Friday, October 23, 2009

A Day at the Park in Dunwoody

My Sweet Caroline
Caroline was mad at me because I was standing in between the 'steps'!
Push me higher Daddy!
Ooohhh...that slide was MUCH faster!!!

She immediately ran to the bar steps and started climbing. It just about gave both of us a heart attack!
Oh, Mommy!!! You are silly!
Look at me!!
Caroline and I went to have lunch with Tim on Thursday. We ordered yummy sandwiches from Goldberg's Deli and had a picnic at the Liane Levetan Park at Brook Run in Dunwoody. This park was by the far the best that we have visited! I think we are going to make this a biweekly event in our new schedule. It had tons of climbing structures, covered picnic areas, CLEAN bathrooms, walking trail, and an enclosed field with another walking path. It's definitely worth the drive for me! Caroline loved it! As we were leaving, I noticed that there were tons of acorns on the ground. I picked up some and I'm going to use these in a sorting activity for her.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Publix Shop....Delayed

I'm sorry for the delay in posting my Publix shop, but I have been super busy this week. In fact, I barely made it to the store before the sale ended. I didn't have an incredible shop (such as going into the negatives), but I am choosing to be optimistic and see this shop as an example to others. It proves that you CAN save lots of money and still NOT have to be extreme.

Transaction Details:

8- Johnson & Johnson Bandaids $.79 ea- (4- $3.00/2 MQ)= FREE+++++
2- Muir Glen Tomato Sauce $.89 ea- (2- $1.00 MQ)= FREE+
12- Birds Eye Vegetables $.89 ea- (12- $.50 MQ doubled)= FREE+++
4- Reach Dental Floss $1.49 ea- (4- $1.00 PQ and 4- $1.00 MQ)= FREE++++

6- Arm & Hammer Toothpaste $1.50 ea- (3- $3.00/2 MQ)= FREE

8- Ronzoni Healthy Harvest Pasta $.89 ea- (4- $1.00/2 MQ)=
8- Progresso Bread Crumbs $.97 ea- (4- $1.00/2 MQ)=
4- Eight O'Clock Coffee $2.50 ea- (2- $2.00/2 MQ)=
4- Krusteaz Pancake Mix $1.09 ea- (4- $.50 MQ doubled)= $.09 ea
1- Marzetti's Veggie Dip $1.75 ea- (1- $1.00 MQ)= $.75
2- Old El Paso Seasoning $.53 ea- ($.60/2 MQ)=
1- Starkist Tuna 4 pack $3.15
2- Eggs $1.19 ea- (1- BOGO MQ)
1- Publix 2lb Carrots $2.49
1- Sugar $2.39
3- Dasani Water $3.99 ea
1- Vegetable Stir Fry- $1.00
1- Broccoli/Cauliflour Mix- $1.00
1- Milk $2.49
2- Half & Half $.79 ea
Bananas $.79
Grapes $1.06

Total OOP: $24.05

Total Saved: $137.36

*Note: I bought more pasta than normal because this is considered my rockbottom price. It is also whole wheat and I am transitioning into this.

*Note: I also decided to stockpile on bread crumbs. I didn't have any in my pantry, so this is enough to last a LONG time!

*Note: We are limiting our bottled water intake, so I am hoping that by buying three cases, it will last us a while. I am only going to drink the bottled water when I am in the car, at the gym, or at tennis. I am desperately trying to train my body (my brain!) that the filtered water tastes the same.

*Note: My coffee stockpile was getting low, though not depleted. I like this coffee and feel it is a great deal for my family. I now have enough coffee to last about 9 months.

In my opinion, you have to buy what is best for your family. I bought what we needed now, replenished my stockpile, and started/ended a stockpile item. Since I didn't buy much fruit, I will go to Kroger and buy a fresh fruit tray on manager's special. Our Kroger marks the fruit trays down super cheap and it lasts us about a week.

The Itsy Bitsy Spider...

I took Caroline outside this evening to pose in her adorable outfit. She loves the spider on her shirt, so she started singing the "Itsy Bitsy Spider". It just melted my heart!

P.S. Do you see the pathetic flower bed in one of the pictures? Does anyone have any suggestions to make the most of it?

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Pumpkin Patch at School

On Monday, we went to the Pumpkin Patch at Caroline's school. She carefully studied the pumpkins and then latched onto her favorite. She kissed it and wouldn't let it out of her sight! Before the day started, we almost had a wardrobe malfunction...I FORGOT about the "special" day on the calendar. Caroline picked out her outfit on Sunday night (a cute pink/blue/white ensemble) with her hot pink Converse shoes. We woke up late on Monday morning, I quickly dressed Caroline in her outfit and then BAM! it hit me. I remembered it was Pumpkin Patch Day at school! Aaaaahhhhhhhh! We can't go to the Pumpkin Patch in a non-Fall outfit, so I quickly changed her and viola, we headed out the door.
P.S. This was the outfit that I bought when I begged Tim to take us to St. Simon's Island (a four hour detour) on our way home from Ponte Vedra. Isn't it cute??? :)

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Yard Sale Success!

Inspired by my coupon mentor, I decided to have a small stockpile yard sale. I had lots of charcoal and condiments and revlon tools, so it was time to sell it! I organized it by type and priced it to sell. Four hours later, I was $220 richer!!!!

I sold almost everything! I had no expectations as it was FREEZING today! I was totally blown away by the response that I had. What an awesome feeling to know that I didn't have to pay money for what I sold (overage items) and now I am $220 richer! :) Couponing really does pay off!! To put it into perspective, I made enough money in these few hours to pay for my daughter's tuition next month. I now have that tuition already paid for and the "real" tuition money is now in savings. You can't beat that!

Now, what is holding you back from couponing, saving money, and then making money???

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Chili with a hint of Guatemala

As you all know, I am NOT a cook. I try really hard and sometimes I might get it right. Hahahaha! On Monday, it was nice and cool and a PERFECT day for chili! I usually make my chili following the directions on the back of the chili seasoning packet (for non cooks!). But, today, I felt like improvising.

Ingredients (of course, not with specific measurements):
1 lb of ground turkey breast
1 can Kidney Beans
1 can diced tomatoes
1 can rotel
Chili Seasoning
Garlic Salt
Garlic/Onion seasoning
Cayenne Pepper
Gallo (Guatemalan Beer) can be found at World Market under the name Famosa
Shredded Cheese
Wheat Ritz Crackers

Brown turkey and season with cayenne pepper, garlic salt, and cumin. I didn't drain because the meat is super lean. Put meat into crockpot. I then added the kidney beans (with juice), diced tomatoes (with juice), and rotel (with juice). Add package of chili seasoning and the other seasons to taste. To finish, I added the Gallo for the extra kick (the alcohol cooks out, so don't worry). I cooked in the crockpot for 5 hours on high, stirring occasionally.

We found this chili to be super yummy and had just a hint of spice. We added shredded cheese and crumbled wheat ritz crackers to "thicken" it up. Even Caroline liked it!

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

stand firm at the register

While making a second run for cheap broth at Publix, I found a blinkie for the Johnson and Johnson first aid products. The Q is $3.00/2. I was able to get 3 of the Q's to "shoot out" and luckily there were 6 travel sized bandaids. This makes for an overage of $1.40 for two products!

I go to checkout (remember, I'm at an "okay" store, but not my favorite) and the cashier will not allow me to use the J&J coupons. She states "your item is lower than the value of the coupon. We can't take it and we can't pay you for item." I stand firm and simply state "it's a manufacturer coupon, not a publix coupon." She refuses to accept the coupons. I then asked for a second opinion. The cashier sees the Store Manager walk in and begrudgingly walks over to ask him. He looks at it and says "It's a manufacturer coupon. It's fine." Needless to say, she wasn't happy and didn't thank me for shopping at Publix.

Lesson learned....stand firm at the register and ask for a second opinion.

My Publix Shopping List...

Before I forget, I want to point out that certain things only go on sale "rock bottom prices" a few times a year. For instance, around the winter holidays (Thanksgiving and Christmas), you will find tons of sales on baking items. This is an excellent time to stock up on cake mixes, sugar, flour, and oil. We don't use a ton of cooking oil at my house, but we are now out of it. I had to borrow (thank you Ira!) some cooking oil today. If I had known the sale cycles, I would have bought more last time it was on sale. I plan on stocking up on oil, sugar, and flour this season, so it will last me the majority of the year.

Now on to my Publix Shopping List. So far, I am not seeing or hearing about tons of money makers. One possible MM is the Maybelline Mascara, but I'm not sure of the prices yet. I plan on buying the following:

-Eight O’ Clock Coffee, Assorted Varieties, 11.5 or 12-oz bag (Excluding Decaf.) BOGO $4.99-
$2/2 PRINT
-T. Marzetti’s Dip, Assorted Varieties, 12 to 15.5-oz cont., BOGO $3.49-
$1/1 Veggie Dip From 07-26-09 SS-$.50/1 PRINT
-Krusteaz Pancake Mix or Belgian Waffle Mix, Assorted Varieties, 24 to 32-oz box, BOGO $2.19-
$.50/1 from 10-11-09 SS
-Krusteaz Cookie Mix, Bakery Style: Chocolate Chunk, Sugar or Peanut Butter, 15.5 to 17.5-oz box, BOGO $2.29-
$1.00/1 from 10-11/09 SS
-Ronzoni Healthy Harvest Pasta, Assorted Varieties, 12 to 16-oz pkg, BOGO $1.79-
-Progresso Bread Crumbs, Italian Style or Plain, 15-oz cnstr, BOGO $1.93-
-Old El Paso Taco Seasoning Mix: Original, Mild, Cheesy or 40% Less Sodium, 1-oz pkg, BOGO $1.07-
$.60/2 PRINT
-Nabisco Cakesters Soft Snack Cakes, Oreo: Original, Chocolate Creme or Peanut Butter Creme; or Nilla: Original or Strawberry Creme, 6-pk, 10.56 or 12-oz box, BOGO $3.29-
$1.50 off Nabisco Cookies, WYB any (1) pkg. Oreos (5-18 oz.) or Oreo Cakesters (10.56-12 oz) AND 1 Gallon of
Milk Tearpad
-Arm & Hammer Dental Care Toothpaste Mint: Advance Cleaning, Peroxi-Care Baking Soda & Peroxide, or Complete Care Extra Whitening, 6 or 6.3-oz box, (Excluding Advanced Varieties), BOGO $2.99-
$1/1 PRINT-
$3/2 from 08-16-09 RP
-Eggland’s Best Large Eggs, 12-ct ctn., 2/$4
$1/2; $.50/1 from 09-13-09 SS
$.50/1 Good Housekeeping, Working Mother, Prevention, Redbook, October 2009
(I'm thinking I can use the BOGO egg printable coupon with this one)
- Stacy’s Pita Chips or Bagel Chips, Assorted Varieties, 8-oz bag, 2/$4
$1/1 PRINT
$1/1 PRINT (CVS Q)
-Dasani Water, 24-pk, .5-L bot, $3.99
-Snuggle Fabric Softener or Snuggles Exhilarations, Assorted Varieties, 32-oz bot, 2/$6
$3/1 from 10-04-09 RP

Thank you to I Heart Publix for the match ups. Some of the items that I am buying will be going towards my stockpile and some are for specific purposes. My neighborhood is having a Halloween party, so the Marzetti Dip will be perfect to take as a side item. I also will be buying milk this week, so I might as well use the coupon match up for the Nabisco cookies. It will make for virtually free cookies. The coffee, Progresso bread crumbs, and Ronzoni Pasta is an AWESOME deal! I will print out my maximum limit of coupons and purchase these, as they are at "rock bottom" prices. The Arm and Hammer toothpaste and the Snuggle fabric softener will be free with the coupons. :) We also drink bottled water so $3.99 is a great price for purchasing a few cases.

What do you see this week that is of interest to you?

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Caroline's Pumpkin Art Project

Last week, I posted on how I was going to be implementing a new schedule for us at home. I haven't written lesson plans for this week, but we did make a craft and do a cooking project today. What did we do? For the craft project, I "borrowed" the awesome Pumpkin Art Project from Montessori Journey and adapted (not much) it to fit Caroline's needs.

Here's Caroline tearing the strips into squares

sorry for the dark pictures?? After tearing the paper, Caroline placed into the bucket

Caroline's gluing the torn paper onto the pumpkin

After gluing, she pulled the pipe cleaner through the hole for the vine

Admiring her finished masterpiece!

I loved doing this craft with Caroline today and she loved it too! In fact, while I was preparing for the cooking craft, she wanted to tear more paper and glue it on paper. She's so proud of her tearing project that she wanted it on the fridge.

The cooking project consisted of making orange jello. I wanted to make pumpkin jello jigglers, but misread the directions (yes, misread the jello box directions...that is why I am honest about my non-cooking talents) and had to adapt my plan. I decided to pour the jello into dessert glasses, but then realized that mine are vintage. I might actually cry if she broke we once again adapted the plan. I won these glasses at a tennis tournament raffle drawing, so I washed off the dust and poured away.

I then set them in the fridge to firm. After dinner, we will add some cool whip and chocolate chips to make a Jack-O-Lantern. I have a third one for Tim, but it is in a random glass that doesn't match. LOL! I think he'll forgive us. :)

Was today successful? Absolutely! It gave both of us something to look forward to and it kept Caroline from being so bored at home. It was super easy to gather the materials for the craft. (I basically have a school store upstairs) but even if you don't, you probably have these materials in your house. I also pulled some "special" books off the shelves upstairs to read. Caroline loved having Mommy's "special" books read to her. And yes, if you are wondering...I LOVE smocked clothes and yes, we do play in them. Hey...we live in the South!

Publix Shop and the new Luigi's Model

Doesn't she look like the next spokesperson for Luigi's Italian Ice?

Transaction Details:
5- Muir Glen Tomato Sauce $.89 ea- (5- $1.00 MQ)= Free++
2- BandAid $.79 ea- (1- $3/2 MQ)= Free++
1- Knorr Side $.75- (1- $.45 MQ doubled)= Free++
5- Reusable Bags $.99 ea- (5- Free PQ wyb General Mills Product)= FREE
4- Betty Crocker Potatoes $.80 ea- (4- $.40 MQ doubled)= Free
1- Gatorade- Penny Item- $.01
2- Swanson Broth $1.30 ea- (2- $.50 MQ doubled)= $.60
2- Red Baron Pizza $2.90 ea- (2- $1.00 MQ)= $3.79
2- Tangerines $.33 ea= $.66
1- Half & Half $1.69
1- Milk- $2.49
1- Eggs- $1.19
Bananas- $.52
Used: $5/$25 Competitor Q and $3/$30 Publix Q

Total OOP: $1.97
Total Saved: $51.02

I didn't realize that the broth was so cheap with the $.50 MQ, so I will go back tomorrow and buy a few more. I love using broth in the winter for soups and stews (not to mention that I have already stocked up on the veggies). I also didn't realize that the Muir Glen was a small moneymaker until after my last post. I know it's only 11 cents extra, but hey, it adds up. :) I will be posting my next week's publix list on Wednesday.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Fall Pictures...Take 1

On Sunday, I took Caroline outside to snap some pictures of my fall display. It's still not complete, as I haven't found a scarecrow at an awesome price yet. ;) I was able to find some beautiful mums for $5.99 and my straw bale for $4.00 to add to the pumpkins. Caroline loves having the pumpkins, flowers, and straw outside on the front porch. We will be going to the Pumpkin Patch in the area and then to her Pumpkin Patch at school, so soon we will have some more to add to the display.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

CVS Deals


I was delayed on going to CVS this week but I made it on Friday morning. I was able to take advantage of the great deals and made a GREAT profit!
Transaction 1 Details:
1-Breeze Monitor $14.99- (1- up to $30 MQ)= FREE
Total OOP- $0
Received- $5.00 ECB
Transaction 2 Details:
2- Dove Body Wash $7.00 ea- (2- $2.00 MQ)
1- Degree Clinical Protection Deoderant $6.00 ea- ($2.00 MQ)
1- Neosporin Lip Therapy $4.99- ($2.50 instant savings and $3.00 MQ)
1- Tone Bar Soap $1.88- ($1.00 MQ)
USED: $5.00/$25.00 CVS Q
Total OOP: $9.37 (I payed with $7.00 ECB's)
Recieved- $11.00 ECB
Transaction 3 Details:
1- Colgate Total $2.99 - ($1.00 MQ)
1- Revlon Nail Color $3.99- ($1.00 MQ)
2- Tylenol Sinus/Cold Medicine $6.00 ea- (2- $2.00 MQ...found these on the box in store)
1- Tylenol 100 count $8.00- ($2.00 MQ)
USED: $5/$25 CVS Q
Total $13.98 (Payed with $11.00 ECB's)
Received- $15.00 ECB
Transaction 4 Details:
1- Breeze Monitor $14.99- (up to $30 MQ)
Total OOP: $0
Received: $5.00 ECB
Check out Southern Savers for her transaction details for this past week. I did her grand plan.
I also threw in the two Breeze Monitors because I had the coupons which made them a $5 Money Maker each!
My OOP (out of pocket) was less than $7 and my profit was $18!
I now have $25 in ECB's (extra care bucks) to spend on my next purchase. But, this week is a slow week at CVS, so I'll save them for the next week.

Caroline's Nano and Budget REAL Pumpkins!

Here is my first attempt at the DIY (do it yourself) Pottery Barn pumpkin kits. Now that I am looking at this picture, I am seeing how far the cat's eyes are from each other. They really don't look as bad in person as in the picture. I didn't have toothpicks, so I had to 'borrow' some from my wonderful neighbor today. I put the finishing touches on the "nano" when Caroline went down for her siesta. So my total cost involved in this project is $3 for the pumpkin and $3 for the felt. I have enough felt leftover to do the rest of the pumpkin family but not enough pumpkins! LOL!
Why is this post titled "Caroline's Nano"? What is a Nano? Simply put, it's a cat. Caroline refuses to call cats "cats" but will only refer to them as a "nano". Mindboggling, isn't it? :)

I was looking through the Aldi (a grocery store) ad and spotted a stellar deal! Supposedly, they have pumpkins for $2.49 each! What??? Can it be??? Before picking up Caroline from school, I made my way to Aldi, where I scored these beautiful babies!
Aren't they gorgeous? I plan on painting and carving some of them and then decorating with the rest. I am picturing a couple of straw bales sitting in my front yard with a scarecrow or two and some giant planters of mums. I'll keep you posted on how that plan is developing!
I also picked up some tulip bulbs at Aldi for $5.99. On either Tuesday or Thursday (depending on the weather), I plan on planting them with Caroline in my front flower bed. We have the most useless bed in front of the dining room windows at our house. Really, it's just pathetic. In my opinion, it would have been better for the builder to have just placed concrete there (which I may get my brother-in-law to pour some for me there this summer).
So, does anyone know where I can get straw bales for dirt cheap???

Friday, October 9, 2009

Looks like a slow week at Publix

Am I the only one that thinks this week at Publix is a slow week for awesome sales? I do plan on buying a few things that are a great deal, but overall...not such a great week. This is my buy list:
  • Luigi's Real Italian Ice- After coupons= $.50
  • Betty Crocker Potatoes- After coupons= FREE (internet Q's) Don't forget to use your Q for a free Publix reusable bag wyb 2 products from General Mills (expires 10/11)
  • Swanson Broth- After coupons= About $.90
  • Knorr Sides- After coupons= Free+++ (I only have one Q)
  • Red Baron Pizza-After coupons= $1.90

So, not a great week, but it will help add to my stockpile. Since there aren't really any moneymakers out there, my total will be higher than usual. I'll just buy a couple boxes of the Luigi's, about 6 potatoes, 1 or 2 broth, 1 Knorr side, and 1 pizza.

What do you see at Publix that interests you?

Thursday, October 8, 2009

My New Schedule

I have noticed that Caroline has been a bit bored sitting at home on the days she's not in school. We watch television, read books, play with her toys, and go shopping, but that just doesn't seem to be enough. My background is in Early Childhood Education, so I should be able to provide her a "bored free" schedule of activities for those nonschool days.

Starting next week, we will be having a schedule of art activities and discovery activities that I hope will entertain her. I am thinking that I will base my activities around her school's monthly theme to reinforce what she is learning. Her teacher provides us with a monthly calendar of events/activities for her classroom. This month is "Farm Animals and Sounds". I LOVE this unit (actually, there are few units that I don't love)! This weekend, I will pull thematic books off the shelf (I literally have my own library upstairs), gather my resource books and begin planning.

I'll post my weekly activity schedule this Sunday, so you can see what we will be up to in the Rose Garden. :) Stay tuned for pictures!!!

Now, what does this mean for me? I need to be more organized and learn to manage my time quite a bit better (no comments from you Tim! hahaha!). This is one of my many downfalls, time management and organization at home. Isn't it amazing how this was one of my strengths in the classroom, but I fail at it miserably at home??? I am going to create a schedule of daily activities for myself too. Yuck! Now, I will have to become accountable for my day. Stay tuned and I'll let you know what I am creating.

Do you have any ideas for teaching a thematic unit on Farm? I would love to hear any ideas! Also, do ya'll have a schedule for yourself to make the most of your day? How does it work for you? I want the good, bad, and the ugly!

My One Cent Publix Shop!

This week's sale at Publix almost passed me by! Yikes!!! I was so busy trying to find the Red Cowboy Boots (which are coming from New Jersey), picking up my "extras" at my first consignment sale, finishing up some orders, and finding lots of decorating blogs, that I didn't even realize it was Wednesday! The ad will be changing tomorrow! So, while Caroline was napping today, I pulled out my coupons and waited for her to wake up.

Transaction Details:
9- Chex Mix $1.66 ea- (9- $.50 MQ doubled and 9- $1.00 TQ)= Free+++
1- Muir Glen $.89 ea- (1- $1.00 MQ)= Free+
18- Pillsbury Biscuits/Rolls $1.00 ea- (6- $1.00 MQ, 6- $.50/2 MQ and 18- $1.00 wyb Progresso)=
18- Progresso Soup $1.25 ea- (9- $.50/2 MQ doubled)=
4- Publix Reusable Bags $.99 ea- (4- Free PQ wyb General Mills)= Free
1- Milk- $2.49
1- Crunchpak Apples- $1.88
1- Sugar- $1.15
Bananas- $.48
Grapes- $.94
Pepper- $.02
Pepper- $.03
Green Beans- $.04

Used: $5/$25 Competitor Coupon AND $3.00/$30.00 Publix Coupon

Total: $105.45

OOP: $.01

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

My Sweet Girl

Just a picture of my sweet girl. :) If you look closely at her bottom lip, you will see a new "habit" that I am trying to break. She is now "gumming" her bottom lip and causing the underpart (for lack of a better word???) to chap. After applying lots of lipbalm, I think we are on the mend. Yay!

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Pottery Barn and Budget??

I know what you're thinking...Pottery Barn and budget in the same sentence? Can this be done? Yes, it can!! As I posted earlier, I am getting the itch to decorate for fall. Besides the fact that I tend to get really overwhelmed with decorating (big ideas but not enough time...); there's this thing called a BUDGET. I have somehow stumbled upon decorating blogs (beware: you will get addicted and waste LOTS of time) and found this one that I am LOVING! I was inspired by the simplicity of this project and the fact that she did it on a budget!

Pottery Barn Kids

Lindsay shows in this post how to create your own "build a pumpkin" kit for very little money. It is so simple that I plan on doing it! I also found some other great websites that show how to decorate for the holidays on a budget. I will post more of these later this week. For now, go to your nearest craft store to purchase your materials and get busy! I can't wait to hear from you guys if you tried it or not. I'll be posting pictures of my finished product, so stay tuned!