Saturday, January 30, 2010


This is what we woke up to this morning! For once, we actually got more than predicted! It was around 6.5 inches this am and has been snowing most of the day! I will try and get some pictures of the HUGE icicles hanging from our house this afternoon. I have a love/hate relationship with snow. It is beautiful to look at: so clean, untouched , pure but it is COLD. I strongly dislike being cold. Even as a child, I didn't spend much time in the snow..too cold. I have told Matt I am so glad to not be a single mom anymore in the snow. The reason is simple..he is the one who can go out and play with the kids in the snow! This year I am staying inside completely with Zach. In the future, I will go out to take pictures of the kids but definitely not stay out long! This is a very weird snow for our area, really fine and dry. Haley, Lily and Kendall all went out exploring this morning! They decided that the best use of the snow was for snow angels!

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Month In Review

I like organization and a major part of my organization is lists. So we are really close to the end of the month and since I went ahead and pulled the coupons expiring on the 31st from my book, I thought I would review this month and my goals for this year and see where I stand.

Blogging- I started this blog on 1/7 and currently have 19 post. Not too bad, but I know that several of these post are in the same day but hey I am trying. One of the reason that I started blog was to help me stay out of surviving mood. Looking back I realize that for the first 4-6 months after giving birth my main goal is to survive and to keep up with life. I distinctly remember this last year after Kendall. It was also around the same time I found out that I was pregnant with Zach. So that feeling of now I can start enjoying didn't last long! I did make the major decision to stop working part time and work a little (less than 5 hours a month). I know without a doubt that this was the right decision. Finally almost a year later, I am feeling like I am beginning to establish a routine. I can ENJOY my days at home with the kids and enjoying them as well as keep up with everyday life and not go crazy. By blogging I am also able to go back and remember and keep these memories so that 5 years from now when Zach goes to school, I want to look back and know that I not only was home with the kids but actually accomplished ALOT while doing it!

Financial- Well as I have posted in the past, we have WELL exceeded the monthly grocery budget but I expected as much this month. I am hoping that each month this will go down and by the end of the year I will have reduced the average by 1/4. I am getting into the swing of couponing and learning that I need to ask for rainchecks and save coupons even if I "might" use them!

Preschool- I don't think that I have blogged about this but one of the goals I had for this year is to be more consistent with "preschool" with Lily. She LOVES to learn and is always eager. My goal is to do "preschool" with her at least 3 times a week. We started this again in September and have been luck to get 6 a month in. Well this month has been awesome. Two weeks ago, we had home "preschool" 3 times,last week 4 time and so far this week 4 as well. Lily has already requested that she go to real Preschool in the Fall. I am still undecided. Part of me knows she would LOVE it but I also don't like to have to get out of the house every day to take or pick her up! I am also concerned about the cost of a 2 or 3 day a week preschool. I am hoping that by doing more home preschool she will not be too disappointed if we decide not to enroll her!

Bible reading- I probably have done the worst at this. But even this is an improvement than the past. I have been able to read 20 Psalms so far. I am going to work on improving this next month.

Diet- Matt and I started the Atkins- I have managed to lost 3-4lbs in combination with my cheapness and cheat days!

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Cheap + Food + Diet = Impossible for me ?

This is the post that has been in my head since lunch. I debated on posting but since this is an honest blog thought I should go ahead and get it out!

I was very poor as a kid. I am ONLY 38 but I remember things like the first time we got a Polaroid pictures of myself and my brother, a stranger took it and gave it to us at a store, and we actually lived in a rent house without indoor plumbing for the first several month. So living cheaply is something I learned from the best My MOM! I know we were poor now but I can't tell you one time that I didn't have something we needed like food or clothes! Food is the biggest area of expense in our house. I can't stand the thought of throwing away food for any reason. I am famous for my left over nights where we pull out of the fridge and make at least one if not several meals. I have even been known to look up recipes to use the ingredients I have on hand! Since I am now staying at home, leftovers are a staple for lunch. Lily thinks getting a sandwich is a treat! So after Zach's dedication last week, there was an entire baked ziti left untouched. No big deal I thought at the time. I even put it in our weekly menu plan in my head, Thursday! But even the best laid plans are interrupted! On Wednesday, I received in the mail some free items from Atkins and showed them to Matt. He decided Thursday morning to start the diet and asked me to join him. I did with the acknowledge that he would be more successful than me but I wanted to support him! I am actually glad he is starting to attempt to lose weight with the deaths of both his Mother and Sister, I get worried. So of course the Baked Ziti is off the menu. I have actually feed it to the girls 2 days for lunch but 3/4 is left. Today I broke down and had some for lunch because I hate for it to be wasted!


Yesterday I decided at nap-time to leave Haley(school was out)at home with everyone asleep to run to CVS to pick up 2 prescriptions. I figured I would be gone only about 45 minutes tops. We were also waiting on the TW cable guy to come between 1:30 and 3:30 but I again didn't think I would be gone that long. It took an hour and 15 minutes and me making 3 request to finally get his prescription ready. But let me tell you that so far I *think* it has made a HUGE difference. He is spitting up but about 1/4 of what he was and today, he has only spit up when he was being burbed. The first 45 minutes didn't bother me as I was canvasing the store and purchasing more Pepsi products to get my $10 ECB. I did find a FREEBIE; I had a coupon for $2.00 off Loreal eye products and found a tube of mascara marked down 75% to 1.87! I was so excited!! I got FREE make-up! Total spent for 5-12 pack cans, 2 bottles of Gatorade and a tube of mascara for $15.80 total saved 22.05! Between my trips yesterday and Sunday, I have 59% this week which is the highest yet! This is now becoming as Matt called it a "game" with me. I just have to now get organized so I don't buy stuff that is not going to be used in a timely manner and arrange more storage! Although my budget for this month is shot I know that it will drop next month!

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Random Thoughts Tuesday

I saw this on a blog I read just for fun so I thought it would be a good way to update mine.

I will update my blog roll to include a list of the blogs I read/stalk just for fun!

Sunday, I was able to go to CVS alone and make a good trip. I spent 40.93 and saved $72.78. I did spend a little,okay $20 more than my original plan but I got alot of stuff!
I plan to hit CVS once more this week to grab some more of the canned drinks and get a couple of RX filled!
The Walgreens is opening soon, so next on my list is to try and learn how to work coupons with them. CVS was easy since I already was used to the store and getting ECB for prescriptions. Harris Teeter was a major learning experience, I am so thankful for Susan who went with me on my first trip. Now I am even going to get a second card to use on "Special" weeks!

I just ordered my second 100 free prints from Shipping was $5.99 so that worked out to 0.06 a print, not bad. I am hoping to get at least several years of photos printed out using these methods so when we get the room finished and our finances all back in line I can spend some time each week on my scrapbooks.

My second purchase for the day was at the mail order pharmacy. They sent Matt a $10 off your first order yesterday so I used it to purchase vitamins for the little girls. So I spent 0.99 shipped :)

Lily and Haley both had doctor's appointments yesterday. Lilys' was a yearly check-up. She is still underweight but they just suggested we keep using vitamins and she will grow at her own speed. Haley had a medication recheck and the insurance forced us to use the mail order pharmacy so I am anxious to see how this all works out. One of her prescription had to be mailed and the other was faxed.

Finally Matt and I by default started the Atkins Diet last week. He has already lost about 8lbs and I have lost 3lbs but I will admit I have skipped more than he has :)

Saturday, January 23, 2010

I received an email today from snapfish You will receive 100 free 4x6 prints with any purchase. In order to receive it you should use the code "printsnew" at check-out. I have been going through pictures today. My plan is to have the rest of the wedding prints, Amanda's colorguard pictures from 2005 and then the beginning of Lily prints. I also have to upload pictures to artscow this week to get my free 100 prints this month from them as well!

I just completed uploading and ordering from Snapfish. The final cost was $0.06 a print not bad.

Oh by the way I need some followers :)

Socks are EVIL!

Yes, you read that right..Socks are EVIL! You should realize by now that I place a high value on sleep. Unfortunately my children don't feel the same. Lily has always woken up several times a night. We FINALLY got her out of our bed just prior to Zach's birth. She still sleeps in our floor 3+ nights a week. Kendall is by far my best sleeper most night she sleeps 12 hours however she has to be in her bed for this to happen and she has the cutest position, butt up in the air and ankles crossed. We discovered on our trip to Illinois that she also does not like her socks on when she sleeps. Unless she is in a one piece sleeper she takes her socks off before going to sleep. As of yesterday Zach has discovered that taking his socks off by pushing is fun as well. SOCKS ARE EVIL!

So last night I was exhausted. I was in bed by 9:30pm. I was woken by this small voice "MOMMY, the sock monster has taken my socks", repeated several times. "Lily go to sleep it will be ok." "NO mommy, I NEED my other socks." After several minutes of crying I get up to hand her another pair of socks. SOCKS are EVIL! I barely got back to bed and I hear Zach crying. I checked and it was 3am so he was hungry. Of course he also had managed to lose both of his socks. So after feeding him, I was forced to turn on the light to find the missing socks for his feet! SOCKS are EVIL! So after finally getting his socks back on I went back to bed. Kendall woke up at 6am this morning crying why? Because her feet were cold.. SOCKS are EVIL!

Friday, January 22, 2010

Friday Final 1/21/2010

I am starting to add somethings to the blog. Hopefully this weekend Matt will help me "pimp my blog". I added the list of the blogs I regularly (several times a day) check for great deals.

Yesterday, I had a chance to go out shopping ALONE! Haley watched the babies while I did this and also worked. I decided since I was over half way to Winston, then I would go to Harris Teeter. I spent at least an hour or more going over the sales that had been posted on other blogs as well as pulling out coupons I knew I needed for this trip. Harris Teeter will double up to 20 coupons of 0.99 or less a day. One tip is to always place your "store coupons" as well as "free" coupons last so that they don't get included in the 20. I was really happy with what I was able to purchase although I forgot to buy soup! I spent 32.23 and saved 86.05 or 73%!!!

Prior to going to work I stopped by Food Lion for diapers and brown sugar. I actually made a second trip into Food Lion because a $2.00 off coupon printed at the register and with Diapers already on sale I wanted to use it! I also went to CVS prior to going to work. I did EXCELLENT there, at this store I had 2 separate transactions and I had a third transaction at a CVS next to Harris Teeter. In total out of pocket at CVS was $26.00 saving $39.09 a 60% savings. In addition, I have 10 ECB for next week, a pespi rebate of 7.50 and 2 rain checks to use for the future!I am already making plans for a CVS trip on Sunday with lots of free stuff.

Although I have definitely gone over budget this month with groceries, I am on the right track and should at least come in under next month!

Thursday, January 21, 2010


So I promised this earlier and decided to stick to it and wait till tomorrow to post by good shopping trips! I have used Ebay for several years now(longer than I have been married). I have sold items and bought quite a few things. There are some general rules that I follow anytime I use Ebay.

First selling 1) NEVER pay an insertion fee..currently you are allowed to place 5 items for sell each month with no insertion fee.
2) Never pay for additional anything; pictures, counter, buy it now or anything I don't have to.
3) Start the bid at the lowest price you will accept for the item, include in the price at least a few dollars more than you think because you have to pay the selling fee at the end as well as a fee for people using a credit or debit card on paypal.
4) Only accept cash if they pick the item up or paypal. This takes away 3/4 of the problems with bad payments and headaches. ( I have never had a problem with receiving money via paypal.)
5) State in your ad very clearly that actual shipping will be paid by the buyer. This saves alot of time and headache! This is especially true for large, bulky items. If you don't have a box or packing material that you can use for free then I also include that in the cost of shipping. I am trying to make money not lose it!
6)Only sell or attempt to sell specialty clothing ie wedding dress, maternity swim suits etc.
I have had success selling items such as a broken laptops, cellphone, band instruments and game systems, nursery items etc. The key is to be very specific about the item and its condition as well as your expectations.

I buy probably 10 times as much as I sell on Ebay. I do buy clothes,watches, gifts. The first and most important rule for buying is to include shipping in the cost of the items. So if I am bidding on a pair of jeans and I say ok I will pay $20 for them and the shipping is 12 then I only bid to 7.98. I like to decide on a price and place the bid. Other prefer to watch the item and bid at the last minute. Either is fine but remember to include the price of shipping.


Week in Review

Since I didn't get to post about several of the great deals I got last week and my one not so good shopping trip I am going to update today. I also have a post planned about ebay. Matt and I have decided to try and loss some weight. We are going to use the Atkins method at least this first week to see how things go. He will have an easier time than me but my thought is that I will do my best and not stress over it because when I stress, I eat! Now on to the deals...

On Thursday, the kids and I went to "Goodwill" we were able to find 3 dresses and a shirt for 17.50. We also went over to "Walmart" and purchased 3 pair of tights and both the older girls got tights but $27. and some change. So for $50 we got 3 complete new outfits.

Friday, my friend was helping figure out the decorations for the FLC and we decided that we needed 2 black and white 8x10s of Zach. I uploaded the picture and picked them up from CVS an hour later. I had 8 ECB so the cost of these pictures were $.23!

Saturday's grocery trip to pick up salad items was not a good. We needed to buy most of the ingredients for both the salads. Food Lion was the closest store but we ended up spending $28.00 on these ingredients.

Yesterday(Wednesday) we made a quick trip to Costco for some basics. I don't think we did too bad in comparison to our usual trip. We spent $136 compared to our usual $250. But with the extra food we have purchased this month our total grocery bill is almost $700 for the month.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

I'm Back

My internet connection has been out for the last 3 days so I will be catching up today especially with swag bucks and coupons. There may be multiple post but I will label each if you want to skip to what you are looking for!

What a Weekend

The weekend really started on Friday, a good friend from church came over on Friday to help me cook for Zach’s dedication as well as with the decorations. We got a lot done in the short 4 hours she was here as well as she offered to make the last 2 pies on Saturday for me! By the time I got everyone to bed and the bags all packed for Saturday, it was 10pm.
On Saturday, we left around 8:30 to head to Faith Alliance in Midway for the Bible Quizzing Invitational. Matt and I were the official score keepers for the 18 teams that were present. I was able to watch Haley quiz in the very first round, she even jumped and answered a question correctly!. At 11:30 Matt and Lily left in my van to return to our church for a birthday party for one of Lily’s friends. Lily had an awesome time, a clown came and made balloon animals for everyone as well as face painting. Lily chose a unicorn for one side of her face and then a butterfly was painted on the other side. Unfortunately, my van started acting up with Matt. We have discovered that the transmission is starting to slip. I am upset because the transmission has already been replaced in this van once. It is still drivable and we hope to try some inexpensive fixes later this week. Matt return to Faith and we got all the first 5 rounds tallied before we left to pick up Lily and drop off the little kids at my BFFs’. She watched the kids until we returned around 5 after finishing up the scoring, shopping for the salad ingredients and a quick dinner for the two of us. I wonder if we can consider that our monthly date? I was kinda of disappointed because the salad ingredients that we had to purchase were $28.08 after $4.40 in coupons. My BFF and I used pampered chef tools to prepare both the salads. We had planned on being at the church at around 6pm but really didn’t arrive until 7. Thankful we were able to decorate and assemble and made it home by 8:30pm. Lily was extremely tired and ended up crying all the way home. Saturday night was really rough, the kids had not been sleeping well since Wednesday so Matt and I decided to take shifts on Saturday night. He stayed up and dealt with the little kids until 1pm. I was up at 1:30 with Lily who had thrown up earlier and was “feeling sick” again. Then I was up at 3 and 4 with Zach. Finally at 5:45 I decided I should give up trying to sleep and start getting ready.
Sunday January 17th was Zach’s Dedication at church followed by a dinner for approximately 40 people in our fellowship hall. The menu was: seven layer salad, summer bean salad, Swedish meatballs, marinara meatballs, pineapple meatballs, crockpot lasagna, baked ziti, stuffed shells, spaghetti, garlic bread, chocolate crackers, peanut butter chocolate squares, cream cheese rolls and cream cheese pies. YUMMY! I was so glad all the food turned out wonderfully! Thankfully lots of our friends from church helped with the clean up! Amanda dropped Haley off at the Quiz Invitational where she called to tell me that they were in the championship round, because of a question she answered. I was able to come home get the little girls to bed and then drive out just in time to see the championship round. Haley and her team “Unfruitful Mind” won the entire tournament!
After reading this you probably realize why we have not really missed the Internet or phone this weekend!

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Free Money

Today I decided to try out this website Swagbucks

The concept is cool. You earn 5 swagbucks for signing up..then when you go through the site to search you can win 1-5 swagbucks randomly. I did 2 searches and won 1 swagbuck. You also earn these same swagbucks if someone you referred wins from a search as well.In addition, they "hide" bucks on the site 3-5 times a week. So I am going to tell you how to earn the swagbucks as I come across them. 45 swagbucks is equal to a $5.00 gift card at various stores including which has EVERYTHING! So if you decide to sign up for swagbucks then use my email as your referral PLEASE!

Here is where to locate the swag code for today
There is a new Swag code out worth $1. It expires 1/21.

You need to go to the main page of

Click on Ways to Earn.

Select special offers.

Click on the No Obligation Offers box.

Notice it says this at the top of that page:

Welcome to Swag Bucks Special Offers. Sign up for the free money-saving offers you like,
feel free to skip the rest, and find a special swag code reward at the end.

Skip all the offers by clicking the skip button beneath the advertisement.

After about 7 pages, there will be a Swag code worth $1.

Enter it on in the Enter a Swag Code box.

Thanks to Couponing to Disney

Roll Like That

Zach is so proud of himself, he has learned to roll over. For the last 2 weeks, when laid on his back he would attempt to roll over to his stomach. He always get caught on his side. So I was expecting him to start making it all the way over fairly soon. This morning when I got him up he was on his back. He sleeps at night on his stomach so I knew he had rolled over but figured it was just an “accident”. Nope not with him, at church while I was taking Angel Food orders, I laid a blanket down so he could lay out and wiggle. I laid him on his stomach and over he went. So of course , I called his daddy and he did it twice more while I was on the phone. He still gets stuck going from back to stomach but lay him on his stomach and he is going to roll like that!

Hats I Wear

I have been working on the posting in my head for several days now. I will go ahead and explain this may be my longest post to date because I am writing while at the church taking Angel Food orders, Lily and Kendall are at Tumble Tots and Zach is asleep at my feet. My plan is to do an introduction series; me, each of the kids and Matt. The reason to spend so much time on this is that I want to be able to have a copy of this 20 years from now, so that I can remember where we came from and how much we have changed. I realize that I forget the little things that make life interesting. This became very apparent the other day when Haley asked what she wore for her Dedication. She was never dedicated but I don’t remember what was going on when she was small that we didn’t do it. I hope through this blog that I will remember more of the little things about Lily, Kendall and Zach. One of the most interesting things that I have ever read was written by Matt’s mother before her death. His sister Sue had encouraged her to write down her life story. Although this was written prior to me even meeting Matt it is amazing and interesting to read. Because of her death when Lily was only 4 months old, this story will be Lily’s as well as Kendall’s and Zach’s connection to their grandmother. So I am hoping that one day my children, grandchildren and great grandchildren will want and enjoy a connection to me through copies of this blog. Matt’s mother and sister’s death have taught me that connections and history are important. I don’t think this explains what I am trying to say but it is the best I can come up with!

Who am I- I am going to make a list and then comment as I want to 

Child of God/Christian- I have a personal relationship with my Lord and Savior. I have been a Christian since I was a small child but have strayed several times in my life. But no matter what was going on in my life, I always knew that my God was with me. In the future I may chose to blog more about the times I strayed in my teenage years and again as I enjoy the “freedom” of being a single adult but for now there is no need :P.

Mother- I deliberately placed this ahead of wife because Matt will tell you that from the start of our relationship there has never been any doubt that my children come first. I realize that this may not be the “correct or best “ thing but it is a fact. I am the proud mother of Amanda (18) Haley (14) Lily (4) Kendall (18 months) and Zach (4 months). A post in the future will be dedicated to each and everyone who I love equally! Currently I am a SAHM (Stay at home mother). At this point with the 3 little ones I see no way that I could work a full-time job or even a steady part time job, unless Matt would change and be home. Being a SAHM is one of the things that Matt and I decided prior to having any one child together and I plan to remain at home at least part-time until Zach is in Kindergarten. At that point I would like to work only the hours that everyone is in school. This worked well during the time that Haley and Amanda were in school that I had the financial luxury of doing it! Now if I can just figure out the Stay at home part, meaning it seems that bare minimal of 2 days a week I am out of the house doing something.


Occupational Therapist- It is hard to imagine that in high school, I saw a video and said “That is what I want to do.” But that honestly is what happened and I have never regretted that decision. I went straight from HS to Stanly Community College for 2 years and received my Associate of Science degree in Occupational Therapy. At that time you were able to go to work while you waited to take your boards. I worked in all types of settings but knew and enjoyed working with children the most. Until today, there has only been a period of 6 months that I have not worked in the field. During that 6 months I ended up taking a job in a daycare but got right back into the school system. I knew early on that I wanted to get my Bachelor degree so that I could work independently with the need of a supervisor. My BFF and I met by chance just prior to starting Stanly and after riding together 2 hours a day we because best friends. Now 18 years later we are still best friends, (sounds like another post!). The reason I mentioned BFF was that together we decided to attend WSSU to complete our Bachelors. We found out that our credit were so old that the majority would not transfer so we began taking classes online. It took 2 years of full time credit hours and some summer session to finish the class required before we could enter the COTA to OTR program. The program was class every other weekend for 2 years and then 6 months of field work. This program was ideal for me because Amanda and Haley spend every other week with their father. I (God) worked things out so that I attended class on the weekends that I did not have the girls. Amazingly enough I was 6 months into this program that I met Matt.

West Piedmont Bible Quizzing Zone Coordinator- Currently this means that I am a quizmaster and head scorekeeper. I also pull questions for the majority of the quizzes during the year, we (Matt and I) help at Invitational in January, this year we are doing the scores. I also manage the scholarship for our zone as well as the checkbook and fees.

Angel Food Coordinator at our church. Angel Food will also have its own post  probably next month while I sit here!

So I think this pretty much describes all the roles I assume in life right now. Plus I have been writing for an hour and need to stretch! I am going to post this goal as well so that hopefully if Matt reads this he will help! I plan to get a picture on my blog of at least me in the next week!

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Blogging Boldly

One of the reason that I felt I should start this blog was MckMama and her ongoing discussion about blogging boldly not just the happy easy stuff. You would think this would be easier for me as I only have a few people who will ever read this but that is not the case. I had intended to blog everyday and yesterday was the second day I missed. I had composed a blog post in my head Monday night but then it hit me; "I have a goal to blog everyday but not to spend time in Scriptures." Ouch, where are my priorities at, my blog before God. So I decided that until I figured out a realistic time for me to at least read and pray everyday I would not blog. I know myself and if I don't figure out where something fits in my routine it won't happen on a regular basis. So now I have decided that I will have my personal devotion time at night right before I go to bed. This worked last night and I am hoping to make it a habit. I am hoping to post another post(the one in my head) later today but who knows as we are heading to Walmart for pictures this morning!

Monday, January 11, 2010


Okay so I have already missed one day of blogging. But hey that is life and Sunday (yesterday) was so busy that I just did not have time :P.

This weeks looks really busy from the outside but I keep telling myself that it is normal and I have more time than I think. I pray this is the truth. Today, my BFF came over this morning to hang out before she had to go to work. It was awesome, I enjoyed talking to her and we got to catch up on things. For the rest of the day, I need to do at least 3 loads of laundry, working on getting the snow village down so I can clean the living room, make the peanut butter desert for Sunday. Tuesday, I have to start working on organizing Tax information which includes a major cleaning of the file cabinets. I also need to get the chocolate crackers made for the Dedication. The weather is predicting flurries so Haley may be at home. Wednesday, finish up the stuff I didn't get to on Monday or Tuesday and clean the house! Thursday most of the day is spent on Angel Food. I will be at the church from 10-1 and then Matt is there from 5-6. Friday, Nancy is coming to watch the kids in the morning so I can cook.......

Ok I can do it :)

Saturday, January 9, 2010

A Stay at Home Day

Yesterday, as I was stalking other blogs I was impressed with the idea of DITL (Day in the Life of).The original idea is to document in pictures several times this year a day. Well I just don't think I can remember to take a picture of everything we do in a day but I want to be able to look back 5 years from now and remember how busy I was and not wonder why I didn't accomplish more while I was not working on a regular basis. So instead I am going to write about our day. Yesterday was a Friday that we had no commitments outside the house.

The day started at 7:05 when I realized that the alarm didn't go off and everyone had slept late. Luckily for us Haley's school was delayed 2 hours so it was not a huge rush. The little girls had cereal at the picnic table in the office as they watched "Playhouse Disney." I cleaned up the kitchen, folded a load of clothes, got lunch for Haley together and checked email and blogs. Zach had a MAJOR explosion that required a bath as well. By 9:30 Matt and Haley were out the door. Lily, Kendall and I did our "home preschool." Kendall listens to calender then colors on paper. Lily actually is working on writing her numbers, reviewing the uppercase alphabet, and other preschool things. Lily works about an hour on several different things. After preschool Zach is hungry and so are the girls. For lunch yesterday, Lily and Kendall had a grilled cheese sandwich. Naps are a must with everyone down and asleep by 12:30 when Zach woke up. I started working on dinner around 2 and between checking the computer and the kids it was ready at 4:30pm. Lily helped me make Mandarin upside down cakes for desert and I tried a new recipe for Autumn Chicken casserole. Haley finished Driver's Ed at 5 and had to be picked up. After dinner I spent about 45 minutes locked in the bathroom and on the time! Haley and Matt had play practice from 7:00 till 9pm. Kendall got in the bath with me at the end and was in bed at 6:30. Lily had a bubble bath and was in bed at 7:30. Zach got a bath after Matt got home and was in bed around 9:30. I started taking down the Snow village while watching "ALL MY Children." I got to bed around 10:30 with Zach waking at 2 to eat and again at 6am.

A normal day :)

Friday, January 8, 2010

Friday Final

Ok so I "borrowed with no intention of returning" the name of today's post, but I like it!
I did make the trip to Harris Teeter on Wednesday, a friend called and asked me to go with her because of "super doubles". This means that instead of doubling 20 coupons per day up to $.99 they will double coupons up to $1.98. To prepare for this trip, I first printed out the item from Southern Savers
this ended up being about 10 items. I then looked through my coupons and pulled out ones that were over $.99 on items that I would use. I also added two items I needed anyway. My list ended up being 25 items, with my personal coupons I also wrote down how much off each items the coupon would be and what was the limit I would pay for this item. For example, International delight coffee creamer 1.50/1,if less than 2.25. This was the ideal thing for me! I was able to go to the store and know if I wanted to buy things or not. I did take my coupon book which was good because I ended up using 2 different coupons than I had pulled out. I bought only the items I had coupons for except for bread which was on a great sale. Harris Teeter is higher than Food Lion on most items so I will plan only going on "Super Doubles or Triples."
Total from Harris Teeter Spent $44.77 saved $60.45 with $57.00 being in coupons.

I made 2 trips to CVS this week. On the first trip I spent $2.97 and purchased 3 Diet Cokes, a gallon of milk and a loaf of bread. The second trip spent $44.09 and saved $74.53. For both these trips I made sure I pulled list of things on sale that I wanted and had coupons for and used ECB. I did do 3 transactions on my second trip because I had a $5/20 and $5/30. I scanned my card when I entered the store and got a $4/20. This must be rang up before any coupons to work!.

Since this is my regular week for shopping I also went to Food Lion spent $42.17 and saved 17.32. I also went to Costco spent $165. So total for the month so far in groceries is $432.85. This is about $150 less than my average from last year and we will need diapers and more milk,bread before the end of the month but I am feeding 50 people for Zach's dedication so for now I am pleased!

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Couponing- The Beginning

One of the reason that I feel a strong "push" to start this blog to share how I am saving money. I don't make New Year Resolution but this year I did set several goals:

Get out of debt except for the house and car.
Finish the addition. (This will be a whole blog of it's own, I got to
have something to write about)
Go on a week long vacation to the beach.

All of these involve money. At this point both DH and I agree that I NEED to be home. So me working more is not an option for my family right now so saving money is the way that I am helping in achieving our goals. So couponing and shopping sales,consignments,and ebaying all help me save money. There are a couple of "catches" for me using coupons. First I HATE going to the grocery store. Second is DH's pay schedule. Third trying to get all 3 of the little one in a car and then shopping well that is just impossible by myself. So I am working to make this as easy as possible and to use as little time as possible. Looking at our expenses for 2009 on average we were spending $579 a month on food. This was our largest bill except for the house payment. So it made sense for me to start working on reducing that bill. I was shopping sales but not using coupons. I "tried" to only go shopping twice a month.

So now that I have written where we started, here is what has changed. First we began ordering Angel Food. If you are not familiar with Angel Food, check out their site ( I budget $100 a month to purchase food this way. Angel Food has no income requirement and it is a nation wide program. The site will help you find something close to you. The food is AWESOME! We regularly buy a signature box and a fruit and veggie box. Most months, we also purchase one or more of the meat/chicken boxes. Now for the coupons. I started by going through my mother's Saturday paper, there is no Sunday paper in this town. I clipped all the coupons I "thought" I would use. I organized them in a notebook using baseball card holders into categories. I daily check these websites, ( , and Caringwithcoupons. I prints lots of the coupons, but only ones I know I will probably use and have signed up for anything free that is useful!
So far I have shopped at Food Lion, CVS and one trip to Harris Teeter for "super doubles." At budgetsavingmom, she has a guide on how to get started. This is an excellent way to start. I did save up my coupons for about a month before really starting but I don't see any need in buying multiple papers to get the coupons. I am trying to have the smallest expense up front so I have not bought anything extra. This is the start, my plan is to post another post on my actual shopping this week!

Work in Progress

I have just started blogging. I really feel this is what I am to be doing this year. So I am going to try and blog at least once a day for the first year. Later today I am going to write about my couponing adventure. I just got organized about a month ago but am so proud of myself with what I am accomplishing. I plan to use this blog as a way to help other figure out how to save money but most importantly it will be a way for me to talk to myself :). Time to feed the little girls lunch!