blogs that can provide these things as well.

In fact, I'd like to argue that *some* of my time on the internet is well spent. I've been spending time searching to find coupons and deals to be able to buy my family the things we need at the cheapest possible price. That has every good intention possible. Occasionally (ok so maybe more than just occasionally) I shop online for clothing, shoes, etc. because it is just easier and since joining UPromise, each time I do so, a percentage of my total cost is going into an account to save for college for the Bug. I think that is wise and maybe even admirable. I mean...if I'm going to buy the stuff anyway, might as well, get some of that money spent going towards books or whatever for the bug when she's at Auburn :)

But what about all that time I spend reading the CRAP on or the time I spend in Pet Society, or Fashion Wars, or whatever other application on Facebook? What about the time I spend lusting over clothing for Bugs that I KNOW I won't be spending that much money on but love it anyway? The time I waste on things like that...I'm pretty sure I could find something more pleasing to God to do with my time, even if it is just going for a walk.

How do you spend your time? How much of your time is wasted?

Monday, March 9, 2009

"For the first time in a long time, I was nervous." --Carrie Bradshaw from Sex and the City

Anthony has gone to bed and I'm still up watching Sex and the City reruns. That show is probably one of my all time favorite tv shows but often reminds me of that whole "in the world, but not part of it" thing.

Why do I love such a "scandalous" show? Because minus the unnecessary language, it is well written and the characters are easily identified with. It is romantic and somewhat realistic all at the same time. I could go on and on about this for hours. I even wrote a paper on it in college...a paper, might I add, that was nominated for a Women's Studies award.

The quote I started with is from the episode where Carrie and Aiden sleep together for the first time. He makes sex an intimate thing and not just a "thing" that you do on a date. There is anticipation and butterflies....the way it should be--ON YOUR WEDDING NIGHT.

That's right. I am in the world, but not part of it. I am proud to say that my husband and I waited until we were married to have sex, and not just with each other, but with anyone else. I treasure that moment that we shared. There was nervousness, anxiety, butterflies, and excitement.

In today's day, sex is nothing but a physical act between two people, not necessarily even a man and a woman. How did it get that way? And please...don't say "sin." I'm not retarded...I know that. But seriously, why did sex become something not saved for marriage? And even more so, why did it become acceptable to sleep around?

I constantly find myself around middle school kids and I love when God presents me with the opportunity to talk about why you shouldn't be having sex (unless you are married), especially in the 7th grade. If you don't tell these kids why they shouldn't, it is VERY possible they won't know why.

Kids hear all the typical reasons like "you'll get pregnant" or "you could get a disease." Why aren't we explaining to them what goes along with sex?

Saving sex for marriage is wise. You won't have to worry about comparing your spouse (or your spouse comparing you) to ANYone else. You won't have all the baggage that comes from things like that. PLUS, seriously, what 13-year-old child is really ready to be a mommy or daddy? Nare one (that's southern for not one). And unless it is medically necessary, teenage girls should not be on the pill. They shouldn't need to be.

When you share your body with someone else, even just letting them look, it connects you to them. As a young kid, or even a teenager, or young adult, WHY would you want to be connected to anyone that isn't someone you'll be with forever? It just makes no sense to me.

I've found that quite often, the only thing parents tell kids about sex is not to do it. TELL THEM WHY! Tell them about the emotions that go along with it, why people are tempted to do it, what will result from it, and yes, the risks of it.

Most parents are terrified of the day that they have to have "the talk" with their kids. I'm not. I'm seriously not. I want to talk to Ansleigh about it. I want her to know why I did what I did and why I'm glad I did what I did. I want to teach her to love her husband so much that she will wait for him. I want her to be able to ask me questions and be able to answer them honestly. I will admit though that I am terrified of what will happen to any boy that "tries something" with my little bug bug. :)

Anyway, just a few thoughts I'd like to share.

I love Vanessa.

I do and I'm not ashamed to admit it. I love my Vanessa. She's an amazing friend and an awesome mommy and puts a smile on my face. Plus, she knows me, understands me, and loves me anyway. Plus she thinks my accent is cute :)

So for that, Nessa, I give you....THE PURSE DUMP (dun, dun, dun)

If you are unfamiliar to the purse dump blog post, I'll give you basic rules. Take your purse (AS IS...NO CLEANING OUT FIRST) and dump it. Show us what's in there. Be brave. Don't hide anything.

Here we go. Don't laugh. Or make fun. I might cry. Probably not but anyway...

SECOND PHOTO: front pocket and zipper pocket contents
Cash, not to be spent...
A random picture of me and hubs
Two Walmart giftcards I just found and am not sure if they still have money on them
A yogurt bite...not sure how that got there
Trash from some type of pill I popped

PICTURE THREE: The inside of the purse
Super cheap Target sunglasses inside not-so-cheap Vera Bradley sunglass case
Matchy-matchy Vera wallet
Aveeno hand lotion
3, count them, 3 tubes of Aveeno chapstick. Hum....
An almost empty pack of Stride gum
About 5 wadded up gum wrappers
The top to some Dove bodyspray
Keys with matchy-matchy Vera key fob
An Olive Garden mint...not so sure how long that's been there.
And an out-of-checks checkbook--only there for the deposit slips.

That's all kids. Not sooooo scandalous after all. Right now, Vanessa (and many others) are sitting at their computers completely shocked. Not one coupon. Nope. Notta one.

Let me explain....
At any given moment, one or more of these labeled zip lock baggies will be in the purse, filled with coupons for a trip to some store. HOWEVER....Nessa caught me at the beginning of the week when I haven't quite planned out all my trips and placed the appropriate coupons in these

No coupons.

But give me a few days. Or maybe just one. I have to go to Publix tomorrow before the new sales ad comes out and my few things I need/want to get will no longer be on sale.

I was brave, and I want YOU to be brave too.

Lacey, Rachel, Jessalee, Malerie, Mary Beth, and Winn. Show me what is in those purses! :)


I went to check on my plants today and was kind of amazed...

There was greenness....

and growth...

and no death....

Check it out!

And look--my little seeds have turned into...well tiny plants!

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

First of all, I made a trip to Walgreens today (after a consultation with a new friend!). I ended up buying $28.89 worth of various "stuff."

Guess how much of our money I spent?


It is OK to be amazed. I am. I got free toothpaste, free eyedrops, a prize for my friend Winn, some peeps for Buggy's easter basket, cottonelle wipes, and some smancy nail polish (for my toes, of course). That's a lot of mess for less than $6.


When Ansleigh went down for her nap, I sat down with receipts and a calculator and started doing some math (Scarey...I know).

I've been couponing for about two-in-a-half weeks.

These are the trips I've made and the savings at each store:
  • 3 trips to Publix with a total savings of $80.09
  • 1 trip to Walgreens with a savings of $23. 19
  • 1 trip to CVS with a savings of $41.57
  • 1 trip to Walmart with a savings of $9.27
  • 1 trip to Target with a savings of $10.20

I can't believe in just two weeks of some simple work and reading, I've saved us almost $200. Granted, I've had some help from some friends and some amazing blogs, but

And with the exception of the eyedrops, EVERYthing I've bought in that time period has been things we needed or things I was going to buy anyway and will be used.

I'm not a genius at this stuff, but if you are interested in getting started, let me know. I'll point you in the right direction.

P.S. When I figured out my total savings and called Anthony, I'm pretty sure he peed in his pants with excitement. :) Yay!

Garden...sort of

My dad "scapes land" for a living (he's a landscaper) so whenever he visits, I take advantage of his knowledge and always get help with our yard/plant advice, etc.

Lately, I've been REALLY wanting to grow some stuff. Not just any Produce. Things I can cook with or things we will eat. I've learned how to save money on other things we need, but not produce.

So when Dad got here, I gave him my very noticeable "Daddy I love you, I need something" smile. Before the weekend was over, we'd gone to Home Depot and bought soil, seeds, plants, and pots! I'm so excited!!!!

Currently, I am growing:
  • tomatoes
  • cucumber
  • strawberries
  • watermelon
  • green beans
  • squash
  • lettuce
  • spinach
  • lavender
  • parsley
  • zucchini
  • mint
Here are a few pictures that Anthony took...

By the way, Dad is the one who picked up the organic seeds. I didn't even know seeds could be organic. :) But seriously...don't hate. You know you're going to want some of my organic veggies and herbs and smelly good stuff.

Monday, March 2, 2009

Publix Clarification

I assume this goes for all the Melbourne-area Publix stores but since I use the Bayside Publix most often, that's where I called.

I've been getting frustrated reading about some policies that *some* Publix stores honor and some don't so I decided to call and speak to a manager and find out.

Here is what I have learned:
  1. The mystery penny item--it does not apply in Florida. I didn't think it did but wanted to ask while I was asking...just to see. Couldn't hurt anything.
  2. As far as honoring other stores' prices--must be a coupon, not an ad. As far as if the store needs to be local (Food Lion, Kroger, etc.) he said there must be one in the county which would make it a competitor. Any *grocery* store coupons will be honored but as far as coupons from Walmart or Kmart he said he'd "just have to see it." The explaination for this is that they run a different price plan (or something like that) that Publix. He gave me an example saying that Walgreen's used to sell their diapers at full price but then would send out a $5 off coupon whereas Publix says they sell their diapers at cost or under so they would lose money honoring those coupons.
  3. I also asked if they doubled coupons under fifty cents...non-florida Publix stores do but he said here they do not and he thought the closest Publix that did was in Atlanta.
If you live in the area, these will probably all apply to you, which is why I posted this. I will tell you that I am learning to just call and ask. The manager was super friendly and told me that I was welcome to bring ANY coupon in and he'd look at it for me and see what he could do to help me out. :) Just one more reason why shopping at Publix is a pleasure :)