Monday, September 28, 2009

Coupon Crazy

I have found that over the past week I have been thinking in status updates and blogger entries. It is weird for sure, but if I had enough time I'd just sit down and post it. But life doesn't stop for deep thoughts.

I am relearning things about coupons and think I may share the Coupon Craziness here. You see, I love a bargain (a concept my 4 yr old asked me to explain). But we are watching a pennies as close or maybe even closer than ever right now, so I even have to beware of the Coupon Frenzy. Bloom just had triple coupons (still going on through Tuesday although I dare not set foot in the store again!) This is when I really noticed Coupon Craziness and was able to save myself to some degree. I scoured through all my coupons that were at least .50 up to .75 (cause lets face it...there are no .99 cent coupons). And then I went to the store...twice. I got some great deals and saved nearly 75%. What I discovered was this...even though I talked myself out of lots of things, I still bought things that I didn't really need. Will I use them? Sure, but do I NEED them...No.

Also, I still overpaid on some things even with the triple coupons. Let me explain. Lets take for example that I bought Soft Soap body wash. I usually just use a bar of soap. Now I think it was around $4 originally and I got $2.25 off. So that's more than half off. But I could have bought 3 bars of soap for around the same which is better? Truthfully, when done right I could have done a drugstore deal that would have made it basically free...eventually.

And lets talk about basically free. The drugstore deals...they can be incredible! And you really can get things for pennies on the dollar...eventually. You see these items involve coupons AND rebate or Register Rewards. So you are fronting most of the money...and then you get rewarded. Now if you have the money to front...this is the way to go. Just don't forget to use those reward dollars before they expire. Or don't forget to send in for you Rebates! Then you get to wait for the rebate before it feels like you actually did a good thing as far as bargains go. It's a little confusing and a bit of a hassle if you ask me, but I think if I can save enough cash from my initial couponing (and not go overboard just cause I have a coupon for the item) I may use that money to start the drugstore ball rolling.

Once you front the money for enough items (that you need and that will produce a number of rewards) then you can use the rewards to buy the new items that will then produce new see how this could be a great never ending cycle. Still I'm not sure I'm ready for this level of thriftiness yet.

Then there is the issue of prices. Well, so Publix has a store coupon for $3 off diapers and I have a manufacturers coupon for another $1 off. So I could get the diapers for $4 off...their price. You see. it's still not as good a deal as if I went to Aldi and bought their diapers which work fine at this stage in the baby game. So If I went overboard on Couponing I'd think...well I got this name brand for a great deal! But I don't NEED that brand...and thus I would be overspending.

I think to make the coupon craze better I'm going to sort through my coupons and order them from needs to would love to have at the right price and throw out the rest that I truly never should buy. Maybe not throw out, but separate into a totally different box...only to be used if it ends up being free.

So much to keep up with. I think that's why I gave this up a while ago. Trading time for money...which is what you do I guess if all you have is time!

Monday, September 21, 2009

Under Construction

Clearly I am busy playing with this silly blog. Getting ready for my favorite season. Realize what I did here, but don't know how to undo it/fix it. So, it'll look like this till I get some expert advice or at least some more time!

The Things I Love

Ahhh...It is 10:30 a.m. The house is quiet cause Baby is sleeping. Sister is at school for a little while longer. I feel so satisfied, maybe content is a better word. There is little angst in the pit of my stomach over expected guests coming to my home or an upcoming party that I need to get organized or do some buying for.

I actually have some time, though it is a small amount, to get somethings done. Hence the blogging. I also feel contented cause I just did some couponing and loved it! I have gotten away from this due to the lack of time and the simplification of going to ALDI. Clearly ALDI is still my favorite. Lowest prices no coupons required! And its clean and I know the people who work there. Love it! Still, as the economy is such, I am needing to find even more savings on some things. Thus, I am going to start grocery gaming. Since I have tried this before, I am able to be better prepared when I do start. I know that I do not need a list to every store. I now know in which stores I will shop. One grocery store and one drug store...maybe a Walmart list, although I do not really enjoy Walmart shopping.

I have now saved up to sets of two weeks worth of Sunday coupons, so only 4 more weeks to go till I have pretty much all of them on the list. I actually got one extra set of coupons so that I could use those now as needed. And I was able to do that this morning.

I went to Publix. I love Publix! It is easy to shop there and you get alot of help from the employees. However, I never shop there because I feel like it is the priciest of supermarkets. But, there are some things that we need in our house due to allergies that only Publix carries. So about once a week (every Monday) I take W to Publix. He loves it cause he gets a free balloon. Lately they have had store coupons that I have been able to combine with manufacturers coupons and get really good deals on. And of course there's the 1 cent coupon that is only good on Sunday and Monday. So I have gotten those extra items as well. I got 3 reusable shopping bags with coupons and the great thing is they aren't just some boring bag...they are halloween inspired! One is Frankenstein, one has a magic wand on it, and the other is plain black! M is going to flip over the spooky one.

Today I ended up getting 11 items for $11.35! I saved a total of $10.42 (so almost 50%)! It was like shopping at the dollar store except I got name brand things like Progresso soups, Pillsbury Cinnamon rolls, and ground beef to name a few! Not bad for just getting my feet wet again. So get to combining those coupons cause last week's mystery item was Cheerios (a large box) and this week's was coffee (which I needed anyway)! Hooray for savings! We all just might make it through this economic recession after all!

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Slow to Upload

When there is a dry spell in my blogging, it is traditionally for one of two reasons...the first being that I'm just bored with it and feel somewhat apathetic with little to say. The second being that I am overwhelmed with things to say and so full with the life that is currently presented me that I haven't an inkling of time to spare for the blog.

The latter would be true in this case.

I will blog a bit and hopefully do some pics in the next little bit!

Life has been full. Full good or full bad you say? I say, "Yes". Seriously, don't know when I've had so much tugging at my head and my heart! Too much to detail here, but I have enjoyed it all none the less. When God places stuff in my life that could be dubbed as difficult to accept, I now know (through experience...lots of experience) that I can accept it through faith knowing that the other side of it all is going to be freaking awesome! I don't always like the way things in my life go...but I know that eventually I'm gonna love where God has taken me.

So, we are in the middle of major life change all around us. A few things have changed in our own lives, but a lot of things have changed in the lives of those around us! Of course, when you live and operate in community the way God intended, then you know that the shifts in the lives of others greatly affects your own life! So, we have been given the chance to minister in community and I'm thrilled! To show another the depth of God's love for us! What could be better?

On our family front, M has started school. We went back and forth over school and finally placed her in an inbetween class that teaches K5. I had my reservations about her maturity level and motor skills...and turns out I was right. Talked with her teacher today, and they now have an opening in the K4 class that they didn't have when I was trying to sign M up. M tried it out today and felt better about it. More confident of her skill level and such. She's working very hard on writing and making letters and numbers. Her motorskills have always been a good bit behind her intelligence level. She's not behind by any means. Most likely right on as far as 4 yr olds go, but her brain comprehension is beyond that of her age. Then there is her maturity level. Well, she is 4. right on. Need I say more. (The teacher didn't seem to think that mattered since she said she has many 5 yr olds that act like 4 yr olds!) Still, I'm glad my concerns were accurate and valid, and that they now have a spot for her in a more appropriate place. I'll just be most glad when she finally gets settled in one routine...So far we haven't settled into a routine with home and school.

W is a mess. The most beautiful boy I've ever seen and I can see how this is going to be trouble. He is a bruiser, no doubt, with a soft spot for his mama! He is mean as a snake when he wants to be, and rough and tumble unless mama's close enough to pick him up and love on him when he gets a boo boo. Hopefully he'll get some social interaction being in the nursery while I'm in Mom to Mom. He's still a HUGE eater! It still blows me away! He is really into climbing, although not out of his least not yet. He is trying to say all kinds of words. A good bit into repetition. He is finally enjoying seeing and hearing books more than eating them (most of the time). And He LoVES his dadda! so cute.

I am trying to find comfort in routine as well...hoping for that more in the next week or so. My party business is going pretty well. It goes in spurts. Lots of parties. No parties. Bookings for 2 months out and last minute things. I love it though. The last party I did was fantastic! I snuck in the house (with the mom's permission of course), stood in the foyer and started singing a call to the animals type princess thing! They were mesmerized! The little girls just wanted to sit around and talk shop. Where is so-and-so? What color is the castle? What do my shoes look like? The questions are by far my favorite party of doing these parties! My days are pretty full helping others, with a little bit of sewing for M thrown in there. It'll settle down a bit soon, I'm sure, but I have to say that I'm really enjoying sewing!

Mostly, I'm doing clothing redesign/repurposing. We are watching every penny, as are most people in these economic times, and I decided instead of going out and blowing the wad on buying outfits for back to school, I'd take inventory of the things she does have and turn them into working outfits for fall. It's been a fun journey and I can't wait to post pics! Well, time to sew before the sleeping children awake!