Monday, June 29, 2009

Coupon Confessions and Shopping on 6/19

The last couple of weeks we have been really busy around here! We are in the midst of a living room remodel which has included the sealing of old vinyl wallpaper that couldn't come down and now we are working on restoring the old wood floor. The wallpaper project took a grand total of 20 hrs over a 5 day period to seal then paint. Hubby and I are working together we are exhausted and sore but we are making great progress. So far we have already spent 2 nearly full days on the floor and we aren't done. We have had to fit this in on days that we are actually home and available so that has put a damper on anything else I am doing.

And during all of this, it had been the last 2 weeks of my daughters musical so last week they had dress rehearsal mon-wed from 5:30-9pm then they had performances on Thurs, Sat and Sun. The previous week they had practice everyday from 9am-12.

I must confess that I haven't bought a newspaper the last 2 weeks! Oh my I can hardly believe it myself. It has just worked out that by the time Sunday rolls around I am so literally exhausted that well, I just forgot. So I have NO COUPONS from 6/21 or 6/28! Also I have done very little shopping. Basically only what we need to survive yet another week. As for our menu, well some days we make something super easy like Tacos or Sandwiches and others we make a run for the drive thru.

In the long run I know that I am going to look at my living room and be so glad that we worked so hard and saved money by not hiring anyone to do the work for us. Also I have been taking pictures so trust me when I say "Frugal Decorating/Remodeling" posts are in the works.

Here is my shopping for 6/19 through 6/25

My girls are peanut butter aholics so we had to do the Unilever deal at walgreens.
My total spent in 2 transactions was $26 and I left with $3 in Register rewards. I had no coupons too use that day but it comes out to $1.44 an item not including the Register Reward so that works for me.

Then I made a trip to Kroger to finish up. My total was $55.51 and once again I used only a couple coupons. This was all the shopping I did that week. My grand total came to $81.51.

This week was the beginning of a payday (2week period) so I had a total of $200 for the 2 weeks in my budget.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Frugal House Keeping

Nearly a year ago I posted about my journey to go minimalist on my cleaning supplies. Gone was the day of buying every commercialized bottle of cleanser to fit every spot of my home. Little did I know how wonderful this was going to be!

Now 10 months later and I still have very little cleansers in this house. I have stuck with the vinegar, comet, occasional bleach and added in baking soda. There is almost nothing you can't do with at least one of those items. You may need to add water or a little dawn but you can get your house pretty darn clean.

I still have a spray bottle with vinegar and water that I use on a lot of things. Mirrors, kitchen table, bathroom sink, kitchen counters. For inside the toilet I sprinkle in some baking soda and add about a cup of vinegar and let it sit. If I feel like the toilet is really bad sprinkle it with the comet instead.

If I feel like the kitchen cabinets or table need a serious disinfecting (like from raw meat) then I just fill the sink with some hot water and add a little bleach and a little dawn then clean them well.

As for dusting we purchased a long handled duster shortly after we cut out excessive cleansers and it works great. If I feel the area is super dusty I will just wipe it down with a wet wash cloth.

It is amazing how much cleaning you can get done with such inexpensive items.
A lg bottle of Vinegar is about $2.50
Lg box of baking soda is about $2.25
Get the walmart brand bleach and pay just over $1
Depending on the store you can get Comet or Ajax anywhere from 50cents to $1 a container.

TipNut has so many homemade cleaning recipes it is crazy. This is where I found all of the recipes I use. If you are wanting to save some money this is an area that you can really slash your budget and still get your house just as clean as you would with all the expensive products.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Frugal Carpet Cleaning

Cleaning your carpets doesn't have to be expensive if you are willing to put in a little work. As tempting as it is to hire someone you can do the work yourself and save the extra money for something else.

If you don't own a steam cleaner you will need to rent one and the RugDoctor is a great machine! At our local "RentAll" the RugDoctor wide track rents for $26.99 for a 24 hour period. Here is what we did: the "RentAll" here closes at 3pm on saturday and they are closed on Sunday, so we rented the machine at 2pm on Saturday and didn't have to bring it back until 9am on Monday morning. It would definitely be worth it to see you could get a similar type of deal. We got all those extra hours for the same price.

Thankfully I had a great conversation with my neighbor "Mr Landscaper" just before we went to rent the machine. His parents own a lot of rental properties and he does most of their work at said properties including cleaning up after renters have moved out. He said that he always uses All instead of the expensive carpet cleaning solutions and that the carpets come out clean and fresh. Well it so happens that I have several bottles of All Small and Mighty that I had purchased for 79cents a bottle. Score!

After I saw the price for the RugDoctor cleaning solution I was so glad that I had talked to "Mr. Landscaper" before I went.

All Small and Mighty: 79cents
RugDoctor Solution: $18.99

Here is how I used the All. Everytime I had to fill the machine with fresh hot water I just added one lid full of the All and yes it cleaned very well.

Now we had a couple of spots that I new were going to be difficult at best. When I saw the RugDoctor spray stain remover was $9.99 a bottle I was sure I could do better. I ran to Fred's and bought a bottle of Clorox Oxy Magic for only $2.99. This stuff really did the trick. My carpets came out nice and clean.

I was very thrilled that I only spent a total of $31 to get them cleaned.

Do you have any special ways to keep your carpets clean? Do you use any unexpected cleaning solution? My sister has been known to add a little bleach to her carpet cleaner tank on a white rug. (she owns it).

Monday, June 22, 2009

Walgreen's Best Deals of the Week 6/21

Please keep in mind these are my favorite deals of the week. Be sure to check your local ad for the complete list of sales.

Aquafresh Advanced Toothpaste $3 and earn $3 Register Rewards
$0.75/1 Aquafresh (Smart Source 6/21/09)

Speed Stick or Lady Speed Stick, $2.99 and earn $2 Register Rewards

Planters Trail Mix 2/$3 buy 2 and earn $1 Register Rewards

Nabisco Chips Ahoy Cookies (small size) $1
$1/2 Nabisco Chips Ahoy (Smart Source 5/17/09)

Band-Aids 2/$3
$1/1 Band-Aids (Smart Source 3/15/09)
$1/1 Band-Aids (Red Plum 4/26/09)

CVS Best Deals of the Week 6/21

Please keep in mind these are my favorite deals. Be sure to check your local ad to see all of this weeks sales.

ThermaCare Neck or Arm Wrap (1-ct.) $2.49 and earn $2.49 Extra Care Bucks (limit 2)
$1/1 ThermaCare Heat Wrap (Red Plum 4/19/09)

Mitchum Deodorant $1.99 and earn $1 Extra Care Bucks (limit 1)
$0.75/1 Mitchum or Mitchum for Women, exp. 7-20-09 (SS 6/21/09)

Crest Multipacks $4.99 and earn $3 Extra Care Bucks (limit 1)
$0.50/1 Crest Toothpaste or Liquid Gel (Proctor &Gamble 6/7/09)

Tylenol (20-24 ct) $4.99 and earn $2 Extra Care Bucks (limit 3)
$1/1 Tylenol Extra Strength or 8-hour Product (Red Plum 4/5/09)

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Guest Post: A Tribute to Father's Day

This guest post is brought to you by Emeri my 13 year old daughter. She loves to read, write, sing and act. She also loves her Dad!

(from left to right: Jonah, Daddy and Emeri)

“I love you, cupcake!” you'll probably hear him yell as you step on the bus on the first day of 8th grade. He's the guy always cracking jokes, the guy who can make you laugh with his stupid faces, the guy that always hugs you when you least expect it, the guy who'll establish your money management plan, and the guy who's the 'cooliest person in the world', or so he says. He's our dad. Sure, they can sometimes treat you like you're still a kid when you're 25, but the truth is, they love us. Whether they work in an office or are a Mr. Mom, they are always supporting the family. They always ask about your day and want to know who you like this week. They care. They're the one's that cry the hardest at your graduation and smile the hardest at every single thing you accomplish. Okay, so everything might not be so peaches 'n' cream between a father and daughter, but you have to admit his cheesy jokes are pretty funny. One of my favorite things about my dad is when he tries to rap. Now, this is no ordinary rap. He usually raps about my sister or me. Today he shared a little rap with me. It went a little something like this:

Dad, Dad, he's so rad,

He keeps up with the latest fads.....

My dad can be such a dork, but that's what I love about him. So on Father's Day, go up to your dad and give him a big hug and kiss. Trust me. He'll treasure those kinds of moments most. Happy Father's Day, Dad!

Friday, June 19, 2009

Vision Restored

I started wearing glasses at the early age of 6 years old. I am near sighted and as the years have passed my eyes have gotten worse and worse. Not once in the 18 years I have worn glasses have they improved.

Jonah, my glasses wearing 10 year old got her first pair of glasses at age 8. For months now I can hardly get her to wear them at all. She claims she doesn't need them. She will give in and put them in a case in her back pack but who knows if she ever puts them on at school. Above is one of the only pictures I even have of her with her glasses on.

Back to the point of my story. Today we had eye doctor appointments for both girls. Jonah goes in first and has her eyes examined.
The Ophthalmologist comes out to speak to me,
"Jonah can see just as good without her glasses as she can with them. Her eyes have corrected themselves. She no longer needs to wear glasses."

So her eyes are just better? The have fixed themselves?

When she had her very first eye exam at 8 we went to a WalMart Vision Center, this time we went to an Ophthalmologist office. So I am wondering, did her eyes improve or did she never need the glasses to begin with?

Thursday, June 18, 2009

CVS shopping 6/14

My CVS trip was a total of 4 transactions. I spent $14.23 out of pocket and only left with $2 Extra Care Bucks.

I was very pleased to get a couple more razors for my hubby I couldn't have went to the store and bought the 2 razors for $14. However I wasn't super thrilled with the Purex. You can read my review here.

My grand total spent for the week was $67.20

Kroger Shopping 6/12

I didn't have a lot I needed to get this week. I was also in a hurry and I had went to the small Kroger (not the one I ususally shop at) My total spent at Kroger was $39.96.

I totally missed Target and Walgreens this week, hopefully I will be able to get there this weekend.

Kmart Super Doubles 6/12

I managed to lose all my receipts from the past weekends shopping due to all the chaos going on with the painting of the living room. So I am looking up my bank statement for totals spent.

Total spent $13.01

Popcorn Peanuts Ice Cold Beer

This is the phrase I heard being declared over and over last Friday night! No it was not my hubby's grocery wishes, it was the gentleman making his way through the stadium at that ball game.

I am not what you would call a sports fan. Don't get me wrong I really enjoy watching my girls play softball but sports in general do not do it for me. I don't watch on t.v. and as for going to watch sports in person I have done very little. Over the years I have seen a high school game or two and even a college game but that is it for me.

So Friday we were invited by friends to go see a Miners game. I have to admit that we hadn't been once to see our local Minor League team play. The girls did go to a game on a field trip with school.

Hubby was very excited and although it was sports I was excited to get out of the house and to go hang out with friends. We got to the game and took seats on the lawn, I have to admit it was nice. I got out my camera to gets some great pics of the girls and they refused me! Uh are you kidding me?! I didn't push it since there were a lot of people around and the last thing I wanted to do was totally embarrass my 13 and 10 yr old.

The game was long, really really long! Like 3 hours and 39 minutes long, I almost thought I was going to have to sleep there. With the exception of the seriously lengthy game we did have a great time. There was great fellowship with friends, the corn dogs were killer and at the end of the night I got to witness a fabulous fireworks display. All in all our Friday night out was definitely a winner.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Review: Purex 3 in 1 Laundry Sheets

I am sure most of you know that CVS is running an ECB deal on Purex 3 in 1 laundry sheets this week. Well I headed to CVS on Sunday to get some of their deals and I purchased 3 off these since I had 3 of the $2 off coupons. I purchased Pure scent and Spring.

Yesterday I washed my first load with Pure, the sheet smelled fabulous! I read on the back to use 1 sheet for regular loads and 2 sheets for larger loads. I put in an average load (my machine is not super sized) and added in one 3 in 1 sheet. After they washed I dried them. The clothes came out looking clean but they did not have that fabulous smell of the 3 in 1 sheets. Actually they didn't have much of a smell at all.

So I did a second load with the other scent, this time I made the load even smaller. Same thing! They look clean but no great smell.

These things are quite expensive for only 20 loads per package! For the price I really want my clothes to look and smell good. It's not any kind of bargain if I have to use 2 sheets per load to get the clothes to smell like the sheets.

Normally I use store bought detergent and homemade fabric softener so my clothes don't have the super strong scent you get from store bought fabric softener. However the do have the nice clean scent of whatever store bought detergent I used.

Anyway, I had fully inteded to go back to CVS and get 2 more of the Purex 3 in 1 but after I used them I changed my mind. If I were able to get them for free I would get them again but I won't be spending money on them.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

CVS Best Deals of the Week 6/14

Crest Pro-Health Toothpaste, Rinse or Oral B Floss $2.99 and earn $2 Extra Care Bucks (limit 1)
$0.50/1 Crest (Proctor &Gamble 6/7/09)

Schick Quattro Titanium Razor $7.99 and earn $3 Extra Care Bucks (limit 3)
$4/1 Schick Quattro Titanium Razor (Smart Source 6/14/09)

Purex Complete 3-in-1. $6.99 and earn $2 Extra Care Bucks (limit 5)
$2/1 Purex Complete 3-in-1 Laundry Sheets (Smart Source 6/14/09)

Select Kellogg’s Cereals $1.88
$1/1 Kellogg’s Cereals (Red Plum 6/7/09)

Walgreens Best Deals of the Week 6/14

St. Ives Body Wash $2.99 and earn $2.99 Register Rewards
$1.50/1 St. Ives Body Product (Smart Source 5/10/09)

Select Unilever Products buy 6 and earn $4 Register Rewards, buy 8 and earn $8 Register Rewards
Ragu or Skippy PB, 2/$4
Hellmann’s Mayo, 2/$7
Lipton Tea, 2/$5

Oreo Cakesters, 2/$5 buy 2 and earn $3 Register Rewards
$1 off Oreo Cakesters (Smart Source 6/14/09)

Dove Deodorant $2.61 buy 8 and earn $10 Register Rewards
$1/1 Dove Deodorant (Red Plum 6/7/09)

Right Guard or Dry 99cents with in-ad coupon
$1/1 Right Guard (Smart Source 4/19/09)

Schick Quattro Razor for Men $9.49 (BOGO)
$4/1 Schick Quattro Titanium Razor (Smart Source 6/14/09)

Saturday, June 13, 2009

6/14 Coupons: 1 Smart Source Insert

Don't forget to head out and pick up your coupons tomorrow. There will only be 1 Smart Source insert. You can check out what coupons should be there at the Taylor Town Preview. Remember that this preview is mainly for bigger city papers.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Kmart Super Doubles 6/8/09

2 Clean and Clear Astringent @ $4.49 each
2 Dry Idea Deodorant @ $4.59 each
2 Skintimate Shave Gel @ $1.89 each
2 Sani Hands Wipes @ $2.49 each
Excedrin Migraine $4.49
Listerine Total Care $4.59
2 Snausages @$2.99 each
Chinet Plates @ $2.50
2 Wet Ones @ $2.29 each
Juicy Juice $2.99
Dr. Pepper $1.49

2 $2 off Clean and Clear doubled to $4 off each
2 $2 off Dry Idea doubled to $4 off each
75cents off Skintimate doulbed to $1.50 off each
$1 off Sani Hands doubled to $2 off
$2 off Excedrin doubled to $4 off
$2 off Listerine doubled to $4 off
$1 off Snausages doubled to $2 off
$1 off Chinet doubled to $2 off
$1 off Wet Ones doubled to $2 off each
$1 off Juicy Juice doubled to $2 off

Total Spent = $12.27

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Kmart Super Doubles 6/7/09

My Kmart ad states "10 coupons per day" so the first day I went I only used 10 coupons.

Dry Idea Deodorant $4.59
2 Secret Deodorant @ $2.49 each
2 Dove Ultimate Deodorant @ $3.99 each
3 Reynolds Wrap Recycled Aluminum Foil @ $2.99 each
4 Kotex Panti Liners @ $1.29 each

$2 off Dry Idea doubled to $4 off
$1 off Secret Deodorant doubled to $2 off
2 $2 off Dove Ultimate doubled to FREE
3 $1 off Reynold's Aluminum Foil doubled to $2 off
$1.50/2 Kotex doubled to FREE

Total Spent = $5.91

Free Sample of Enfamil Formula

Get a certificate for a free sample of Enfamil formula.

Monday, June 8, 2009

CVS Shopping 6/07/09


Transaction #1
4 Dove Deodorant @ $2.50 each
4 Degree Deodorant @ $2.50 each

2 $1 off Degree
2 75cents off Degree
2 $1 off Dove
$1.50/2 Dove
-$10 Extra Care Bucks

Total spent = $3.73 and earned $10 Extra Care Bucks

Transaction #2

2 Dawn Dish Soap @ $1 each
Gilette Fusion Razor $7.99
4 Kellogg's Mini Wheats @ $4.39 each (B1G1 Free)
2 Herbal Essence @ $1.17 each
Dr Pepper $1.49

2 25cents off Dawn
2 50cents off Herbal Essence
4 $1 off Mini Wheats
$4 off Gillette Fusion
-$10 Extra Care Bucks

Total Spent = $3.47 and earned $5 Extra Care Bucks

CVS and Kroger Shopping 6/5/09

M&M's 67cents
2 Bayer Crystal 10ct @ $2.99 each
2 Orbit White Gum @ 32cents each
2 Hawaiian Tropic Suntan Lotion @ $8.49 each
6 Johnson Buddy Bars @ $1.19 each

-67cents Free M&Ms
2 $2 off Bayer Crystals
2 $3/3 Johnson's
-$5/$30 CVS Coupon
-$7.98 Extra Care Buck

Total Spent $6.64 and earned $10 Extra Care Bucks

Kroger ( no pic)

2 Sara Lee Deli Rolls @ $2 each
3 Kroger Buns @ $1 each
Dole Juice $2.49
2 Sargento Cheese @ $1.79 each
Turkey Bacon $2.50
3 Turkey Sausage @ 99cents each (markdown)
4 Knorr Pasta @ $1 each
Oscar Mayer Turkey $5.69
4 Bar S Chicken Franks @ $1.25 each
Kroger Cheese $1.79
Oscar Mayer HotDog $2.50
Hunts Pudding $1
2 Quilted Northern @ $1.99 each
Organic Celery 50cents (markdown)
Cucumber 73cents
4 Velveeta Shells and Cheese @ $1.61 each
Bananas $1.66
2 Kroger Eggs @ 98cents each
Potatoes $3.57
Huggies overnights $4.89 (clearance)
2 Jumbo Huggies @ $7.49 each (clearance)
Something for $4.18 Not sure what it was?

-$22.39 in Coupons

Total Spent $69.40

The diapers were for my niece and my sister paid me back (+$13)

Grand total spent at Kroger = $56.40

Check out more shopping adventures at The Grocery Cart Challenge

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Taking a Day to Ourselves

(obviously I could barely see in the sun, my eyes are nearly closed)

Even though we only have the two girls it seems like we are always so busy. Sadly we do not often take the time to go out alone. We know that date night is really important but our needs seem to always fall by the wayside.

Today our girls had an end of the year trip planned with their Girl Scout Troop. They left at 7am and as I type this at 9pm they are still not home. So we decided that we would have a day for us. Not to clean house or do yard work but a day to spend time with each other.

So we got in the car and took a little road trip (about 1 1/2 hour drive) to Fairview Heights and had lunch at Olive Garden. There is an Olive Garden that is only 45 minutes away but that would have taken us in the opposite direction of where are kids are.

We had such a great time. We talked about everything, enjoyed each others company and had a delicious meal together. Spending the day alone together made me remember why we need to have date nights more often. After today I am in such a good mood and feel that our has been renewed.

What are your favorite type of date nights? How often do schedule date time with your spouse or significant other?

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Free Men's Degree Deodorant at Target

Degree is by far my hubby's favorite deodorant and when I started couponing and bringing home other FREE deodorant he was not real happy. I have managed to get him to at least try one other brand although he still loves Degree most of all.

That is why I am so excited about this men's Degree Deodorant at Target.

People are reporting that the men's Degree in their stores are anywhere from $1.97 to $2.69

Use this Target coupon for $1.50 off Men's Degree (you will need to put in your zipcode for the coupons to come up)
Also use $1 off Degree from (Red Plum 5/17)

At Target you can combine a Target coupon with a manufacturers coupon!

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Free Issue of Taste of Home Magazine

A little while back I got a free subscription to Taste of Home magazine and I absolutely love it. With magazines I always browse through them at the store or at the Dr's office but I never want to pay the outrageous prices. Since I had heard so much about this magazine I knew I had to jump on the opportunity to get in on the deal.

I just got my second issue and love it. There are so many ideas on cooking on a budget which is definitely what I need.

If you have would like to try out taste of home you can sign up for a free issue with no obligation.

Monday, June 1, 2009

Eukanuba $5 off Coupon


Enroll for a $5 Eukanuba coupon and get your puppy off to a great start.

Summer You Can't Come Soon Enough!

I am counting down the days, only 2 more after today, and the girls will be officially on Summer break. I really can't wait. I know that they are ready for Summer too but Emeri is ready to spend the day tomorrow at Extreme Sports and the following day at Holiday World. Jonah on the other hand is ready to head to the Skating Rink and the Movie Theater to see Up.

I am ready to not get up at 6:30am! :) I am ready to spend the days with them and to work on some more life skills with them. I am so ready to get back to cooking with them. I am also ready to have more one on one time with Jonah in order to work on her cleaning or should I say non-cleaning skills.

I remember a couple of years ago Emeri and I went through the same struggle of trying to get her to pick up after herself. All of a sudden she felt like she didn't have to do anything anymore and when I asked her to do anything it was like pulling teeth. Right now Jonah is at that same stage in life, she is almost 11 and more than capable of doing her chores. She just dosen't want to. So we will for sure be working on that!

Also I am looking forward to taking the girls on my shopping excursions with me. Of course during the school year I shop while they are at school so they almost never come with me. They do ocassionally make a CVS trip with me and they know that I am really into saving money now. I only started my couponing adventure towards the end of last Summer so they didn't get to see much of it in action. I look forward to involving them in the shopping process and teaching them how to scout out the best deals. It will only be a matter of time before they have to shop for themselves.

Most of all though I am looking forward to cooking out, swimming in the pool, taking weekend trips to the beach, going on hikes, spending Tuesdays at my Mom's house and enjoying my family everyday to the fullest!