Friday, July 30, 2010


I just need to unburden some weight from my shoulders. I don't want to do it via my Facebook status, because although other people read my blog, I don't feel as if I'm letting the whole world know on here like I do on Facebook.

For the last week I have been drying my clothes outside, and while this is a nice eco-friendly thing to do, the real reason I'm doing it is to try to save some money somewhere. By two weeks into the month we were out of money. We had gas money left, but that ran out a little over a week ago, and so I have been home-bound since Sunday. I don't understand what goes wrong every month. We seem to keep cutting back on expenses and somehow keep having less and less money. We did have some medical expenses pop up this month, and since we can't keep our heads above water for normal expenses, we definitely don't have the saving account that we should have. I've reverted to doing dishes by hand as well, instead of using the dishwasher. I hate doing dishes. But, oh well. I'd love to get to the point where I'm stockpiling groceries and necessities so that we're not spending so much on groceries each month, but I can't even get us enough food to last us a month, let alone stockpile. Sometimes I struggle with being annoyed that my husband gets fed good food for lunch at work--all you can eat--while I may completely skip breakfast and lunch because there is nothing to eat or because if I eat something it means I won't have enough to feed my daughter for the rest of the week. How did we do this to ourselves? Thankfully, we are now credit-card free so we can't dig a bigger hole. But it was nice having that cushion when we got ourselves in sticky situations like this. But because we took advantage of that cushion too often (and because doctors charge WAY more than they need to) we are stuck in this deep abyss, and it seems we will never get out. I was discouraged yesterday when I read a magazine article about a couple who did what we've done and took the step to get rid of debt entanglements, and it took them thirteen years to get out of debt! Why did I so naively think that by cutting up the cards the debt was going to start going away? If only that were so. But to think that we could be stuck in this situation for the next thirteen years while we try to dig ourselves back out was almost depressing.

While the financial issues have been a burden, in a small way they have been a blessing. They have forced me to do tasks which help me feel more domesticated--like hang drying laundry. Silly, I know, but tis true.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Market Monday

Well, this past week we were scrounging for pennies, but I had another ironing job come in, so was able to make a little bit of money. Enough to pick up some essentials! Here's what I picked up over the weekend and this morning.

My new best shopping trip! This is the first time I got paid to shop! I made $2.50! I had ordered $0.75/1 Target Q's online, and a few more of the toothpaste MQ's to go with the ones I already had. So, six thing of toothpast at $1.00/ea, and I had $8.50 in coupons!

The deodorant was a necessity for me and a preference for my husband. I had $1/1 coupons, and a $10 Target gift card that we got for getting a new prescription there a few weeks ago when DH was sick. So I guess technically, we didn't pay for this deodorant. But it totaled $5.70 for five sticks. Not bad.

So, what can you get for $5? Today I had to go get bread because we missed the bread store before it closed the other day. Due to my daughter's allergies, Nature's Own Whitewheat is the primary brand we buy. I pick that up for $.99 at the bread store, and today I got Nature's Own bagels for $.50/ea. One pack was the bagel thins that I've been wanting to try for sandwiches. Then I swung over to Publix to get my free Chef Boyardee (that I definitely will not eat, but it was free, so I figured I cold give it to someone.) I've also been out of bodywash for a few days, and was able to pick up two for $2 today.
...Okay, so I just double checked my receipt, and I ended up paying $.56 for the Chef Boyardee, and $1.50 for the soap. Oh, well, it will make a cheap thing for a college student or for a food drive.

We also picked up this weekend 4 Oral-B toothbrushes for DH (he didn't like the hi-tech one I got for free a few weeks ago) for $2 and 2 Tombstone pizzas (that didn't last long enough for a picture!) for $1.97. A poor substitute for the Domino's pizza I've been craving, but much cheaper!

Friday, July 23, 2010

Taking a Break

Well, last night was the first time in six weeks that I didn't have the dragon of packets to grade breathing down my neck! (I grade Advanced Math packets for a correspondance school.) In an effort to pay for vacation I've been working super hard to grade as many packets as possible in the last month. Well, yesterday was the pay cutoff, and boy am I glad. Our whole family has suffered as a result of me working so hard. I've had to stay up late most nights to get the packets done, as it's a lot easier than trying to do it with two girls wanting to sit in my lap! Froggy still wakes up about twice a night, and in the middle of the month, everyone but me got sick, so everyone had poor sleep. I've been crabby with the girls and DH, and poor Monkey has probably suffered the worst. Correction has not been consistent as I've either been too tired to deal with her or so crabby that I knew I wasn't in the right attitude to correct her. So, now we have a monster. But hopefully that will be curbed in the next few weeks. Now that this weight has been removed from my shoulders, I can concentrate on getting my house and home back in order, bring my daughter back into subjection, and get packed for vacation (where everything will blow out of the water again!).

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Market Monday

So, I'm a few days late. I hate this time of the month. We get two weeks into the month and have to food or money left in the house. The whole coupon thing is suppose to help save money, but the idea is to create a build, but I can't even scrounge up enough money to get us through the month, let alone create a build!

The raid was a necessity, and I had GREAT coupons on that. All of this cost me less than $4! One can of raid alone was $3.98. So overall, this is probably one of my best shopping trips when you look at the numbers. The next is pretty close, though.

I couldn't do my "Monday Market" because I was doing ironing for someone to earn the money to buy some groceries. These are some stock-up items I got. There are 17 items and I paid just over $18. So again, one of my best trips when you look at the numbers.

I'd love to write more on other topics, but I'm beat. Baby girl is getting her fifth tooth in two weeks, and I'm tired!

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Wordless Wednesday

Daddy's good little nurse.

And the oral temp, because Mommy wasn't to sure about the temporal scan.


...this one takes WAY too long.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Market Monday - Coupon Organization

Well, since we've been out of grocery money since our main shopping trip of the month, I don't necessarily have a shopping post to write. So I thought I would share my newest method of madness. The organization of my coupons has been a great frustration to me. I read a few posts through some other blogs recently that gave me some ideas of how others organize. So, using some of those ideas as guidelines, I customized them to suit my person preferences. So people's ideas still sounded like too much work to me. Personally, I don't feel I use enough coupons to spend the 10 hours+ a week that I've been spending trying to clip and organize, not to mention the hours I've put in trying to figure out what to buy. Here are some pictures I took (because I'm a visual person) of what I'm going to try for the next few weeks. I'm liking it already as I spent almost no time organizing coupons yesterday, and my table and counter are now cleared of sales ads and coupons!

First, I have my folders.

The big one is for my sales ad and coupon organization.

The first tab is for resources (which I'm considering changing to restaurants). This is where I keep the grocery aisle layout, my scissors (which I just picked up my free pair at CVS instead of what's pictured), a list of couponing websites that I got in my coupon class, and hopefully I'll pick up a cheap calculator with back-to-school sales.

I then have individual tabs for Sunday ads and Wednesday ads. Then I have a tab for "All You" coupons, P&G, Red Plum, and Smart Source. Because I really don't use most of the coupons I get, I was getting annoyed with clipping and organizing, just to go back through my folder a few weeks later to pull all of the expired coupons. This was taking up a great deal of time for me, and was pretty much a waste of that time. So what I've done now is staple all of the coupons together by group. After reading the articles that I like in "All You" I pulled all of the coupons from the magazines, alphabetized them, pulled the list from the magazine as to what coupons are there (which I forgot to do before taking the picture), stapled them together, and wrote the date at the top of the front page. For each of the newspaper inserts I simply tore the pages apart, pulled out the filler pages, and then stapled them together and wrote the respective source and date on the front page of each. From what I've read, there's a list on the internet somewhere of what coupons are suppose to be in each of the newspaper inserts each week. I'm going to find that list, print it out, and staple it with my inserts so I know what is in there. And then, an idea I got from another blogger, I'm going to cross off coupons as I use them so I don't go looking for something I already used.

I then have tabs for Publix flyers. Anything for Publix that I pick up in the store will go in this slot.

and one for store coupons. This includes Publix, Target, K-Mart, Walgreen's, etc. coupons that are not manufacturer's coupons.

Then I have my organized, alphabetized coupons. I got baseball card sleeves at Walmart. It was a pack of 35 sleeves for around $6...cheaper than going to a card-trading store. I currently don't have a binder for these, just a ring clip that my husband had in his stash of stuff from college. I'm actually like this for now because I don't have the huge amount of coupons that some have. This way I can keep my coupons in my folder and just carry that, rather than carrying a binder with open ends. This way my coupons are contained, and it doesn't take up too much space in my cart. (Space is precious and valuable when you do your shopping with two little ones. If I leave the baby in the carseat, I usually push one cart and pull another behind me. But usually I wear her, and she can also now sit up in the "car" grocery cart with her sister.) I love having my things alphabetized...I'm actually a little OCD about it. The problem I have found with this system is that I have to go through and shift coupons around when I get new ones because, even though I left blanks on the page for coupons, I still have to rearrange them so that everything stays in order. This get frustrating to me, so then I end up with mounds of alphabetized coupons on my counter that don't land in the sheet protectors. But I'm going to start putting DH to work on putting the coupons in the sleeves while I do my other work in the evenings. (I grade packets for a correspondence school after the girls go to bed.)

And here is what had been stacked on my counter waiting to go in the sleeves. They are now in a ziploc bag in my folder, so that I still have them with me when I go out.

Then I have my small folder. I've been doing this for a few weeks and really like this system. There is a slot for each individual store, and then one for ECB, RR, $Off, and Receipts. Since I do most of my shopping in one day, and just hit multiple stores, this has been very helpful. Before I go out I place the list for each individual store and the coupons for that list in each respective slot. That way, when I get to the store, I really only have to deal with my small folder. I still carry the big one in, just in case I need something from it. Then at the back of the folder I have my ECB, and RR so I don't have to keep them in my wallet. I also have a slot for $off coupons (eg. $5 off $20 purchase), although I never seem to get those printouts at Winn-Dixie or CVS. I also have my large Customer Care card and K-mart Rewards card in the very front, for those times that I run in and leave DH in the car with the girls, leaving my keys behind in the process. That way I don't have to run back out to the car for my rewards card.

This is my system for now. It may take a few months for me to decide what I think of it, but I thought I'd share with anyone looking for ideas. But also to get feedback from others to see what they think might work better, and to hear what they do with their coupons. Would love to hear feedback on this!

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Wordless Wednesday

Somebody is on the move! And getting into everything. :)

First s'more! Part of our July 4 cookout.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Sickness, July 4, and a Baby on the Move

Well, everyone here has been sick over the last two weeks, and the worst of it passed between Wednesday (my last post) and Sunday...I think. I managed to avoid getting sick, or so I thought. But as everyone, including my husband, seems to be on the mend, I think I'm starting to feel the sore throat coming on, and I've definitely had the runny nose today. :( Sadness. I don't want to get sick...I can't get sick. As my husband lay on the couch all day Saturday I told him to enjoy, because I don't get to sleep when I'm sick. I didn't mind him laying there. I understood how he felt. So now I'm overdosing on Vitamin C!

Sunday we stayed home from church since the girls' fevers had just broken the night before and they were both still pretty snotty nosed. We were going to skip fireworks. But in a moment of selfishness I decided that this only happens once a year, and we could handle keeping the girls out that late just this once. So we went, and both girls really enjoyed it. I grew up watching fireworks in the mountains, and now I get to watch them on the beach...well on the water. I had the baby in her Moby, so I stayed standing up and could see two different shows--one up close and one in the distance. I almost thought the show in the distance looked nicer. The fireworks looked more like pom-poms from a distance, rather than the colors raining down over your head as they do when you're up close. Both were nice, and I had a good time.

Monday my husband put together his Father's Day gift--a gas grill. I went and picked up a propane tank, and we enjoyed some burgers and s'mores. Very yummy! All day today I've thought it was Monday since my husband went back to work today. I was all ready to type up my Monday Market when I realized I'd missed it. I don't understand how all these mommies out there keep up with their blogs! I just can't seem to find the time, even when I have things I want to write about.

Well my six-month-old finally quit scooting and finally figured out the crawling. (I know I shouldn't say finally since she is only six months old, but she's been trying to figure it out for nearly a month!) I had many people warn me that life would get harder once she started moving, but I've actually been looking forward to it because now she can play with her sister a little more. But I realized this morning what the warnings were for. I'd forgotten how much one has to watch a crawler. With my oldest, everything was child proof. But now there's toddler toys that aren't necessarily safe for the baby to play with. So I'm currently trying to figure out a way to separate the toys and have a stash that's for my oldest to play with while the baby is sleeping. The baby also cut two teeth while she was sick last week, which I think was more of the cause of her waking up several times at night than her sickness was. It appears as if three more are sitting there ready to come in. I'm hopeful that she won't be as miserable with the others as she was with the first two. She got her upper canines in first, which are generally one of the more painful sets for them to get. My oldest child never really seemed phased by teething, so the misery my little one was in this week was a new experience for me. But as all babies do, she survived and got the teeth to prove it!

And I almost forgot to add the one of the greatest moments for me this weekend. I found a can of pumpkin on the clearance rack at Walgreens! I know, that sounds crazy. But I LOVE pumpkin, and have been so devastated that there hasn't been any pumpkin in stores since early November. Now I just can't decide what to do with it, because once it's gone, it's gone. Part of me wants to just eat it straight out of the can!

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Wordless Wednesday

Poor, sick baby. :( This was a first ever for her. She's never just fallen asleep anywhere.