Thursday, July 30, 2009

Vacation Pics Part 1...

Caroline's Sand/Seashell Castle

The beginning of the masterpiece!

She worked on this for at least an hour!

Watch out Mommy! Here comes sand!

Umm....let me see if there's a shell here...

Still checking on the shell...

The Intercoastal Waterway at Barbara Jean's

The shirt says it all..."Crabby"
Tuesday morning picture pose

Sucking on pineapple for breakfast

I love this picture! Look at her face!Who do we need to call???

Playing on the playground while we wait on our room

I made up for not taking pictures the first day at the beach by taking lots later! The order of the pictures are in reverse and there will be more later. In the next post, I'll write more about where we went and what we did.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

I'm on Vacation!!!!

We are officially on a short vacation in Ponte Vedra, FL. I am currently sitting at the desk in our suite overlooking the sign that reads "No swimming. Do not feed the alligators.", watching golfers and all is quiet. I am LOVING it! We went to the beach this morning, played in the sand and ocean, then went to the olympic size pool and now we are back in the room while Caroline has a catnap. Why am I telling you this and not showing you? I forgot to take pictures!!! Yes, this is the first ocean trip this year and YES...I forgot to get my camera out! I'll do better later today. When Caroline gets up, we are putting the suits back on and headed to the pool overlooking the golf course. See you soon! Oh by the way, I did do a 'Publix Shop' yesterday to get some freebies for us! :) More on that later...

Friday, July 24, 2009

Some of my Upcoming Shopping List at Publix

I realize that I have been a bit behind on posting my Publix grocery list for a few weeks. My life has been a bit crazy with LOTS of tennis (not that I am complaining!). Here are a few things that I will be buying:

*I Can't Believe It's Not Butter $1.45
-$.75 MQ from “Family is It’s Own Reward” booklet (makes it .69¢ ea)
-$1.25 off I can’t Believe Spread RP 6/28

*Smucker’s Preserves, Jelly or Jam, 12.75-18 oz, at $1.57
-.35/1 Smucker’s Low Sugar or Sugar Free RP 5/03 (makes it .86¢ ea)

*Pillsbury Moist Supreme Cake Mix, at $.85
-.35/1 Pillsbury Reduced Sugar Cake or Frosting RP 5/17 (makes it .14¢ ea)

*Bumble Bee Chunk Light Tuna in Water, 4 pk, at $2.00
-$1/2 off any Bumble Bee Products printable (becoming a fan on facebook required to print) (makes it $1.49 ea)

*Alexia Natural Crunchy Snacks, 4.5-5 oz bag, at $1.45
-$1 off Alexia Snacks SS 6/14
-AND....75/2 Alexia Snacks printable (Target)

*Chiquita Bananas .49¢ lb

*Persian Limes .12¢ ea

*Kiwi Fruit .25¢ ea

Tim will be very excited to know that we will now have jelly/jam in the house. We ran out a long time ago and now that I am couponing, I refused to buy it until it went on sale. Last week, Tim had given up on me and bought the cheapest that Kroger had in the store! Hehehehe. Now to his surprise, we will be getting the name brand! I also LOVE the butter spray. It's so easy to spray on toast and potatoes and Caroline really likes the taste. Kiwi is super cheap, so I will be buying several to give her more of a variety in her fruit. Also, the cake mix is a great price, so we will be stocking up on this too. Tim is an awesome baker, so we keep lots of this on hand. In order to keep my OOP to a minimum, I will also be throwing in bandaids, reach dental floss and more juice.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Publix Drama...Successful Shop

Picture is missing 2 more packs of Aquafina water
My luck with a certain Publix store has finally come to an end. To save you all the drama, on Monday night, I exchanged words with the cashier and the customer service staff, gathered my coupons, and left my groceries which were already bagged at the store. I will NOT be returning to that particular store and will be more than happy to take my business to a Publix store that makes "shopping a pleasure!"

Tonight's experience was totally different. The cashier wasn't really nice but not rude perked up when I handed her 3 McCormick Spice Coupons so she could get some free spice and the customer service lady was super nice when I told her she could order coupons off of Ebay. Shopping was a pleasure tonight! When I was checking out, a mom and daughter (same age as me) were behind me. They kept saying "Wow! Look at her total!" It turns out that she coupons too and was just as excited for me as I was!

Transaction Details:
6- Johnson & Johnson BandAids- $.79 ea (3- $3/2 MQ and 2- $5.00 PQ)= Free+++
4- Reach Floss- $1.49 ea (4- $1.00 MQ and 4- $1.00 PQ)= Free+
5- Apple & Eve Juice- $1.39 ea (5- $.50 MQ doubled and 5- $1.00 PQ)= Free+
2- Tylenol Arthritis- $3.85 ea (2- $2.00 MQ and 2- $2.00 PQ)= Free+
8- NY Croutons- $.75 ea (8- $.50 MQ doubled)= Free+
3- Carefree Panty Liners- $1.39 ea (3- $.50 MQ doubled and 1- $3.00 PQ)= Free+
8- McCormick Grinders- $.99 ea (8- $1.00 MQ)= Free
2- Oscar Mayer Deli Meat- $3.00 ea (1- $1.00/2 MQ)= $5.00
3- Aquafina 24 pack Water- $3.99 ea (no coupon)= $11.97
2- Bush Black Beans- $.43 ea (no coupons)= $.87
1- Milk- $2.00
1- Half & Half- $1.69
4- Goldfish- $1.09 ea (no coupons)= $4.38
Grapes- $2.33
Bananas- $1.13
Total: $109.06
Total OOP: $3.06 ($.20 before tax)

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Kroger Mega 10 Shopping Trip

Excuse the pitiful picture! Kroger is having their Mega 10 sale again this week. There is a HUGE moneymaker on Playtex hand saver gloves and disposable gloves. I used the extra overage from them to pay for my other groceries. It wasn't my best shopping trip (money OOP), but it was fine for me. :)

18- Honeysuckle Turkey-$.99 each (sale is twice a year) STOCK UP!
1- Eggs-$1.49
1- Wheat Bread- $.78
2- Tyson Chicken Breasts- $5.83- (2- $1.00 MQ)- $3.83/2
Mega Sale Items...Buy 10 save $5.00
2- Oscar Mayer Lunch Meats- $3.99 each
3- Philly Cream Cheese- $1.29 ea (3- $1.00 MQ)
2- Lady Speed Stick- $1.50 ea (2- $1.50 MQ)
23- Playtex Gloves- $1.00 ea (23- $1.00 MQ)
-$15 discount for Mega 10 sale

Total: $127.62
Total OOP: $19.67

Concert at Starbucks

I'm pretending not to notice you staring at me!
Okay...take your picture!
Is this music going to get any better???
Eating apples and yogurt and listening to music...this is the life!
Super yummy!
Dipping her apple slices into yogurt, yummy!
Chowing down on apple slices!
Our friends Leah and Tom. We play tennis with them and seem to always go to concerts with them!
Our friend Richard. He just returned from surfing in Hawaii! Doesn't he look refreshed!

On Saturday evening, we went to Starbucks to hear some local musicians perform. The music as a whole was NOTHING to write home about, but it was fun with friends! The third act, was incredible! I have no idea his name, but I NEED his album! Great blues meets jazz. Caroline chowed down on apple slices and yogurt, while we sipped on coffee. Life doesn't get much better than this!

Trip to the Nature Center

This squirrel was perched on the branch above after his tummy was full from tortilla chips!
Here he is eating bread and chips!
Savannah and Caroline in front of the Bobcats.
Caroline posing in front of the bison and turkeys.
Caroline posing with the "growling" cougar.
Sitting on a wooden croc in the reptile room.
Looking at the turtles and snakes.
Walking to the farm to see the sheep, cows, chickens, and horses.

Riding the trike in the parking lot.
Uh oh!
We went to Dauset Trails Nature Center last week with my sister and niece. Originally, we were headed to High Falls (waterfalls/rocks) for a picnic but the rocks were closed off, so we ventured a bit further down the road. Dauset Trails is located off of I-75 South exit 198 (for those of you who live close) and is FREE! It's similar to a mini zoo and is NOT stroller friendly, so leave them at home or in the car. :)
We had a picnic lunch and the squirrels are just like dogs! They literally beg for food and if you let them, they will probably sit on your table! Savannah freaked out, which made Caroline freak out, which made Christi freak out, so the kids didn't eat their lunch. I'm not sure what the big deal was, we've all seen squirrels before!
The trails were nice and the animals were cool. A few years ago, my class came here for a field trip, but it was much different this time not having to count 20 heads! Caroline loved the bobcats and the cougar. She started growling at the cougar and he started growling back! I'm not sure if it was cute or scary!
We walked to the Farm section and were almost attacked by the chickens, so we didn't stay too long! These chickens were irritated and we happened to be in their path! We quickly looked around and got the heck out of dodge.
After the trails, Caroline rode her tricycle in the parking lot (which was NOT busy) and Savannah rode her scooter. They had so much fun and it was nice to get out of the house.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Not a Crook...Just a Couponer!

"I'm sorry Ma'm about that. I'm sorry that they made you look like a crook because that's what it looked like. I don't understand why they didn't get that you can use a Publix coupon and a regular coupon. Of course if you are stacking coupons, you'll probably get overage. You did good, but there's still one more lady that does even better than you!"

Yep. This is what was said to me by the 16 year old bagger boy tonight at Publix. And, yes, I did feel like a crook. As if I was stealing food right from underneath them! Here's the story...

I took Caroline to my sister's house so she could swim with Savannah and I headed once more to Publix. I wanted to take advantage of getting some "free" Huggies diapers. We are completely potty trained during the day, but not at bedtime, so I wanted to use the $2.00 PQ with a $3.00 MQ to get them for free. I made my list of items to give me overage, gathered my coupons and headed in the store.

The two baggers were very friendly, as was the cashier. BUT...she began to get upset after she finished my Publix coupons and then realized that I had manufacturer coupons. OVERAGE! I patiently waited while she tried to "figure out" the system, patiently waited while one customer service staff came over to "figure it out" and then began to lose my patience when the asst. customer service manager came over. No one had an answer to give me. I have baffled them! WHAT? How do you baffle one when you have gone to that store repeated times? After several minutes of explaining by the cashier to the manager why she can't enter my MQ's because it would make the item "free", I had had enough.

"You know what, I have done this multiple times at every other Publix including this one. I handed over my Publix coupons first, like I had been told, and then handed over my Manufacturer coupons next. Yes, the item is $1.39 and I have used a $1.00 publix coupon and then a $.50 manufacturer coupon. What seems to be the problem today?"

"We aren't sure you can do this. We can't give you the item for free and give you money out of the cash register."

"I'm not asking you to give me money out of the cash register. I will end up paying you. But, my total is still $47 and you haven't even scanned my manufacturer coupons yet. You know what? Just give me back all of my coupons, you can keep your groceries and I will go to another Publix store who is much friendlier than you!"

"Oh, wait a minute ma'm. Let's just see what we can do. Scan the coupons and we'll see what happens."

So, they scanned the coupons and my total came to $1.00 plus tax. They profusely apologized and out I went with my groceries. Hence the bagger boy's first statement.

10-Apple & Eve Juice- $1.39 ea (10- $1.00 PQ and 10- $.50 MQ)= Free+
6- Reach Floss- $1.49 ea (6- $1.00 PQ and 6- $1.00 MQ)= Free+
5- Tylenol Arthritis- $3.85 ea (5- $2.00 PQ and 5- $2.00 MQ)= Free+
20- Kool Aid- $.20 ea (no coupons)= $4.00
2- Sugar- $.85 ea (2- $2.00 MQ wyb 10 Kool Aid)= Free+
2- Huggies Diapers- $19.99 ea (2- $2.00 PQ and 2- $3.00 MQ)= $14.99 ea
6- J&J Travel Kits- $1.47 ea (see below)
3- Band Aids- $.79 ea (see below)
2- J&J Gauze- $1.79 ea (see below)
1- J&J cloth tape- $1.79 ea (6- $3.00/2 MQ and 4- $5.00 PQ)= Free+++
1- Onion- $.23
1- Jalepeno Pepper- $.08
1- Fingerhot Pepper- $.02
2- Blueberries- $1.67 ea
-Used $3.00/$30.00 Publix coupon

Total: $121.01

Total after coupons: $7.37 ($1.00 before tax)

Monday, July 13, 2009

Successful BUT Nightmarish Publix Shop

Notice the $50 Shell Gas Gift Card!
Whole Picture
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Tim is modeling my's REALLY LONG!

Once again inspired by Kelly, I ordered some charcoal coupons, printed out $6.00 Pork coupons, cut out more coupons and then cut out even more coupons in order to prepare for this shopping trip. I was very determined to get everything for free, including a $50 gas card. I wasn't successful in completing my mission, but I am proud of myself. :) I left Caroline at home with Tim, grabbed my calculator, pen/paper, and a STACK of coupons and headed for Publix.
This trip took forever! Literally, a couple of hours... I did manage to meet a coupon representative for Kellogg's and he hooked me up with some $1.50/1 Kashi peelies. He also alerted me to a style that was being discontinued, so I ended up getting them for free. :)
One Transaction....Too MANY coupons...Equals Unhappy Cashier, Customers, and Management! More on this at the bottom of the post....
4- Reach Floss- $1.49 ea (4-$1.00 MQ and 4- $1.00 PQ)= Free+
10- Apple & Eve Juice- $1.39 ea (10- $.50 MQ and 10- $1.00 PQ)= Free+
17- A1 Steak Marinade- $1.45 ea (17- $2.00 MQ)= Free+
4- Tylenol Arthritis- $3.85 ea (4- $2.00 MQ and 4- $2.00 PQ)= Free+
2- Kashi Pizza- $1.49 ea (2- $1.50 MQ and 2- $.50 Target Q)= Free+
8- Travel Band Aid- $.79 ea (see below)
4- Johnson & Johnson Travel Kits- $1.47 ea (2- $5.00 PQ and 6- $3.00/2 MQ)= Free+
3- Kashi Pizza $2.99 ea (3- $1.50 MQ and 3- $.50 Target Q)
40- Kool Aid- $.20 ea (no coupon)= $8.00
3- Sugar- $.85 ea (3-$2.00 MQ wyb Kool aid)= Free+
1- Sugar- $1.39 ea (1- $2.00 MQ wyb Kool aid)= Free+
4- Kingsford Charcoal- $6.99 (4- $4.00 MQ)= $2.99 ea
4- KC Masterpiece Sauce- $2.99 ea (4- $2.00 MQ wyb Charcoal)= $.99 ea
1- Publix Foil- $2.99 ea (1- Free wyb Charcoal MQ)= Free
1- Pam Spray- $2.50 ea (1- Free wyb Charcoal MQ)= Free
1- Ground Pork- $1.93 ($6.00 MQ wyb Charcoal and KC)= Free+
1- Ground Pork- $1.85 ($6.00 MQ wyb Charcoal and KC)= Free+
1- Pork Chop- $3.16 ($6.00 MQ wyb Charcoal and KC)= Free+
1- Pork Chop- $3.63 ($6.00 MQ wyb Charcoal and KC)= Free+
3- Blueberries- 3/$5.00 (no coupon)
Bananas- $.75
Cilantro- $.79
Jalapeno Pepper- $.28
2- Smart Balance Spray- $1.40 ea (1- $.55 MQ)=$.85
2- Smart Balance Milk- $3.00 ea (2- Free Milk wyb spread)= Free
1- Milk- $2.25 ea
2- Klondike Ice Cream- $1.80 ea (2- $1.25 MQ)= $.55 ea
1- $50 Shell Gas Card (1- $10 PQ)= $40.00
1- Publix Salad Dressing- (penny item)= $.01
1- Publix Bread- $1.25 ea
1- Post It Note- $2.29 ea
Used: $5.00/$25.00 competitor coupon

Total: $296.30

Total After Coupons: $36.19 ($28.72 before tax)

Note: I forgot to give 2 of my $5.00 Johnson & Johnson Publix Q's to the cashier...fatal mistake because my total would have been $26.19! I also messed up with my Smart Balance coupons. I thought one coupon would work but they wouldn't take it, so I only had 1 $.55 MQ on me. Also, I had a $2.50 BJ's coupon for the Post It Notes, but they wouldn't accept it and I couldn't find it in the bags to take back. :( My 4 bags of charcoal are still in the car and didn't make it to the picture.

Note: I will be selling my charcoal on Craigs List, so I will be getting some money back. :)
Note: DO NOT use these many coupons in one transaction. I had a complete mental lapse and lost my mind! The customer service manager had to stand at the register and manually override the majority of my coupons. Nerve wrecking! This also made LOTS of customers behind me irritated, so I didn't make any friends today. LOL!