Coupon Haul

It’s been a while since I’ve posted anything about couponing. Tonight I feel even more accomplished than normal, because my husband and I have started Dave Ramsey’s program for budgeting/dealing with finances. So, suddenly I find myself being very very aware of what I spend. But, I love food. I don’t want to eat garbage just because it’s less expensive. And let’s face it. Good (“real”) food is spendy! Especially things like cheese & produce – which are two things I will not sacrifice for cost savings. I spent an hour or so clipping coupons and headed out to my local Albertson’s (where, they have the nicest employees on EARTH!). Here’s my haul:

[Read more…]

Cathartic Couponing

Did you ever just have a really lousy afternoon? Me too. I had one today actually. Everything in me wanted to verbally assault someone. Or possibly eat an entire half-gallon of ice cream…and some butter drenched bread. Instead, I went couponing. It was totally cathartic.  I spent $24.43. At regular prices – here’s what I could have purchased for that dollar amount. Five boxes of Honey Nut Cheerios…maybe six boxes depending on where you shop.

$25 - Five Boxes

Here’s what I got for that same price:

Cathartic Couponing

Cathartic Couponing Haul

20 Boxes General Mills Cereal (Honey Nut Cheerios, Cinnamon Toast Crunch and Trix)
10 Bags Chex Mix
10 Boxes Green Giant Frozen Veggies
10 Cans Progresso Soup (fall lunches for my honey)
1 Tontino’s Pizza
1 Box fruit snacks

Total Regular Price: $139.24
Total Savings: $114.81
As if that weren’t good enough – I got back 3 FREE 12-Pack soda coupons…that I’m going to use tomorrow to score Coke 12 packs for a dollar…which will in turn score me some free crackers. Yeah – pretty much, Albertsons (and coupons) totally rock my world. And, blowing off steam with coupon shopping saved me the cost of a therapy session and hefty legal fees if I’d let my fury get the best of me. Double win!

Couponing 101

A couple weeks ago, one of the gals at my MOPS table invited me to a couponing class with her. She is a self-proclaimed “crazy coupon lady” who doesn’t purchase things without a coupon. She gets most of her groceries at a huge discount, free – or sometimes even makes money back on the deal. I have never used coupons. Just kind of figured I didn’t have time for it…or, I guess that my time was worth more than the coupons were going to save me. I really haven’t even ever shopped the local ads. If I’m feeling really on top of things, I make a list of meals I’m planning to prepare for the week and then go get the stuff. Usually though, I hit the grocery store on my way home from the gym – pick up a few things for dinner and then repeat a couple times a week. I know this is not the best way to run my grocery shopping, and as a stay-at-home mom, feel like a total underachiever in this area. [Read more…]

One t-r-i-l-l-i-o-n dollars…mwah, ha, ha.

I talked to my mom this morning regarding the “tea parties” going on today to protest the massive government spending plan. Americans are joining together in cities all across the country to take a stand against their growing tax burden and out of control government spending. Both sides of the aisle are guilty of reaching far too deeply into our pockets to fund their own issues – and lately, to “bail out” many many many companies. The Congressional Budget Office estimates the President’s new plan will tally up a 1 trillion dollar deficit per year for the next decade. Now, I’ve never really sat down to think about how much money 1 trillion dollars is. Actually, I’ve never thought about one trillion anything. But I realized when talking to my mom that maybe the reason our politicians get away with throwing HUGE numbers around like they do is that Americans have no concept of how big those numbers really are. [Read more…]

Here’s a tip

During my Easter dinner with family, I heard an astonishing story. Apparently, Oprah told her audience that in light of these economic hard times, we should all band together in a grand money saving strategy and decide only to tip 10-12%. Now, my immediate reaction to this news was horror – my sister is a waitress and I was really quite pissed off for her entire industry that a magnate like Oprah would say something so detrimental to a huge chunk of the population. I mean come on – if you can’t afford the tip, maybe you shouldn’t be eating out? [Read more…]

I can’t leave you alone for one hour!

Earlier this week I decided to make a quick trip to Costco, leaving the munchkins with my husband. When I returned an hour later, I returned to hear the following story from Zack.

(imagine a hot 30-something relaying the following)

“So, shortly after Donovan woke up, the doorbell rang – I answered it, holding the baby to find a phone salesman standing there”. <insert me asking why he answered the door – considering we have a “no solicitation” sign just to the right of the doorbell> Zack continued “I don’t know why I didn’t just tell him we don’t accept solicitors, but I didn’t. So then the phone guy launched into his schpeel about how we could bundle our phone, internet and cable and save a TON of money. He had our name and address, and said there was going to be a representative in our area and he could just schedule an installation for next week sometime.” <insert me asking incredulously if he signed up for a new “bundled” phone service from someone selling door to door > “No! Well, sort of…let me finish” exclaimed Zack. “So, suddenly the guy was pulling out a form in triplicate and filling in our information. It was only after he walked away that I realized I’d signed us up to switch our service and bundle it all together. So I immediately called Qwest and cancelled the new services – so don’t worry, we’re all good.”

“I can’t leave you alone for one hour without you changing our phone service all around. Good grief!” [Read more…]

“I’ve run out of gas…can I have five bucks?”

I’m sure most of you know exactly what I’m talking about in my title. We’ve all heard it. Most commonly when trying to pick up a few groceries on the way home from work. I’ve had the experience numerous times.

You’re approached by someone who looks down on their luck – possibly homeless. They tell you (most convincingly) that they’ve run out of gas and can’t afford to put more in their tank – and could you find it in your heart to give them 5 bucks for a gallon or two? I’ve heard variations on this story – once I was told that he’d just finished up a trip from <insert some random state many miles away>, traveling here for his wife’s father’s funeral. Now, I am not (contrary to popular belief) without a heart. However, it is not my natural instinct to believe these stories or to think for one second that any money I fork over won’t immediately be used to purchase one of two things – neither of which is gasoline – both of which probably taste just like it. Call me a cynic. Call me mean. I just refuse to give these folks any money. I almost always offer to take them at their word…and pop over to a close by gas-station and purchase them a gallon or two. Occasionally I even offer a full tank. I’ve never been taken up on my offer. [Read more…]

Training Required

I had an interesting conversation with my brother this weekend. He’s been talking to some folks at work who have passionate opinions on who should be allowed to “breed”. Apparently, the criteria goes something like this. You should be able to provide your children with “every opportunity”. You need training to be sure you’re capable of raising kids. Must have financial stability. Must be able to prove you are mature enough. On and on and on.

I have known plenty of people who have a similar take on being “allowed” to procreate. The funny thing is, most people who hold these views don’t have kids of their own. As such, they’ve got zero clue what having kids really means. I actually used to think along these same lines when it came to having kids. My oh my, how having some of your own changes your perspective. [Read more…]

Getting gorgeous – at what cost?

I just read an article online called “Get Gorgeous in 4 Weeks” – it was a main link on Yahoo’s homepage. I cannot believe the ridiculousness of it. Included in the article were “four weeks’ worth of purifying, indulgent, get gorgeous ideas”, which is a fine idea, but as I started to read, I realized something. For each days’ idea, there was a product suggested for achieving the goal listed. I started adding up the costs when I got to day 8.  Here’s what I tallied for the 28 days of beauty:

$833.50 – which did not include the following (which had no prices listed)
– Hair appointment with your stylist
– Seeing a vein specialist to get those legs summer ready
– Brow shaping
– Perfume
– Using the concierge to schedule a spa day for you and your girlfriends

Now I’m no beauty expert, but I’m sure I can come up with some stuff that fits the 4 categories included in the article for less than $800+. [Read more…]

The shabby Y

I worked out with my sister Amy last night at the brand spankin’ new 24 Hour Fitness near her house. Oh my goodness. As I walked thru the doors, I felt like I’d died while working out and gone to gym heaven.

Every treadmill and elliptical machine had it’s own tv attached. You could plug your headphones in and watch any show of the few dozen (including cable channels) options. The machines also had attached cup holders and a little tray where you could stash a towel, magazine, training log, pen etc.

I did 60 minutes of cardio while watching “The Biggest Loser” on my little tv. I cannot express how motivating it is to listen to Jillian screaming “LAST CHANCE WORKOUT PEOPLE” while pushing myself to get my heart rate just a little higher. It was awesome. [Read more…]

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