Saturday, January 31, 2009

Free Cranberry Bars on Amazon

You guys know how fast these online deals go, so hurry!! Add this item HERE to your shopping cart, and use code HONESTFD, and the item will be 0.00. Do subscribe and save and you will also get FREE shipping. Just be sure to cancel the subscribe and save later on, if you don’t want to continue getting them. This will only work if you order one box! So don’t try to get a whole bunch. This item also qualifies for Super Saver Shipping if you spend $25 or more.
Thanks WantNot and The Thrifty Mama

I just did this and have one package of 12 on its way to me for FREE! YAY!

The above post is completely from Crystal at The Thrifty Mama. I did "buy" these and it worked for me too! Hurry up!!!

Friday, January 30, 2009

Publix List Help

I have been getting some questions on what I am buying at Publix beforehand. So, I thought I would post my grocery list with my coupons this week. I haven't had time to work out my transactions just yet, but know that I will be somehow breaking them up into at least two in order to get two penny items. If the past repeats itself, the mystery item will be coffee. I am almost out of my free Target coffee, so I will definitely be taking advantage of this! I also don't have any Walgreen's Register Rewards this week, so my bottom line will be a bit more than last week.

2- Snack Factory Pretzel Crisps $3.19- (2) $1.00Q = $1.19
6- Quaker Chewy Granola Bars $1.49 each -(6) .50 Target Q -(3) $1.00/2 Q = $3.00*stockpile*
6- Hunts Tomatoes- .70 each - (3) $1.00/2 Q = $1.20 *stockpile*
5- Velveeta Cheese- $1.80 each - (5) $1.00 Q = $3.98 *stockpile*
6- Gatorade 32 oz- $1.00 each - (6) .55 Publix Q = $2.64 *FOR TENNIS*
2- Southbeach Cereal Bars $3.00 each - (2) $2.00 Q = $2.00 *stockpile*
3- Ziploc Bags $2.00 each- (1) .40 Q (doubled) - (1) $1.00/2 Q= $4.20
1- Lysol Toilet Bowl Cleaner $2.00- (1) .50 Q (doubled) = $1.00
1- Viva Paper Towel $2.29 each - (1) .50 Q (doubled) - $1.00 Publix Q = .29
3- Sabra Hummus $2.50 each - (3) $1.50 Q = $3.00
1- Half and Half Creamer- $1.75
3- Gallons of Milk- $3.19 each
4- Avocados- $3.00
2- Carrot bags - $3.00
2- McCormick Chili Seasoning Packets- $1.39
2- Breakstone Sour Cream .99 each - (2) .55 Q = .88
1- bag of Red Potatoes- ?

I am approximately at $43.00 but I have a $5/$25 Competitor Q, so I may add in some lunch meat (which I am out of ) and use two of the competitor coupons. This will still keep me at $40.00 for the week. I have denoted my stockpile items. I feel that this is a good price to stock up on these items. They are items that will last and we will eventually use them. I also won't count my $2.64 in my grocery budget since I am buying these for Tennis. I will use that money to play with at CVS this week. If you have any other good ideas that you will be buying at Publix, let me know. I may have missed some things.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Our First Play Date and Prayer Request

We had our first play date at our friend's house this morning. Caroline goes to school with Ruth and we were getting to meet LB and Ada for the first time! I have to say that Ruth was hilarious! She was so excited to see Caroline. She even called her by name! So sweet. AND let me tell you how adorable that litte Ada is! She's so tiny! She looks just like a little china doll! :) It was really neat watching how Caroline interacted or rather didn't interact with the other girls. She was timid at first and then gradually warmed up. She loved walking up the stairs and then being able to look over at us sitting in the living room. At one point Tutti (Ruth's mom) walked upstairs to check on the girls and they were reading books! How cute is that? Of course, I packed my camera and then got caught up in real adult conversation that I totally forgot to snap pictures. Since Tim is out of town, I don't know if I have carried on a real conversation for days! LOL!

My family lives in Western Kentucky and they were hit HARD with the latest ice storm. Please keep them in your thoughts and prayers. My stepdad bought a generator and my mom (who is retired but got bored) is staying at work because of the employees not being able to get there (she works in a retirement center). The phone lines are down but she's been able to communicate some with her cell phone, which is spotty. I think she said they restored power at her house, but down the road, it's still out and they may not get any until next week. So, just keep them and my aunts/uncles in your mind. Tim called to tell me that parts of the state wouldn't be able to get their power restored until mid-February! That's just crazy! I should be thankful that I live in Hotlanta where I don't really need a heavy coat.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Combining Coupons

The trick to combining coupons is to find a grocery store that allows this to happen. Publix is the best when it comes to doing this (in my opinion). To find a manufacturer coupon and put it with a store coupon. I love to combine my manufacturer coupons and a competitor coupon (such as Super Target). Be on the lookout for the flyers in the lobby at Publix. They also have GREAT store coupons that can be combined with MQ's. (Remember my rotel and aleve deal) Doing this allows me to get items CHEAP and sometimes FREE.

This upcoming week at Publix, Quaker Chewy Granola Bars are BOGO. There are manufacturer coupons available AND a target printable coupon is available. So here is a scenario...
$1.49 each - $1.00/2 Q - $.50 TQ = $1.49 for 2

I am not sure if Publix doubles competitor coupons or not. Does anyone else know? If so, your deal would be even sweeter!

Target coupons are available at Hot coupon world

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Just a few things...

It's Tuesday night, so on HCW, they have put out the upcoming ad for Publix. It looks to be a slow week for me which is good! But, there are definitely a few deals to be had. A few BOGO items that caught my eye are: Velveeta (should go great with my rotel), Quaker Granola Bars, and Lays Chips. Tim is dying to have a superbowl party (we aren't because I would need Kathy to come ASAP) but the yummy snack food should make him happy! :) Our ALTA tennis team is also having a home match on Sunday, so the Rotel Cheese dip and football shaped brownies should compliment the tablescape.

Caroline and I went to the library on Monday. I hate to say it, but I have NEVER been in a public library as an adult or even really as a child. I remember the library closing down when I was little and I was devastated. After that, my parents simply bought my books for me. I was also amazed at the fact that you could really take books out for FREE! Yes, I know...I have lived a sheltered life. I also found out what the little card that people carry around on their keychains was...a LIBRARY CARD! All this time, I thought it was a grocery store, a gym or even an apartment complex key card! LOL! Now, with all this said, I was too shy or maybe embarassed to ask how to get a library card. Maybe next time...

Caroline loved the little program they did. They put on a music/dance class for thirty minutes...FREE! I used to pay $7.00-$10.00 for the same thing down the road. NEVER AGAIN! Thanks LB and Tutti for this new adventure!! My wallet and daughter thank you!

Monday, January 26, 2009

My Promised Publix Post

Caroline wanted her picture taken this afternoon! Notice her prized reusable shopping bags...she doesn't like it when the cashier takes them!
Sorry the picture is dark??

First Half Picture

Second Half Picture
Sorry...once again, Blogger is messing up my spacing???????
My publix shopping was a HUGE success. I managed to stick to my budget. I have some really random things, but they were so cheap or free that I might as well buy them! :) This was a classic trip for stockpiling. There were only a few items that I needed, but I took advantage of some of the great deals to build up my supply. Next week, I will need to buy more milk, lunchmeat and fresh produce. I spent more time planning my trip transactions than normal because I was on a limited budget of $20 to spend. Remember, I spent $15 and $6 at Kroger/CVS on Saturday for this week's budget.
Oh, and "Q" means coupon and all my coupons that were under 50 cents were doubled.
Transaction #1:
2- Post Cereal- $1.95 each- $1.00 Q
2- Pace Salsa- $1.39 each- $.40 Q (doubled)
1- Keebler Pecan Sandies Cookie- $2.00- $1.00 Q
1- Toaster Strudel- $1.25- $1.00 Q
3- Cambell's Chunky Soup- $1.20 each- B2G1Free Q - $.50 Q
2- Red Baron Pizza- $2.90 each- $1.00 Q
1- Publix Mystery Item (paper towel) - 1 cent
Used: $10.00 Walgreen's Register Reward
Total: OOP $2.17
Saved: $37.57
Transaction #2:
6- Jolly Time Popcorn- $1.00 each - (6) $1.00 Q
4- Huggies Bath and Lotions- $2.50 each- (2) $3.00/2 Publix Q & B1G1 Q
2- Campbells Cream of ...Soup- $1.33 each- $.40/2 (NOT A GREAT DEAL)
1- Pillsbury Toaster Scramble- $1.25 - $1.00 Q
1- Gallon Milk
20- Cans of Rotel- $.64 each - (10) $1.00/2 Publix Q- (1) $.30 Q
1- Mystery Item (paper towel) $.01
Used $5/$25 Competitor coupon
Total: OOP $2.86
Saved: $58.87
Transaction #3:
4- Aleve Caplets - $3.59 each - (2) $4.00 Publix Q & (4) $1.00 Q
2- Egg Beaters- $2.00 each - $1.00 Publix Q & (2) $1.00 Q
2- Nutrigrain Cereal Bars- $1.75 each - $1.00 Q
2- Southbeach Cereal Bars- $3.00 each - (2) $2.00 Q
1- Emerald Almonds- $2.90 - $1.00 Q
2- Kraft Salad Dressings- $1.60 each - $1.00/2 Q
1- Publix Salad - $.99 each
1- Crystal Light Mix- $2.35
1- Half & Half - $1.75
1- Mystery Item (paper towels)- 1 cent
Total: OOP $15.29
Saved: $46.16
Grand Total: OOP: $19.60
Saved: $142.60

Monday Surprise Pictures...

I realize that some of my viewers could care less about my coupon savings and want to see just some of my darling Caroline. This post is for you. :) For those that only want my coupon savings, stay tuned for a Publix Post tonight. My plan is to get a TON of groceries for less than $20! Caroline and I are going to story time at the library this morning. I am excited because we may get to finally meet LB and Ada and get to see Tutti and Ruth (outside of school).
I am also excited because I am able to walk this morning after a LONG day of tennis yesterday. I began playing at 9:30 AM and finished playing around 4:30! Two matches BUT two wins! Tim told me I couldn't come home unless I won both! I guess it's a good thing I won! :)
My left foot has been hurting really badly over the last few months. Of course, being my stubborn self, I just ignore it and play on. But, I am calling the doctor today that did my right ankle surgery. Tim said I must be in pain if I am actually going to the doctor. :(

Saturday, January 24, 2009


BLOGGER IS DOING WEIRD THINGS TO MY SPACING...FORGIVE ME FOR NOT POSTING MY TRANSACTION DETAILS! On our way home from Kroger, we went to CVS to see if the registers were turned on for the upcoming ECB deals. THEY WERE! WAAHHHOOOO!!!

I did 8 transaction to get the most for my money.

Items purchased: 2 packs of Huggies diapers, 4 Gillette Shampoo/Conditioners, 3 greeting cards, 2 Nasogels, 3 Advil Cold & Sinus, 2 Dental Floss packs, 2 butane lighters and a surprise for Tim

OOP: $6.07

Saved: $109.98

To see other's great savings check out here!

Kroger Shopping Success

I decided to go to Kroger tonight and participate in the Mega Event Sale (buy 10 participating items get $5 off your total). I have been on the fence all week about it and decided to take the plunge. Boy am I glad! Check it out:

Items Purchased:
6- Green Giant Steamers $1.50 each
4- Sobe Life Water bottles $1.00 each
2- Kraft Cheese Singles $1.99 each
3- Kraft Cheese Shredded $1.99 each
1- French's Mustard $1.69
1- Cattlemen's BBQ Sauce $2.00
3- Philadelphia Cream Cheese $1.49 each
1- Bread 69 cents
1- Roast $7.37
1- Johnson's Buddy Soap $1.09
4- Cottonelle Toilet Paper 99 cents each
Total: $63.75 BEFORE coupons
After coupons: OOP $15.00 Savings of 77%

Friday, January 23, 2009

Bethany's Couponing Guide...Not an expert....

Now remember, I have only been doing this for a short period of time, so I am NOT an expert. When it comes to CVS, I almost always rely on someone else to tell me what the good deals are and what THEY are steps!

What are the sites you use for help?
I bookmark LOTS of sites and then use some information from each of them to find the best deals. Here are some of the sites:
Hot Coupon World - (HCW) You have to join (free) but it's a wealth of information. I use this to get sneak peeks on the upcoming sales, especially Publix. It helps me with planning.
Southern Savers - Matches up coupons with the best deals on sale (bogo)
Swaggrabber - Matches up coupons as well

There are many others, but these are where I check first. I then pop into the other sites on my side bar to see what they are doing.

What do I do to prepare for my shopping trip?
After opening the site, I then copy and paste what I see that I want to buy in my email or word document. Be sure to copy the coupon match ups! I do this from each site and then PRINT!

I take my print out and then look for the coupon match ups on the sheet. This saves me tons of time because I have an active 21 month old. Time is precious! I use the binder clips to clip them together with my list. While I am doing this, I take the time to get my bottom line of payment. I simply write down the final price of my items on my list and then total it up. This helps me when the cashier hits total. I am always aware of what I am spending.

Before going to the store, I make my list in order of the store and then clip my coupons together in that order. I used to take my coupon box with me, but found that I was spending too much time pulling them out and with Caroline, I was afraid they were going to end up in the floor!

When do I shop?
I shop at Publix on Monday. I ALWAYS take advantage of the mystery penny item. I break up my transactions into increments of $10 (before coupons) and buy several of the penny items. I mainly go mid morning.
CVS is a different story...sometimes I shop on Saturday nights before closing and sometimes I get up at the crack of dawn to be there at 7:00! YUCK!
Walgreens is funny. I used to shop there during the afternoon or evening because of a VERY grumpy cashier. One day, I gave her some coupons for basically free cookies and milk. She's now really happy to see me! So, now I shop whenever I can fit it in. I try my best to AVOID a certain store because of a RUDE manager named (Krwayszhankia). No joke!

When do I plan my list?
Publix's ads run from Thursday morning-Wednesday night (where I live). I use HCW for the sneak preview of the ad on Tuesday night. This gives me an idea of what I see that I am planning on buying. I may even copy and paste into a document for later reference. So, I use the sites to plan my trip a little each night. I DON'T do it all on Sunday because I would be STRESSED!

How long does it take?
That's the question of the day! It truly depends on my focus and my extra time. I am not an expert at this...I probably average about 45-60 minutes a week planning my list. Some weeks are longer because of the better deals and others are shorter (like this upcoming week for me).

Do you have certain items you buy each week and what if they aren't on sale?
Yes, I always buy milk and half & half (for my coffee). I almost always buy 3 gallons of milk each week (2 whole milk and 1 1% milk). Currently they are listed as a Publix essential and is holding steady with the price of $3.19 each and $1.75 for my cream. I use these constant items to do one transaction and get the mystery item for one cent. So, you can see where $10 of my budget automatically goes.

To stockpile or not?
YES! YES! YES! I do believe in this! However, you cannot become a hoarder. AND, remember if you can't afford it, don't buy it this week! Another deal will come around again. I currently have about a year's worth of dishwashing detergent (I paid around $5 total) and other items. If I have a TON of an item (such as potatoes or rice), I don't buy them for a while (not even when another sale comes around and it's free). Others may disagree with this, but I have found this works best for my family.
When I first started, I would see a great deal and buy as many items as I had coupons. I ended up with a pantry full of cake mixes, brownies, potatoes, rice, and spaghetti sauce! YIKES! I didn't understand that the sales are cyclical and I didn't need to use all of my coupons at once. steps! :) I donated a good majority of those items to a local food bank. I still buy one item each week to donate. I simply buy the free items and then put it in a bag to take when it gets full.

Where do you find your coupons?
The Sunday paper (double edition), the free papers that are delivered to my door (and my neighbors) on Thursday morning, and the internet. Always be on the lookout for coupons found in the grocery stores. I find tons of "blinkies" and tear pads. I always take them EVERY time I go to the store and file them when I get home.

How do you organize your coupons?
I have a plastic shoe box with labeled envelopes for my cut out coupons. I also have the inserts binder clipped (like ones together) and sorted by date. They are currently in a plastic crate. I cut out my internet coupons and file them in box, file my store coupons, and any others that have come apart.

How much money do you spend a week on groceries?
My personal goal is $40/week. This includes all food, diapers, bath/household items, and pet food. Some weeks I do go over a bit, but it makes up for weeks that I spend less. Yes, I do spend less sometimes! :) Some weeks are right at $40 because I mainly purchased meat. Other weeks are cheaper because I didn't buy any meat. I don't always buy diapers either. For instance, this week, I will use my ECB's (free money at CVS) to purchase diapers without spending a dime!

How do I stick to my budget?
This is still hard for me. I try my best to avoid stores that I know I will spend money in....SuperTarget, Wal Mart, Michaels, etc... They are like blackholes and I just get sucked in! I also stick to my list. I put on blinders and shop with a save money! If I happen to see a great deal and I don't have my coupons with me, I simply return another day. If it's not there, I get a rain check. These rainchecks have done wonders for me. It's like getting a layaway plan but without having to put any money down!

What is your favorite store?
My favorite store is Publix. But, I also love CVS and Walgreens. I shop for different things at each store and love them for different reasons. Publix because it has BOGO and accepts competitor coupons. CVS because they give me money to spend on my next purchase. Walgreens because they offer many free items and give me money to spend at Publix.

Will I help you out?
Of course! I can't promise that I can do wonders for you, but I will help you with your list. I am currently clipping some coupons for my sister and helping her with her list. Granted, she doesn't always listen to me, but I trust she knows what is best for her family. :) I also have another friend, Debbie, who is in love with saving money. We bounce ideas and information off each other all the time!

If you have any other questions or want to add anything, please lelave me a comment. I'm always looking to help out or be helped!! :)

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Things to come...

Yes, I know it's late but I am still up. I just finished watching the most depressing shows...Grey's Anatomy and Private Practice. I love these shows, but tonight, I cried so hard that my shirt is soaking wet! Yuck! Anyway, I am one of those people who can't go to sleep after watching a really sad movie or even a scary one. I will dream about it and then wake up in a foul mood, just ask Tim!

Tomorrow, we have a busy day ahead of us. We must go to the post office to mail some goodies to Sarah, head over to the Phancy Pheasant, and go to Kroger. But, most importantly, we have to pick up Tim from the airport. He's been in Virginia all week for work and we just seem so lost without him.

I have been getting many questions regarding how I stick to my budget and how I plan for my shopping trips. I plan on trying to answer those questions tomorrow. I will hopefully leave you full of information and armed with new knowledge. If you have any questions, just leave them in the comment section or send me an email: I will try my best to answer any and all questions. :)

My Coupon Helper

I think that chicken breasts are on sale this week!
How many should we get? Let me get my calculator out...

Yep, it's a good deal, so I should circle it!

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Caroline and Peanut

Hold still Peanut...this won't hurt one bit...
Hey! Come here, I'm talking to you.

Please get me out of here????

I just want to tickle you!

See? Isn't this fun?

I love you Peanut!

Just having a private conversation with my dogs...
Okay, time to take action...
What do you mean you're not going to help me torture Mommy?

Vote for Sarah...NOW!

Hi all! Please take a minute to go vote for my blogging buddy, Sarah. She's an amazing mother to TWO sets of twins and another single one on the way. AMAZING! If you have read her, you know what a talented writer she is and if you haven't read her....GO READ HER!
She's been nominated for a writing award and the voting ends tomorrow. So head over here. Go to the parenting/mommy blog and cast your vote for "Kingdom Twindom". Send all your friends to vote as well. :)

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

One Year Ago...

Even our lake in our backyard was COLD!
Tim's perfect little snowman!

Coco and Tim gathering snow to throw on me...

Tim had just smashed a cold snowball down my back! Look at that evil grin!

It's not really THAT cold out here Bethany!

All of you know that I live in Hotlanta, but it's not so hot right now! Right now, we are experiencing wind chill temps in the teens. AND...NO SNOW! It shouldn't be allowed to be so cold without at least giving us some of that precious white powder! I was looking through my pictures and just realized that these pics were taken a year ago today. I was still recovering from my ankle surgery (after my devastating tennis injury) and we still had my wonderful monster dog, Coco Chanel (Coco for short). Oh, how I miss that dog... Notice how I am not wearing a coat...what was I thinking???? Oh, yeah, I remember, I had just had surgery and just started walking without my crutches! Notice the very greasy hair and my slum clothes!

I am one proud sister!

We met my sister for sushi today and afterwards, I went with her to Publix. I wasn't doing any shopping, but tagged along for any needed help. I was so proud of her! She's new to coupons and bargain shopping but she did GREAT! She saved more than she spent! We ended up in the grumpy cashier lady's line and the lady scrutinized all of her coupons. I had printed out a $5/25 competitor coupon and told her to hand it to her first before all others. The cashier just stared at and then at her and then demanded all of her coupons. (I had previously told her to NOT give over coupons unless she can keep track of the amounts and beeping.) Christi remained calm and told her that she wanted the lady to scan that one specific coupon first. After some "discussion" the cashier went ahead and scanned it. But, the lady was still insistent on getting all of her coupons at once. I knew which ones she had and how many (I had cut them out and organized them for her) so I nodded to her and over they went.

Christi spent $50 and saved over $60! I am so proud of my big sister! :)

Monday, January 19, 2009

Publix Trip is a SUCCESS!

Each week, I have set a personal goal of keeping our groceries to under $40. Last week, I didn't accomplish this goal, but came within reason. This week, I am on my way to another successful goal. We got up early to take Tim to the airport, came back and hung out for a bit, and then headed out to do some shopping.
I took careful thought this week in how to break down my transactions to make the most of my buck. Here's how it went...

Transaction #1:

11- Jolly Time Popcorn boxes 3/$3
1- Lender's Bagel- 80 cents
1- Publix White Grape Juice- 1 cent

Used: 11 $1 Q and the mystery item coupon

OOP: $1.00

SAVED: $24.96

Transaction #2

3- Gallon Milk- $3.19
2- Lysol Cleaners-$1.35 each
1- Publix White Grape Juice--1 cent

Used: 2- $1.00 Q Lysol

OOP: $10.75

Saved: $6.96

Transaction #3:
7- Kellogg's Cereal
2- Eggo Waffles
5- Betty Crocker Muffin Mixes
4- Green Giant Vegetables
1- Pubix White Grape Juice
2- Lawry's Marinade
2- Aunt Jemima Syrup
1- Smuckers Jam
2- South Beach Cereal Bars
1- Quaker Instant Oatmeal
1- Hellman's Mayo
1- Publix Sour Cream
1- Publix White Bread
1- Dozen Eggs
1- Green Bell Pepper

OOP: $20.10

Saved: $77.57

Grand Total at Publix: $31.85

I was supposed to be able to pick up my 17 bags of cat food, but they didn't hold it for me like they said. So, I reordered it and it will be here this week. The cat food is $3.49 and I have coupons for $3.00 off each bag to make it 49 cents each. I then have a Walgreens Register Reward for $10.00. So, I will buy a half & half and walk out owing around 10 cents! Not too bad!

Airport Feelings and Memories

This morning, we took Tim to the airport. As I was driving there and especially on the way home, I thought about all of my last trips to and from the airport (mainly home from the airport).

In June...I felt numb. It was the first time that we had met Caroline and the first time we had to return her to her foster family. My neighbor greeted us at the airport and I cried in her arms for what seemed like an eternity. Life was unfair. Tim and I stayed in bed for the next two days without moving.

In July...I felt somewhat hopeful. Of course, I was extremely sad because I had to leave her again, but I knew that her case was progressing and she would be home around Halloween. (the joke was on me!) I didn't stay in bed because I literally had to begin school.

In September...I KNEW something was wrong. It was odd that we still hadn't recieved our US Pre-Approval. I knew the paperwork was lost. I blamed our government for this mistake and praised the Guatemalan authorities. (Little did I know it was both of them to blame.)

In November...I felt like we were never going to get her home. NUMB and HOPELESS were the main feelings. I handed her to her foster family and watched Caroline cry and reach out for me. My heart was broken. We seemed to be lost in the Guatemalan black hole and of course, PGN had never heard of us. This is when I started to take action. Thank you to a dear friend (who shall remain nameless but you know who you are) for helping to uncover some of the truth. We were never submitted. We couldn't even be in the blackhole because we didn't exist! This is when I got MAD!

In February...I boarded the plane and had no idea what I was about to endure. I was physically sick. Never in my wildest dreams did I know that a week vacation was about to become a two month stay on Mr. Magoo's Wild Ride.

In April...we arrived HOME! This was the last time that I had been to the airport. It was one of the most exciting and overwhelming times of my life. We finally had our daughter home and we were back together. (I had been without Tim for two months. He did come in for visits but for short periods.) We were HOME forever!!!!

Who knew that an airport would stir up so many memories?

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Frustration at CVS (on my part)

Since I have been couponing, I feel like I am getting pretty decent at this little game. Of course, I am only talking about grocery stores. I am also okay with doing it at Walgreens. BUT, CVS is a different story! I am getting extremely stressed out and frustrated when I go to buy things and they aren't there. I am also feeling the stress of keeping my ECB's and trying to roll them into another purchase and KEEP the same amount of ECB's that I started with!

I just came back from CVS and realized that I probably messed up because I had a $5/$15 coupon but I didn't use it. Instead for some reason in my head I decided to use the $5/$30 coupon. (I had other items that I could have purchased to pull it up to the correct amount.) I could have easily used both of them in two different transactions. But, did I? NO, I got so confused because my perfect transactions on paper didn't work for me. AARRGGGHH!
Enough's what I got:

1- Cottonelle Toilet Paper--$12.97
1- Cottonelle Moist Flushable Wipes--$5.98 (perfect for potty training)
2- CVS Allergy Medicine--$3.97 each
22- Reese's Whipps Candy Bars--$1.00/2

Used: 1- 50 cent Q for Cottonelle Moist Wipes
1- $5/$30 CVS coupon (it was emailed to me)
13- $1.00/2 Reese's Whipps Candy Bars (for some reason my count was wrong??)

Paid with: ECB $8.99 and $9.98
OOP: 57 cents

EARNED: $4.00 ECB, $3.00 ECB, $7.58 ECB for next time.

Next week is a better week for me because they are having a sale on Huggies Products. I have $2.00 MQ to use along with some other good coupons. If you spend $20, you get back $10 ECB. Now, we are talking!

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Ice on the lake...

We woke up this morning to ice on our lake. ICE! What does this mean? It's FREEZING cold down here in Hotlanta! I had a singles tennis match this morning at 10:30, so I layered up. I had on three heavy shirts and sweatshirt, insulated pants, and an earwarmer with a hat. Not to mention, I even put a therma care heating pad on for extra warmth. Gotta love winter tennis and WINNING! It shouldn't be allowed to be this cold if it's not even going to bother with snowing! :( Perhaps another day!

Thursday, January 15, 2009

FREE Vera Bradley Backpack

My friend Sheri at SwagGrabber is giving away a FREE Vera Bradley Backpack. It's so cute and what's better than FREE Vera!?! Hop over there and leave her a comment for a chance to win. Be sure to tell her that Bethany sent ya! While you're there, take advantage of her hard work and look at all the deals she finds. Sheri always posts grocery store sales and matches them up with coupons. She also lets you know what's at CVS and Walgreens. Check her out and she'll become one of your favorite spots!!!

Wednesday, January 14, 2009


Dear Caroline,

Yesterday you melted my heart once more when you looked at me and said "peez??" for the first time. You were so cute using your sign language and saying one of your first real words. My heart almost lept out of my chest. I love how sweet it sounds and how your face has such an adorable pleading look on it. Thank you for being such a wonderful daughter. I couldn't have asked for anything more.


Tuesday, January 13, 2009

First Babysitter

We had a great first experience! The sitter said she was "perfect" and would love to come back anytime! YAY! We are so excited and proud of Caroline!

We have our first babysitter coming tonight for Caroline. I am getting nervous as the time approaches. I'm scared because we've never left her with anyone besides family and I'm afraid that Caroline is going to SCREAM! Last week, I dropped her off at my sister's house and she screamed for 30 minutes because she was mad at me. We thought it would be a good time to try a babysitter because I am only going to tennis practice and Tim's literally 1.1 mile down the road announcing a basketball game. So, wish us luck and say some prayers!!

Sunday, January 11, 2009


Oust is on sale this week at Walgreens for BOG1. Last week, there was a coupon for BOG1 in the paper. You can use this coupon and combine it with the Walgreens in ad coupon for FREE! This is perfect to give to your kid's teachers for their classrooms. It's that time of year for yucky colds, so any teacher would be appreciative!

Friday, January 9, 2009

my sink is shined and my house is in order...THANKS MOM!

Okay, I realize that my last post seemed a bit dreary sounding and I should be so lucky to only have my house that messy, but it's my life. I took a quick cat nap while Caroline was snoozing and woke up feeling a bit better and a bit more chipper.

As Caroline and I were picking up her mess in the floor, my reinforcement angels mom and Aunt Janie. They are in town for Savannah's ball/dance this weekend. So, thanks to them, my house is back in order, my dinner is cooked and cleaned up and my sink is shined! THANK YOU!

Tim arrived home to a semi-clean house and dinner on the table. He then took Caroline upstairs to spend some time with her while he worked from home and so I could have a break. THANK YOU!

So, now I am pondering, do I take a bubble bath or go to bed??? It should probably be the first option since it is a once in a lifetime chance!

Welcome to my world today...

Caroline and I aren't feeling all that great today. She started getting a head cold yesterday and woke up this morning with a low grade fever. My body is beginning to ache and my head is pounding. Not to mention that my ears are in pain. They have actually been hurting ever since I returned from Guatemala. The family doctor just diagnosed me with an earache?? Can an earache last MONTHS?? Umm, I think I need a second opinion...

On with the story...I am going to reveal to you a glimpse into my world when mommy isn't feeling well. I also feel like I want to post something that just isn't so "rosy" and perfect. It's just that kind of day. So, close your eyes and wait for the disarray to be revealed. Ready?

Disclaimer: I would like to add that I am usually very neat. My house isn't normally this bad! Also, I think this would have made a great "Not Me Monday" post.

Caroline moved the dogs' bed and decided to help sweep. But forgot how to put up the broom!

Here we have "naked baby" and an empty water bottle. Notice the pajamas...

Ohhh the good stuff! Caroline decided to pull out her pajamas and bring them into the living room. AFTER, I just folded them and put them away!

Blocks are NO FUN unless you dump them out and walk far away!

Mommy's mess mixed in with Caroline's leftover dumped food residue on the wonderful glass table! Who needs a plate when the entire table is already messy?

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Our day...

Yummy banana!

Pitching one of our many fits!

First, our black bean soup tasted yummy. However, I didn't compensate for the lack of water that dried beans (presoaked) has compared to canned beans. So it didn't have the soup consistency but the taste was good.

Second, we went to Kroger today to get hamburger meat on sale for $1.99/lb. However, it turned out to be the meat that is packaged in rolls like sausage. NOT buying it! So, we left with some veggies and milk.

Caroline never ceases to amaze me. I love watching her play. We had a great time today playing with her kitchen and food. She is such a little sponge. Caroline would hand me some food and I would dramatically pretend to it. She would laugh and then mimic me. So much fun! We then had another great time reading books today. Today, she read to me. So cute! She would hold the book, babble and then look up at me and wait for my reaction. I LOVED it!

Blogger is not cooperating with pictures, so I'll post some new ones of Caroline tomorrow.

In the Crockpot NOW...

Verdict on the ribs...YUMMY! They literally fell off the bones. I will be looking for some more of these on sale!

Tonight, we will be eating black bean soup. It smells good, so we'll have to see how it tastes.

Tomorrow, candy chicken!

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Yummy Recipes

I have found another new love! The Crockpot Lady! I made her beef stew recipe the other day (which turned out to be quite yummy!) Currently in my crockpot, I am now cooking BBQ ribs without the veggies though. And tomorrow, we will be having black bean soup. I bought dried black beans from the store months ago with the intentions of making refried black bean dip (Guatemalan style) but never got around to it. It's a lot of work! So, they are going to be finally used.

Check out her blog and see what you can find!

Chick Fil A VARIES!

The Free chick-fil-a depends on your area and state. I just called my local one and their promotions were for December. So, call ahead or be prepared to pay.

Man, I was really excited about some free chicken!

Monday, January 5, 2009

Weekend Update and the HUGE mess!

EDITED: The truth of the story comes out from dear hubby! He wasn't getting anything out of the pantry, he just thought he could do a better job organizing it! NOT! (He admitted defeat!) Also, he states "As I was standing in the chair with the flour, I saw Caroline grab the bags of flour and head towards the living room. I didn't think it was a big deal??!"
Not a big deal?? Is that why we are ice skating on an invisible rink in our living room? Our hardwood floors sure are slick!

Our weekend was kind of a whirlwind, meaning it came and went really fast! On Friday evening, I headed to Publix because my coupons were expiring and Tim fed Caroline dinner (pork tenderloin, potatoes, broccoli). Pretty easy night. On Saturday, we literally stayed in our pajamas for almost the entire day! Tim gave me the best gift ever...he got up with Caroline and let me sleep in! THANK YOU!! Our living room looked like a tornado ripped through it and Tim had finally had enough. So, he had the grand plan that if we spent 20 minutes, our house would be back in order. As we made our way from one end of the house to the other, our little "Monster" didn't like the fact that her toys were being put away. We would put away one toy and two more would reappear! FINALLY...Tim got a glimpse into my daily life.

Now, Sunday is a different story. We were both playing tennis up at Oglethorpe University, but at different times. The plan was that I would ride up there with another teammate since I was playing at 1:00 and he didn't have to be there until around 2:30ish. He would drive up with Caroline later and I would take over while he was playing. Before I left, I dressed Caroline in cute play clothes, ones that she could get dirty and still look adorable.

I got finished with my match just as Tim was pulling into the parking lot. Since there were tons of steps, I ran down to help him get Caroline out of the car. I opened the door and neither one looked happy.

"What's wrong? And why is she wearing this sweater? It looks horrible with her outfit." I began to unbutton it to take it off.
"It's not her sweater. It's her shirt. And don't ask me why she is in different clothes."
"What happpened? Why in the world would you put on a sweater as a shirt? That doesn't make sense? Can't you see that this doesn't look good? Also, why is she covered in white powder?"
"It's flour...and I did the best I could. It's the first thing I saw. Besides, nothing matches those stupid animal print pants anyway."
"What???" Ignoring the outfit comment. "Flour? Why is she wearing flour?"
"I was getting something out of the pantry and I put the flour and the tortilla flour on the chair. The phone rang so I walked away to grab it. I looked up and Caroline had dumped the entire two bags on the couch and was playing in it." said very calmly.
Not so calmly..."WHAT!!! Why in the world did you put the flour on the chair? Why not the table? Why not another shelf?"
"We have both had meltdowns and just be glad that we are both here and she's dressed! It happened as we were supposed to be walking out the door." Tim proceeds to get out of the car and leaves me with an unhappy and ragamuffin looking babe.

So, what is the moral of the story? Don't put flour on the chair! :) I would share pictures, but Tim took them with his camera. It definitely looked like she was having fun! Poor Tim! The first shot of the game, he took his racquet, connected with the ball and the poor opponent didn't even have a chance. He literally hit him upside down with that tennis ball. I guess he was getting his frustrations out??

Saturday, January 3, 2009

CVS is a Winner!

Edited to add coupon details...

Just got back from CVS and scored quite some goodies!

BEFORE coupons: $142
AFTER coupons: $4.50 OOP! That was basically tax on purchases!

I bought:
1- pack of Huggies Diapers
1- Johnson & Johnson baby shampoo (plus an extra travel size)
1- Diabetic Glucose Monitor
1- Mylanta (with free rolaids)
1- Children's Motrin
1- Children's Tylenol
1- CVS Mouthwash
1- Garnier Fructis Shampoo
1- Visine Eye Drops
2- Colgate Toothpastes
2- Stayfree Feminine Products
1- Altoids

Transaction 1-
1 Garnier Fructis Shampoo- $2.99
1 Visine Tear- $4.49
2 Colgate Toothpaste- 2/$5
1 Altoids- $1.99 (had to have a filler)
2 caramels (filler items)33 cents each

Used: (1) $1 coupon GF shampoo
(1) $2 coupon Visine
(2) $1.50 coupon Colgate
(1) $1.00 coupon Altoids
Paid with ECB's $2.00
Handed over $3/$15 purchase
Paid with ECB's $3.00

Total: OOP $2.66

Transaction 2-
2- Stayfree Maxi Pads 2/$9.00
1- Mylanta- $6.00
1- Children's Tylenol $6.00
1- Children's Motrin $6.00

Used: (1) $5/$25 CVS coupon (emailed me)
(1) $2.00 coupon Mylanta
(1) $2.50 coupon for motrin and tylenol
(1) BOG1 coupon for Stayfree $4.50
Paid with ECB's: $5.00, $4.99, $3.00

Total: OOP $.64

Transaction 3-
1- Glucose Monitor Kit $68.99
1- J&J Baby Shampoo $2.99
1- CVS mouthwash $3.49
1- Huggies Diapers $17.99 (just realized this rang up wrong! should have been 9.49)

Used: (1) $3/$15 CVS coupon
(1) $29.99 glucose monitor coupon
(1) $2.00 diapers coupon
(1) $1.00 J&J coupon
(1) $3.00 CVS brand coupon for mouthwash
Paid with ECB's: $2.49, $3.00, $9.98

Total: OOP $1.26

I was going to take this last transaction back, but I don't think I can get my money back so I am not going to worry about $1.26 for all of that! I am just bummed because I used more ECB's than necessary!

Lesson learned...WATCH the SCANNER!!!!

Not too bad! Now, if I can just make my husband a believer, I will have accomplished something!

I must not lie, I am not a cook!

So, one of my New Year's Resolutions is to become a better cook. I thought I would try my hand out at beef stew for tomorrow night. We have a busy day tomorrow since we both have tennis matches up at Oglethorpe; so I thought it would be nice to come home to some warm beef stew.

I found a recipe at A Year of Crockpotting and set to work. However, I got distracted (umm, I wonder who did that??) and misread the ingredients. Instead of 1/4 cup of red wine, I added 2 cups! So, I tried to compensate for my mistake and I added water, more beef broth and potatoes. I'll let you know how it tastes tomorrow.

I am also trying to stay around $5 a meal for us. I didn't accomplish this goal but came very close to it! Actually, I might have even come under it if you count the fact that we will be eating on this for two meals.

Cost for meal: Beef stew meat-$3.36 (I had a coupon for meat at Target)
Red Wine- $2.49 (Trader Joe's special)
College Inn Beef Broth- FREE!
Green Beans- 9 cents
Onion, tomatoes, potatoes, garlic, carrots-- Around $1.75 total

Total Cost: $7.69 for three people for two different meals!

Friday, January 2, 2009

Free Chick-fil-A Every Tuesday in January

January 6 - Fruit Cup
January 13 - A chicken and egg on a Sunflower Seed Multigrain Bagel
January 20 - Sausage Biscuit
January 27 - ??

Limit one per person, and all you have to do is ask.

Thanks Thrifty Mama!

Free Cookbooks! HURRY!

Go to WOMANLY EXCELLENCE and check it out! Hurry for the first 10 people!!!