Tuesday, November 30, 2010
My trip started out with a bit of drama as I was lead astray by another customer, but my coupon guru friend Megan showed up and we got back on track. I think I ended up checking out about 9 times in my visit...but it was so worth it!
Here's my loot...3 50 ft rolls of Hallmark wrapping paper, 3 tubes of Crest Pro White toothpaste, 3 tubes of Colgate Total toothpaste, 3 bottles of Oil of Olay body wash, 6 Right Guard deodorant, 2 packages Bic Soleil disposable razors, 2 Nivea men's shaving cream, 1 Skintimate shaving cream, 1 Edge Shaving Cream, 1 Vaseline men's lotion, 2 Colgate toothbrushes, 5 Reese's trees, 1 Hershey tree, & 3 red taper candles. All for....a little over $12!!! And, I have $4.50 in Register Rewards that I plan to use this week to start off my spending! Basically, that means that I got over $96 in product for around $8.00!!
That was definitely worth getting up and missing some of the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade! As I've mentioned before, I'm not normally a Black Friday shopper but I can see how people get into it! I actually had a blast for the hour or so I was in Walgreens---most of which was time spent standing in line with some other crazy couponers! We were all in such good spirits and just hanging out watching as everyone checked out multiple times & got an incredibly amount of stuff for pennies.
Now, I'm sure you're thinking...but she already has 3 deodorant in storage & 5 tubes of toothpaste & multiple bottles of body wash. Well, this trip was more for the fun of it than for actually stocking up for myself. I did keep a few things, the wrapping paper, the candles, some of the shaving cream, & the toothbrushes...but most everything else went in a sack that is now sitting in our office ready to be donated.
Our small group is helping to adopt a family who recently lost everything they have in a fire...most of that stuff will be going to them. I don't say this to toot my own horn, only to say that there are other benefits to couponing. Once I have my stockpile, if I can take a few moments to cut coupons or read weekly ads to get items for free or even for just a few pennies I take advantage of the sales and donate to our local food pantry. Christmas is the perfect time of year as all the food baskets are being distrubuted, but those families receiving the baskets need these items year round, not just at Christmastime.
Look for those opportunties to help others out, it will definitely make your heart soar as you practice generosity! And who knows, you might just change someone's life with a small simple gift showing God's love...
Sunday, November 28, 2010
My entire gingerbread family
The group of ladies who hung around until the end with our gingerbread people
Wednesday, November 24, 2010
~I'm thankful for my salvation. For my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ who died upon a cross so a sinner like me could spend eternity in heaven.
~I'm thankful for my husband. The man that God brought into my life to truly complete me--to be strong when I'm weak, funny when I'm sad, & realistic when I'm freaking out.
~I'm thankful for my family. This year, for the first time since Hubby & I got married, we will be spending Thanksgiving with my family. I've always been thrilled to spend Thanksgiving in Michigan with Hubby's parents, but this year they have come here and will actually be spending Thanksgiving with my huge, crazy family. It's going to be a fabulous day.
~I'm thankful for Bogey. Even at 2 1/2 years old, he still never ceases to amaze me and I'm so thankful for the smiles that he brings into my life. I just love my furry son!
~I'm thankful for my job. I work with some fabulous ladies & also get to spend most days working beside my dad and having lunch with my mom. What more could a girl ask for?
~I'm thankful for our church & our small group. These people who provide such fabulous spiritual support are true gifts from God. I'm blessed more and more each week by these individuals who lift us up when we need support.
Life is pretty incredible right now & I'm just so in awe when I look at all the blessings surrounding me each day.
Tuesday, November 23, 2010
And...just to include a great deal on this Thrifty Tuesday--be watching Amazon, they are having some great deals on magazines and movies! Hubby & I bought the Blindside for $3.99 last night and I know that today they have a great sale on the Harry Potter Boxed Set (1-6). The widescreen set is only $23.99 for the entire set!
Happy Shopping Everyone!
Sunday, November 21, 2010
For the most part Hubby & I had a plan-free weekend, minus one big obstacle on Saturday afternoon...another section of the CPA exam for Hubby. However, that was only Saturday afternoon so we were able to have a pretty fabulous weekend otherwise!
Friday evening we voted for dinner out & some shopping for our shoeboxes! Our church participates in the Operation Christmas Child campaign each year & while the deadline snuck up on us last year, we weren't about to push it aside this year! We headed to Walmart & first hit up the storage aisle for our shoebox...and then it was time to fill it full of all sorts of goodies. We both chose the oldest age group & I just hope the kids...wherever they are & whatever circumstances they are going through...will feel some love & joy from an unknown follower of Christ from all the way around the world.
And now for the word of the weekend...FLOUR. But first a bit of background--a few months ago my in-laws decided to come to Missouri for Thanksgiving which meant for the first time in our marriage, Hubby & I would be attending my family Thanksgiving. Thankfully, my in-laws are also going to be joining my family and I can't wait for Thursday! It will be incredibly to have all of those I love so much together in one place at one time!
Ok, so when we realized I would be in town I was quick to offer up my assistance to my mom...who will be hosting our crazy & big family for the Thanksgiving feast. After my fabulous first attempt at yeast rolls, it was decided that I would be in charge of the very important task of dinner rolls. I was actually really excited, I mean my grandma has always made the rolls in the past but with her health it's just easier for someone else to take on the job--of course that also means I have HUGE shoes to fill.
Pioneer Woman's recipe was my savior, with just a minor adjustment of making them single rolls instead of the 3-part, pull apart rolls. My task started last Wednesday night with making the first batch of dough with plans to finish out the rolls on Thursday night & pop them in the freezer! However, let's just say that baking yeast bread doesn't always go as planned and that batch was a BIG FAT FAIL!!! I didn't make the rolls big enough so although the rose perfectly, they simply spread out in the pan. I was incredibly frustrated but vowed to try again Saturday morning.
Ready for the oven...
They look so yummy, even before baking!
I'm proud to say that Saturday morning was a huge success! I ended up with 72, well 69 after a few samplings, gorgeous, golden brown dinner rolls. I decided that since the rolls weren't huge, and with the appetite of my family I would make another batch and worst case, we would have leftovers at our house...which certainly isn't a bad thing when it comes to homemade rolls.
Well, I think I got overly confident & I'm not exacty sure what went wrong, but it was something...and my 2nd batch on Saturday ended up hard as rocks, no rising obviously meant a roll that you could literally use for batting practice! So...3rd batch...BIG FAT FAIL!!!
Well, not to be defeated & wanting to end the weekend on a good note...I decided to try once again on Sunday afternoon. I used the excuse of needing more rolls, but really I was determined to win the battle of the yeast--at least for this weekend! So, try, try, try again...and SUCCESS!! This time I ended up with 64 beautifully golden rolls as I made them slightly bigger than the other successfuly batch.
Wednesday, November 17, 2010
I just ordered our Christmas cards and I was able to receive 55 cards for free! Shipping & tax were all I was responsible for which came to a grand total of $10.81 for 55 cards! That's a total savings of $131.54. I just love them and can't wait to see them in person! In addition, just for sharing this on my blog I'm able to receive a $25 gift card to be used at a later date...which will be perfect for some Christmas gifts.
Tuesday, November 16, 2010
This week I decided to discuss how once you become a couponer, it can truly become an obsession. So much so that when things don't go exactly your way it can come close to ruining an entire night...or at least put you in a very bad mood for close to an hour.
Disclaimer: The story told in this blog is ridiculous, I am an overreactor, and I will admit it. So, please excuse the excess amount of drama coming from a situation that was really NOT THAT BIG OF A DEAL!!!!
And now for an example of ridiculous couponing behavior...
Friday night Hubby & I had plans for a nice dinner followed by a college basketball game with my parents. The game wasn't scheduled to start until 8:30 and Dillons had advertised some great deals in last week's ad so I mentioned that I would love to make a quick stop at Dillon's before dinner. Hubby quickly obliged as this was supposed to be a really fast stop with me only purchasing 20 items...many of which were multiples of the same item.
You see, Dillons has these Mega Event sales where if you buy 10 of the participating items you receive a $5 credit or an additional $0.50 off of each item. This is before coupons so you have the potential to get some incredible deals! My scheduled purchase was this....4 cans Swanson Chicken Broth, 4 cans Swanson Beef Broth, 8 sticks Land o'Lakes butter, 2 boxes Quaker Instant Oatmeal packets, 4 tubes of Colgate toothpaste, & 3 Colgate toothbrushes...all for $4.38.
Well...I had everything in my cart and had just gotten to the toothpaste aisle to realize that all the toothbrushes & toothpaste were SOLD OUT!! Now, this wasn't the major problem. It was in the dreaded toothpaste/toothbrush aisle that I realized my notebook with my list was gone, and gone with it were all my coupons for my Dillon's trip along with some high-value coupons for my scheduled Walmart trip for the weekend.
Cue...overreacting & excessive coupon drama! I called Hubby as he was in the car and needed to come help me search. We walked all over that Dillons' store, retracing my steps no less than 5 times...and nothing! I was furious. It literally seemed as if my notebook had disappeared into thing air. There was probably over $20 in coupons in that notebook along with my Dillons Plus card application which contained all my personal information except my SS#. As I was giving up I even asked the customer service desk if a green notebook had been turned in...no luck.
We finally left to go to dinner and Hubby said if we had time we would come back before heading to the game. I was admittedly incredibly grouchy & pouty all through dinner; the only thing helping me out was running into an old friend at Chick-fil-A who also happens to be an incredible couponer. She completely felt my pain and understood my severe frustration!
Hubby convinced me to go back to Dillons and check one more time...he even volunteered to go to the customer service desk for me. Imagine my surprise when he calls and says to start filling my cart back up because he has it! Coupon drama over! I was able to still make a good purchase, not quite as good since the toothbrushes & toothpaste were sold out, but a good trip nonetheless.
However, in the future I promise (to try) to not overreact about any lost coupons, regardless of their value...especially if it runs the risk of affecting a night out with Hubby!
Sunday, November 14, 2010
Friday was the basketball season opener of my college alma mater. My parents have season tickets & Hubby had requested they purchase 2 extra for Friday night--we always have a great time at those games & some quality time with my parents as well. Hubby & I had Chick-fil-A for dinner which was even better...a little bit rocky after some coupon drama at Dillon's-maybe I'll share that for Thrifty Tuesday this week!
Saturday I had to work until noon and then spent the rest of the afternoon doing practically nothing. It was so nice to just lounge around and slip in & out of consciousness while napping. A perfect Saturday afternoon if you ask me! We had a nice little date night on Saturday evening with dinner at Romano's Macaroni Grill, a little bit of shopping, & dessert at Orange Leaf. We finished off the evening with a dumb movie, picked out by Hubby of course.
Today was incredibly productive when compared with yesterday. After church & lunch, we both worked doing our own thing--Hubby in the yard & the garage getting things ready for winter and myself in the kitchen and the rest of the house trying to get things picked up. Then it was off to small group and back home to relax and get ready for another week. Hubby is popping some popcorn as we speak, the perfect end to a great weekend--football & popcorn on the couch with my fabulous husband.
See....a pretty low-key weekend for us! I love it! I can't believe that Thanksgiving is only 10 days away...wow, this year has flown by!
Friday, November 12, 2010
A 3-Bedroom, 3 Bath townhome with ski-in/ski-out access!
We'll be spending our days skiing the slopes of Breckenridge along with a snowmobiling trip one afternoon...and we'll be spending our nights drinking hot chocolate, lounging in our private hot tub & hanging out with some great friends!
Now...if only I can figure out how to keep my hands & feet warm!
Wednesday, November 10, 2010
~Strengths are not necessarily what you're good at...a weakness is an activity that weakens you, even if you're good at it.
~Disappointment in my family, my friends, myself hold us back from trust; there are times when I still pray but I just don't ask for anything for fear of being disappointed by God.
~Has God ever messed with your schedule? Remember God is sovreign, there are no accidents.
~Do you dare to trust the heart of God enough to tell the whole truth? I don't have to pretend that everything is ok; God doesn't expect that.
~As Christians I can sing a song that not even angels can sing, the song of the redeemed
~Not forgiving is like drinking poison and waiting for the other person to die.
~There are times when God will take you to a place that seems like a prison, just to set you free.
~Our trust issues are the foundation of most all fear that we experience in this life. In response to that we only give what we can afford to lose, but Jesus came to give us LIFE not just EXISTENCE.
~Putting our dreams to death and trusting that God is good, this might ultimately be the most real act of worship.
~As a sheep with Christ as my shepherd, it's not my job to get myself home. My job is to fall so in love with the shepherd that I can't help but hear his voice.
Wow, just pulling those points out of the notes on my phone bring back so many thoughts from this past weekend. Most importantly, God thinks we're amazing...and who am I to question that?
Monday, November 8, 2010
In addition to Christmas cards, just this morning I ordered some invitations for my annual Christmas cookie exchange! The group of ladies continues to get bigger & bigger so premade invitations is definitely the way to go...they even have a Cookie Swap specific invite!I can't wait to get these in the mail!
Sunday, November 7, 2010
I'll share more later in the week about the truths that I learned over the weekend. I've got a ton of notes on my phone that I have to process before I can put them down into coherent sentences.
Mom picked me up not-so-bright and early on Friday morning (it was definitely still dark outside when we left at 6:00 am). We headed to KC and met up with some other women from her church, most of whom I already knew in some way or another. We attended the conference from about 10 am to 3, checked into our hotel, had a nice dinner as a group, and then went back for some more conference.
The entire group at dinner...it was seriously a fabulous time! I can't wait for next year!
Ok, seriously please ignore my ghostly white face...not sure why I decided to reflect the camera flash! But please do note my mom & I's outfits...as she came in the door on Friday morning I couldn't believe what she was wearing---think we might be related by our matchy, matchy outfits? Love it!
Saturday was another full day of speakers & worship & fellowship. My sister-in-law, Millie, was even able to join us for a little while during the day. She & my brother are living in KC while he attends law school so it was great to hang out with her for a little while. Unfortunately she had to head back to work so it was a short visit; but good nonetheless.
Me, Millie, & Mom
Thursday, November 4, 2010
And one quick note on couponing, you might think that you have to stock up for several weeks to have enough coupons to make a difference. That's not the case. Almost everything I bought last night had a coupon that I had clipped at some point in the last week and all but 2 of them came directly from my Sunday paper.
I've also talked with my grandparents who both receive the local Sunday paper and they're going to be saving their coupons for me! This means that I'll have triple or even quadruple the coupons when it comes to some of the really good ones...and believe me, there were some really good ones this week!
Now...on to the loot! 2 large boxes Cheerios cereal, 3 sticks Secret deodorant, 1 stick Gilette deodorant, 1 Oil of Olay Body Wash, 1 Large Oil of Olay Lotion, 1 Small Oil of Olay Lotion, 1 box Domino Powdered Sugar, 1 box Domino Brown Sugar, 1 40 load bottle Downy Fabric Softener, 2 Carefree Women's Personal Hygiene, 1 Febreze Air Freshener, 1 Febreze Home Collections Candle, 1 Maybelline Falsies Mascara, 1 Maybelline Eyeshadow...all for...
Wednesday, November 3, 2010
This past weekend was a fast-paced and chaotic but tons of fun with family! My mom's dad has always been a Dallas Cowboys fan...always. I think it began when he was stationed in Texas in the Air Force, but I honestly couldn't tell you exactly when he became a fan. All I know is that my grandpa is a diehard and that has been passed down to my brother who is also a diehard Cowboys fan.
Through thick & thin, bad years & good, they both LOVE to watch the Cowboys and it's become quite contagious with the rest of my immediate family. My parents are fans & my sister-in-law realized being a Cowboys fan was a requirement for marrying my brother. Hubby & I...well, we certainly enjoy football, but I wouldn't necessarily call us diehards when it comes to any NFL team. We just love watching a good football game...and in the spirit of football & family time, we became Cowboy fans by default this past weekend.
More so than the game, I was most excited about some good shopping in Dallas at The Galleria. I had been saving some extra cash for several months, so I couldn't wait. I think overall I came away with close to 10 new shirts, a couple new pairs of leggings, and a new pair of jeans...might seem like I spent a ton but Forever 21 became my friend as did the sales rack at Nordstroms...I think I did incredibly well for myself!
My mom found a fabulous hotel right across the street from The Galleria that had been completely redone and remodeled in the past year. It was a Le Meridien property and my parents are members of the Starwood Preferred program so all of us also got upgraded to corner suites...free of charge! The property was wonderful and we couldn't have asked for a better location.
Our living room...complete with my shopping spree on the coffee table!
Our separate master bedroom...fabulous!
Sunday was the main event...Dallas Cowboys vs. Jacksonville Jaguars. The new Cowboys Stadium is seriously a sight to be seen and it quite unbelieveable!
We walked around before the gates open and were even able to watch some of the players arrive in their fancy, ultra-expensive cars...Porsche, Mercedes, Bentley's...yup, we saw it all! They also have a paver program where you can have one engraved. Last year, my parents bought one for my grandpa and we were able to find his. However, my parents also have one that includes all of our names but we didn't have any luck finding out paver...we're gonna have to get better directions next year!
Inside the stadium is just as crazy as outside; it's HUGE!!!! Hubby & I went exploring and ended up near the middle of the stadium...we still had many more stairs to reach the top! We decided to head back down since our seats were all the way at the bottom!
Are you ready for some football??
Tuesday, November 2, 2010
4 cans of Green Giant green beans, 2 boxes Kellog's Fiber Plus bars, & 2 packages Ronzoni Smart Taste pasta...all for...
Yup, I consider that a pretty good trip; especially since one box of the Fiber Plus bars is normally at least $3.00. Now, if I could only find a few minutes to do my coupon-matching for Walgreens...it promises to be another great week!
And on an unrelated note...GO VOTE!!! I went this morning before coming to work and there had already been several at my precinct exercising this freedom. I truly believe it's our obligation as citizens of the United States of America to participate in the process of electing our officials and voting on the important issues!