Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Wordless Wednesday






Successful Shopping Sunday



This is the picture of my "nap" trip to CVS on Sunday. I spent $23 and saved $71, 75% savings. I did split this up into 3 separate transactions. ECB were only given on the first purchase of diapers but because of the coupons I had ($3/1) and with rolling ECB. I decided to stock up. I only counted the drinks and diapers in when calculating prices because these are the items I would "normally" buy. The cost of diapers was at $0.08 each for all 5 packs.



My 3rd and final trip to Harris Teeter for Triples was this afternoon also. Matt decided that he and the little kids would go with me. He admitted he wanted to see how this was done. I was not expecting this to be as profitable as it was. I had a $4./ off shopping order from my second trip and was able to earn another $4 off by separating this into two transactions. I spent $26 and saved $56 for 69% savings.

For the day I spent $49 and saved $127, 72% overall savings.

At Harris Teeter this week I have spent a total of $95 and saved $172 or a total of 64%. I am very excited that the currently plan for April is only to buy Angel Food and things we run out of like Laundry Powder. This should let us reduce the grocery budget by $300 for the month!

Monday, March 29, 2010

Easter Egg Hunt

On Saturday, the church, actually the young married couples SS class, hosted an Easter Egg Hunt. It was AWESOME! We were so surprised to see that it was an afternoon of fun. Enjoy the pictures!


Lily got an Egg painted on her face. She was not sure about even touching the bunny but later she did rub "Buddy" the dog!


This was one of Kendall's favorite things ! She and Lily actually played together in this for a long time


Zach just "hung around" with his dad most of the afternoon. Lily also enjoy "tossing the eggs.

I had planned to upload a couple of other pictures but blogger is not working so I give up!

Monday Menu Post 3-29

I am really like posting my menus on Monday. Last week we change things up a little bit because I had a ton of potatoes that were starting to go bad so on Thursday I made a huge batch. We tried the Dion mustard beef steaks from Angel Food. They were actually ok, I broiled instead of using the grill because it was raining. I took some of the potatoes to make a Shepard Pie for dinner on Friday. This actually turned out really good and we will have for lunch several days this week. I still have a LARGE bowl left so I am thinking of freezing or making potato cakes for a breakfast for dinner night!
I am also trying something new, typing it up on Saturday when I had some extra time and schedule to be posted on Monday. Let's hope it works.

This weeks Menu:
Monday: Ranch chicken, sweet potato cassrole, and of course mash potatoes and slaw
Tuesday: Spaghetti and Garlic bread
Wednesday: Crock pot chicken with onions and carrots (slow cooker recipe)
Thursday : Pork chops (not sure how)
Friday: Breakfast for Dinner

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Adventures in Couponing

I have been debating how much information to put in this one post.. but think I have decided to keep this a general post of all things related to coupons and not include my actual trips today. I saved a ton at both CVS and Harris Teeter! I will share about these in a separate post so I can "link up " on several of the blog I read! So this is a tidbit post!

Since posting pictures of my Harris Teeter trip on Wednesday, Lily has asked several times to see the picture. After the second time, I started wondering why.... So she looks at the picture and says "Mommy, where is THAT gum?" Since gum is a treat around here, I gave Matt a pack and hide the others. Lily has figured this out and since she didn't know the name of the game to ask for, she figured out that she can look at the picture and ask where certain things are since she has proof I have bought them.

Yesterday on our way home from the Easter Egg hunt, which was awesome! I reminded Matt that I wanted to get a paper with 3 coupon inserts this week. We literally checked 10 different paper boxes before locating a single local paper at 4pm in the afternoon. I was totally shocked but guess that someone has figured out that $.50 for the Saturday paper with coupons is better than $1.50 for the Sunday "big city" paper!
Speaking of papers, I am still currently only buying one paper but usually I get the majority of coupons each week from my mother and several of the ladies at church have started bringing me coupons as well. On Wednesday I received a whole envelope full, this lady sent them on Wednesday instead of Sunday because she knew I wanted to go to triples. Today I had someone else bring me diaper coupons! I am definitely becoming known as the coupon lady or as the lady who used ALOT of coupons!

Matt and the little kids all went to Harris Teeter with me this afternoon. He told me last night he thought it would be fun to go as a family. He actually wanted to see what I was buying and saving! I think he was impressed! He did say that his favorite part was watching the amount of tax go down with each coupon!

I am done shopping for the week and actually think that I may skip the Costco trip in April because of the stockpile we have now! I am excited! I do plan to go to CVS weekly depending on the deals but no more trip to Harris Teeter until Supers!




Saturday, March 27, 2010

Random Thoughts

I like to do little blurbs about our life and I also want to be able to sort blog post by labels so if I ever get some followers (don't you want to be the first?) then you can skip the post that don't interest you.

Matt bought and put up a new clothes line for me on Thursday. Clothes line have gotten to be expensive. So I determined that in order to make it "worth" the expense, I will need to hang up at least 100 loads of clothes this summer. So far, I have the 4th one on the line now and am planning to hang up a load of towels to decide if I can handle those on the lines. I LOVE sheets and in fact will hang them out even in snow! I remembered on Thursday how nice it is to hang "dress/causal" clothes up because they come out looking almost pressed! I refuse to hang out underwear or the little kids clothes ....too much work!

I was super EXCITED on Thursday to be featured on Caring with Coupons with my trip to Harris Teeter. I was hoping a couple of people would click over and decide to come back! I called Matt at work and Amanda at school to have them see it!

I worked 10 hours on Friday. This was an extremely long day for me and I really missed the kids. I was pleasantly surprise to come home and the house not totally destroyed, supper ready and the little kids feed. I hope not to do this again in the near future but am glad to know that I can handle it if I have to.

Zach has been eating ALOT, especially during the day and even waking every 3-5 hours at night. I was wondering if my milk production had slowed down and when I pumped yesterday after 6 hours I only got 3 ozs. So after talking to Matt last night we decided it would be best for everyone if we moved him to formula. Matt went to Walmart last night and learned that soy formula is expensive it was $15 for a week or less supply. I am planning to use up the rest of my stash and probably all of my quarterly ECB to buy up some. I also plan after a week or so to "mix in" one a day at first regular formula to see if he has an reaction. I am hoping that we can isolate better exactly what cause the reaction and not just assume it is milk. If this doesn't work then Soy formula it will be! This morning it took almost 45 minutes for him to get hungry enough for a bottle. We are going to try several different ones today and hopefully by Monday get him straighten out!

Matt is hard at work in the big bathroom with plans to seal the gout, hang the door and finish the closet today. We also NEED to get our yard mowed and some outside stuff straighten up but we will see. The little girls have an Easter egg hunt today from 1-3 and my plan is to go back to Harris Teeter either tonight or Sunday for my final trip. It is busy but also manageable!

Harris Teeter 2nd trip

I returned Thursday night to Harris Teeter for my 2nd of 3 planned tripped. This trip took a little bit longer and was more expensive but overall I am pleased. I spent $54.91 and saved $55.64 so a little over 50%. I ended up buying 14 more containers of baby food to use the coupon I received from the last trip. I also bought Graham cracker crumbs without a coupon to use for the desert Haley is responsible for this weekend. I did receive a $4 off my next order so that will be nice on my final trip. I need to sit back down go through and make a new list to make sure I use at least 20 coupons on the final trip. This trip will probably be the most expensive since I will be purchasing items that are not on sale but I have a coupon for that triples and are items that we normally use!

I did realize that I am ok with saving only 50%-75% because we like certain items and I would buy some or most just on sale for the same price or more without the triple coupons!

Thursday, March 25, 2010

82% Savings at CVS and Harris Teeter

Yesterday was the first day of Triple coupons at Harris Teeter. I have been working and planning for this for the past couple of day. I would estimate a total of 2 uninterrupted hours but it ended up beginning 4 for me. My plan is this I will shop 3 times. Yesterday the trip focused on "free items" but I also picked up 10 packs of baby food because they were on "sale" and I had store coupons which did not double. I spent a total of 30 minutes in the store because I had a list printed and my coupons were sorted by "free", "good deals" and "check". On my first time through the store, I picked up the wrong band of taco seasoning so I went back and got just the two packs that I needed. The coupon for 0.75 off 2 would not go through so she had to call a manager to put it in. So it tripled and the register showed I owed 0.26. She looks at me and says "I guess you get it free."

I spent $14.45 and saved $60.15.

After Harris Teeter I made a quick trip to CVS, unfortunately somewhere in the store, I lost my card so now I have to call to get my new and old card linked. I want to be sure and get my quarterly ECB in April. I bought 1 pk of Pampers size 5 and 2 packs of skittles and 2 packs of Starburst. I had a BOGO coupon from facebook for each so I used a filler to reach my $10 because of a 3 off 10 from Walgreens. So OOP I spent $1.73 and walked out with 3 ECB!

Total savings was $75 and OOP was 17.22 for 82% saving! I will be heading back to Harris Teeter tonight for my second trip!

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Happy Birthday Haley

So today is Haley's 15th birthday. I have been debating on what to include in this blog today. I had debated on just making this a post about how awesome and special Haley is to me right now or doing a post about her "birth" day. I decided to post the later because as each year passes I am sure I forget some of the important details that one day Haley will want to know.

So Haley was born on a Tuesday. I was employed with Health Focus and at that time, it was a perfect job for a working mother and especially one that was pregnant. I actually started this job on the day I found out I was pregnant. I took a test in the bathroom of one of the facilities I worked at because my bf bought it on our lunch. You were paid for full time as long as you were able to cover all the patients at the 3 facilities I covered. So I just didn't feel great that morning and decided to hang out at home until after Amanda's nap. I only had 2 patients to see that day. I was laying in the bed watching "All My Children." My plan was to drop Amanda off at daycare and go to work at 2ish. But Haley of course had different plans. My water broke during the show. It was not the gush you hear about. I called my mom and she insisted that I go to the doctor. In fact I called and she and Dad met me there.

Amanda and Pawpaw went to go find Destry because even though I had already called and asked that he met me at the hospital we didn't think, he would get the message. Of course we were correct and Pawpaw drove in behind his cement truck just as he was going out on another run.

I was admitted to the hospital and IMMEDIATELY wanted pain medicine. Unfortunately the meds slow and almost stopped my labor. The meds began to wear off at 5 pm and Haley was born just before 6pm. After Destry arrived I sent my mom and dad home with Amanda and Destry's mom home as well. It was during this delivery that I realize I like to be left alone.

After Haley was born, Amanda arrived back at the hospital within half an hour to see her new sister. We had done a good job preparing Amanda that I would have to stay in the hospital but we forgot to tell her the baby would too. The nurses were awesome and took a polarid picture which Amanda took home and carried with her for the next 3 days to show anyone what her new sister looked like. I still have the picture and you can see the finger prints from where it was carried around. This was also the beginning of a tradition that has continued with all 5 kids. Haley brought Amanda a purse with crayons in it!

Haley is super excited today because she got the call last night that she starts the driving part of Driver's ed today. She was awake before 6am to start celebrating. Hopefully tomorrow I can post a couple of pictures.

Monday, March 22, 2010

CVS ROCKS!

I made my "trip at nap" to CVS on Sunday. I ended up with 2 rainchecks from last week after 3 trips to find the "Princess and the Frog" DVD for Easter. So I decided to check once again to see if they got any in. They did !!! So I spent OOP $24 and saved $58 with 6 ECB to use next week on the Huggies diaper deal that I hear they are having. I had a savings of 71%, my personnel highest this year!
I wanted to highlight a couple of things I bought. The DVD on raincheck was $19.99 with 3 ECB back with purchase. I ended up paying $10.85 for this as my first transaction. My second transaction included both soap and toothpaste to donate as well as a couple of bags of candy to donate as well. My third transaction was the best. I purchased 2 bags of diapers, total OOP was $5.84 and I earned 6ECB back. I was so excited, by the math I paid $0.08 per diaper!!!!!

I also had to go to Food Lion to purchase some baby food. Zach is eating 6 jars a day and I am trying to only buy with coupons and when on sale.

Future deals this week should also help manage the budget this month. Harris Teeter is having a triple coupon event and I have already started my list which will entail at least 2 trips depending on the sales this week, which will post later today. CVS is scheduled to have Huggies diapers on sale next week and I have recently printed 4 $3 off coupons. I should be able to get at least one free pack of diapers !!!

Monday Menu Post 3-22

I know I have not posted in 6 days but man have we been busy! I am planning to catch up with several post today as well as a very special post tomorrow in honor of Haley's birthday! But first is the Menu Plan for this week. Angel Food arrived on Saturday so we have A LOT to chose from. Most likely things will change this week as it goes along but at least now I can say that I have a plan. I am planning on using some of Haley's favorite food this week as well! The goal is to have a fruit and veggie with each meal to keep us a little bit health.

Monday- Grilled chicken, slaw, potato salad, pasta salad and a new fruit dish( secret apple salad)
Tuesday- Chicken nuggets, mac and cheese, applesauce, birthday cake and ice cream
Wednesday- Spaghetti, garlic bread
Thursday- Bacon wrapped Turkey fillets (angel food) Not sure of the veggies to add in yet. Maybe a broccoli rice casserole.
Friday- I am working ALL DAY! So I am thinking either we pick up pizza or we could have the frozen pizza or pizza bites depending on what the girls have for lunch as well!

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Wordless Wednesday



Back to Work

Yesterday I found out that I had won a $25 gift card to Outback from one of the blogs that I stalk (ooops I mean follow on a regular basis). So I am excited maybe Matt and I will go out for a date night?

Now on to the other news in our world, I am officially returning to work part-time. The not so good news is that it starts today instead of May when I first agreed. On Monday morning, my bff called from Lexington Hospital to tell me that I need to first decide how much I was willing to do and then call the department head because she was going to "ask/budget" for more OT hours.

I love being a SAHM, it is what I wanted even before Lily was born. I have been able to completely stay at home for several months at a time when each of the little kids were born. With Lily I was completely at home for 9 months and then worked around Matt and the girls schedule for about 6 months to cover a long maternity level. From that point on I worked one morning a week, Lily had discovered a wonderful mother's morning out at Tumble tots. Sometimes I would work 2 or 3 days but no more. After Kendall, I requested and was promised a 12 week leave with no work. That changed when she was 4 weeks old and the OT that was at the hospital was leaving. I knew that eventually (probably 4 years from then) I wanted to work at least school hours and the hospital is the one of the best places to do so. So we decided in order to keep that as a possibility I would again start part-time (around 10 hours a week). We were lucky enough to find Nana Carol to watch Kendall. She was awesome and I could not have been more loving or taken better care of Kendall as an infant myself. After 6 months almost exactly a year ago , I realized this was not working and with Zach on the way, I just could not handle the stress of running a department. So luckily my bff took the job as the full time OT at Lexington Memorial Hospital. I have continued to do some prn (as needed) work and took an entire 4months off after Zach was born.

Now back to the phone call, so after discussion with Matt and a look at financially what I would have to get to make my part-time return beneficial for us. I decided that I could go back for a minimum of 4 hours per week with a maximum of 15 hours per week. I had said this would start the first of May when Amanda would be able to watch the kids and then the plan this summer is to split things up with Lily and Kendall going to Tumble tots and Haley with Zach and/or Amanda and Haley watching all 3. Next fall, Lily will start preschool 3 days a week and both Zach and Kendall can go to Tumble Tots if needed or stay with Amanda. The department head was very happy with this arrangement so I thought I would wait it out and deal with the change then.
Yesterday, I got two calls one is for a class/workshop on Thursday night that I need to finish my continuing education hours for the year. The second, they NEED me to work today and start helping with in- patients. So after picking up Haley from school this afternoon it is off to work I go!

Monday, March 15, 2010

Monday Menu Post 3-15

I really don't feel like blogging right now..in fact I would prefer to be sleeping (naptime). But in an effort to post often on my blog and so that I actually can say I have a plan for the week, I am going to start Monday Menu Post. Last week we went off track because I realized I did not have any mozzarella cheese on Tuesday for the chicken. I guess the fact that we only ate out on Sunday was a good thing :) So now on to the plan

Monday-Steaks (angel food) Leftover sides from the fridge and green beans
Tuesday -Roast with potatoes and carrots (microwavable)
Wednesday- Baked Ziti (Leftover from Saturday)
Thursday- Shrimp Scampi (Bagged meal)
Friday- Mexican night aka I have not a clue

Friday, March 12, 2010

Random Thoughts and Friday Final combined

So it is Friday but it has been a slow week as far as great deals but I wanted to make sure I blogged today since this weekend is going to be busy! I was so hoping for Harris Teeter triples this week, which has been rumored for March but no such luck! So I had to go out yesterday for diapers for Kendall and baby food. I was able to get a good deal on diapers at Walgreens but not the 2.19, I was hoping for. I hit Food Lion for the baby food and also for a couple of items I needed for the Baked ziti and garlic bread for the youth progressive dinner. The good news is that I still have around 200 left in the grocery budget for the month. This is a first but I also realize that I will probably spend that and more next week at Costco. They have both diapers and wipes on sale!

Last night we made a trip to Lowes to return some extras we had from the tile. We were able to return and purchase the same amount :). The plan is to work in the bathroom this weekend and get it ready for inspection. At this point we are probably around 1000 from inspection! I can't wait for this so we can begin the re-financing and finally get started on the Dave Ramsey plan!

Today, my plan is to clean the living room and kitchen and also get the Baked Ziti in the fridge for tomorrow. I am going to try something new and start my cleaning out there and see if that will work! All the kids are feeling better at least they are acting better. Lily has decided that ice cream is her favorite food and she insisted that I check my pictures this morning to find a picture of her eating ice cream as a baby. Of course I could not find one but she is okay now. Kendall learned to call Cocoa the cat yesterday and it is now her favorite thing to do!

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Wordless Wednesday

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Back to the Doctor's

On Sunday, I decided that Lily and probably Zach needed to go back to the doctor's. After being on antibiotics for a week, Lily had a fever and Zach was shaking his head. The big question was rather Kendall should be seen at the same time. Sunday night was the confirmation that a trip to the doctor was needed. I have been told before that with 3 kids in order to have them all seen at the same time I needed 2 adults present. Not a big deal, Matt took off the morning to help with the sick kiddos. So we dropped Haley off at school and headed straight to Salisbury. It was close to 8:30 when we arrived for the walk in clinic. Things got a little wild when, one of the CMAs asked how I wanted to split up the kids. I did ask if they could be seen together but of course the answer was NO. GRRRR, I am frustrated but decided to send Kendall with Matt since she was the "least" sick. Lily's ears were still infected, Zach had one ear that was still infected. Kendall comes out with Matt and now has a double ear infection and needs breathing treatments 3-4 times a day. WOW now I am so glad we took Kendall, she technically is the sickest even tho Matt forgot/didnt ask for the official diagnosis!
Yesterday was a long day but I *think* the meds are working because everyone feels so much better this morning!
Lily new glasses came in as well! So we went and picked them up...

She looks so much older with them!

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Menu Planning for March 8th

Last week worked out well except for Monday when we ate out because of the trip to the doctor. So we ended up not have the Chicken Cacciatore. I have moved it to this week although Matt keeps insisting that his was better but he does not know how he made it. One of the blogs I follow Couponing to Disney has a challenge this month to not eat out! I am going to try this because we had decided to try and cut back on eating out so get out spending under control. Weekend are always the hardest because I hate cooking 3 meals a day, much less the clean up but this weekend we did it :)! Next weekend should be easy as well, because they are having a dinner after church! Now on to the plan

Monday Stuffed Green Peppers
Tuesday Chicken Cacciatore
Wednesday: Pork Chops (Angel Food) plan to try a sweet potatoe pie recipe as well and make some form of Carrots to use up those as well.
Thursday: Shrimp Scampi (Bagged meal on sale)
Friday: Mexican night of some form? Not quite sure yet!
Saturday night: Youth Progressive dinner (Baked Ziti)

Sunday Drive

2 girls, one blond and one brunette,in a Jeep Hurricane,top down,wind blowing thur their hair, sunglasses on with songs blaring from the radio like "You give Love a Bad Name" and "Hotel California." Sounds like a scene from a movie or at least a really good dream Right?


This is the scene from our movie/life this afternoon. It was complete with lines like "Turn the radio off Kendall so I can FOCUS on the Tom Tom." "I am going North." and " I can't hear the Tom because the music is so loud." Matt and I were in stitches just listening. Today it was 60 and sunny most of the afternoon.

We have returned to our normal NC weather here is a picture from Wednesday:

Haley was out of school because of the snow and she and Lily made this snowman!

Unfortunately, the germs have also returned to NC with full force. Lily has started running a fever again. She and I both have definitely had some form of a stomach virus this weekend. Zach is miserable in every position but being held by me and Kendall's has a green runny nose and blew out a diaper while I ran to CVS today. Matt and I are trying to come up with a plan to get all three back to the Doctor tomorrow to try and get something to make any and all feel better!

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Sick

This whole week has been fast and difficult. I am posting on Saturday morning but this is my Friday night post.

Monday... Matt came home early from work and we picked up Kendall's new glasses. We took Lily and Kendall to the doctor. Lily has a double ear infection and Kendall has the start of one.

Tuesday- Snow day. I went to work while Haley watched the girls. I worked 4 hours!

Wednesday- Honestly I can't remember anything about this day :)

Thursday- Lily started with a fever and complaining of her stomach hurting. She actually woke up in the middle of the night and threw up. On Thursday evening I started feeling really really bad. I attempted to go to bed at 8pm but was up ALOT this night.

Friday- Ibuprofen really helped me feel better. Amanda watched the little ones while I worked for 3 hours today. Both Kendall and Zach are whiney and probably have the same stomach bug as Lily and I. Amanda also is sick!

What a week! YUCK!

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Kendall's New Glass





First I want to remember that at the end of the year, I can print my blog to a book. I will continue to scrapbook but this will be a neat way to review the year! Kinda like a journal. Now on to the important stuff. Yesterday both girls were whiney. So we decided that we would take both to the doctor to have them checked. Lily has been running a low grade fever for almost a week now! Kendall's and my glass also were ready to pick up. The pictures are from this morning! It turns out that Lily has a double ear infection and Kendall is starting with one so they both are on antibiotics.

Monday, March 1, 2010

February In Review

So it is that time again, a new month...so here is how I did last month with the goals I have set for the year.

Budgeting- Our grocery budget was over by 263 but I feel that we are finally able to monitor and buy most items only on good or stockpile prices. I have been able to start my stockpile. In other areas because of tax refunds we have caught up with our bills. I am still going to work hard at paying off the extra medical bills we have from the past 2 years aka 2 babies. But for the present, we are in our best financial situation in two years. We have a guy coming to tile the new bathroom this week paid in cash. Now we have to purchase a water heater, door, and sink prior to having it inspected and attempting to refinance. In other budget news, we purchased a chest freezer for $50 yesterday :).

Preschool- We had about 10 days of snow this month with the girls home from school or as Lily said too cold and yucky. I did manage to squeeze in 3 formal days of preschool and have started working on letter sounds with Lily all through out the day. So not really a good month on this front but I did order a new lower case letter book for her and we will hopefully get back on track this month!

Reading- This was a really really bad month. I am going to try and make this more of a part of my nightly routine. This is definitely my weakest area this month and needs the most improvement.

Blogging- I had 14 post in February. So not bad...

Encouragement WELCOME!!!

Menu Planning for March 1st

I have figured out that by writing things down they are more likely to get done :0) so I am going to attempt to keep more of my daily life information on my blog! Menu planning is something I do alot in my head but I either forget or get sidetracked so I think that by doing it here I am be more likely to stick to it. I do realize that if I do a menu plan then I am less likely to eat out or be tempted to grab something to eat here. Both of these are really expensive for feeding the 6 of us right now. Matt and I have agreed to try and limit lunches to one out a week and one meal out a week as a family. This way we can enjoying going out to eat and it still remains a "treat" instead of expected. Also I will try and comment to remember if we liked this and if it should go in the "fix again stack."

Monday - Sausage Apple Skillet Menu (New) Using all Angel Food (update both girls at the doctors so we ate out)
Tuesday -Chicken Cacciatore Costco Home Cooking p139
Wednesday - Chicken Pie (trying different crust)
Thursday - T- bone steaks- Angel Food
Friday - Mexican night- Taco rice, dip ???? depending on what I decided

I am not going to plan for Saturday and Sunday as these days we eat differently and I usually have one "meal" and the other two are snacks or convenience foods. This is also the most likely time we will go out to eat. Sunday is also the day that we eat at Granny and Papaw's.