My First REALLY Successful CVS Shop

I finally got to go shopping yesterday. I usually enjoy shopping, except when I have to take the kids, and except that I have to spend money. But I get really excited when I can save a lot of money, and pay under a $1 for things, or better yet, get them for free.

I started using coupons about a year ago, and it’s taken me a while to get my flow. I always read on these sites about these women who never paid for toothbrushes or soap, and only paid mere cents for diaper wipes. I thought “Man, I want to be one of those people!” I’ve made plenty of “coupon mistakes” and spent way more than I wanted to sometimes. But I was really excited when I was able to do a shop at Bigg’s one day when they were having a triple/double coupons extravaganza and I paid $125 for over $250 worth of groceries. I knew at that point that I was hooked!

Then I started trying to figure out the CVS and Walgreens games. To be honest, they really confused me at first, and I made lots of “mistakes” while learning to shop at CVS and Walgreens, but last night I felt like I might just have this thing. Now some people may look at this and say, man I would have saved more of those Extra Bucks for something else, but this was really cool to me!

(Coupon abbreviations used below are: MFC-manufacturers coupon, ECB-Extra Care Bucks, OOP-out of pocket)

 So this is my CVS trip. My first purchase was:
2 Puffs Plus with Lotion 2/$3 used 1 $1 MFC and 1 $.50 MFC making them 2/$1.50 or $.75 each
1 U by Kotex liners $4.99 used 1 $1 MFC and received $1 ECB making them $2.99
1 Colgate Proclinical $3.99 and received $1 ECB
1 Prevacid 28 count $18.99 used $4 MFC and received $4 ECB making it $10.99
2 Oral B Advantage toothbrushes used B1G1 coupon and received $2 ECB (got these 2/$.99 after ECB)
1 Palmolive dish soap $.88 used $.75 MFC making it $.13
So I paid $29.86 OOP and received $9 ECB which made it like paying $20.86.

For my next purchase I got a pack of Pampers Cruisers. (We REALLY needed diapers!) CVS had them for $8.49. I used a $2 MFC, a $2 ECB and a $4 ECB leaving $1 to paid OOP. But I received $1 ECB for buying the Pampers, which made them FREE! Yea!!!! I got FREE diapers!!!!

Then I bought another pack at $8.49. I used another $2 MFC, 2 $1 ECB and a $2 ECB and paid $3.00 OOP. But I received another $1 ECB so I got the second pack of diapers for $2!!! So in the end I paid $2 for 2 packs of Pampers Cruisers! I was soooo excited! I feel like I finally might have this coupon thing down!  And I have $1 in ECB to start me off next week at CVS! Yea!!!

I also had a very successful run to Kroger. I’m lucky that our Kroger stores double every coupon under $1 all the time. We don’t have to wait for a special double coupon sale. That’s just how it is. I believe our Remke’s (an independent grocer) and Meijer stores do to. I understand that’s not the case around the whole country so I feel very lucky! Kroger had some great sales this week and a lot of my deals I got without even needing a coupon, just my Kroger Plus Card.

My Kroger trip: 2 Dawn Hand Renewal soap $1.49 each used 2 $.50 MFC doubled so I got these for $.49 each. (YEA!!!!)
Craisins $1
2 Betty Crocker cake mix $1each
2 Betty Crocker icing $1.49 each used 2 $.25 MFC doubled so I got these for $.99 each.
2 blackberries $1 each
Huggies Diaper Wipes $1.59 used $.50 MFC doubled so I got these for $.59 (YEA!!!!)
Frosted Mini Wheats $2.50 used $.75 MFC doubled so I got this for $1.50 (YEA!!!!)
Not pictured- the two free boxes of Ritz crackers for buying 3 Coke products.

I bought a lot of other things too but these were the deals I was most excited about! I hope I’ll be able to share more deals with you soon since I’m on fire!!!!

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Daybook

FOR TODAY, April 27, 2010

Outside my window…it’s dark, because I’m just getting to sit down at 9:19 pm to write this! It’s been one of those days, ya know?!?! And it’s cold…what happened to it being the end of April? I think Mother Nature missed the memo here!

I am thinking…about my shopping trip tomorrow and the routine that I need to be starting with the kids. I’ve never been a routine person, but my kids need one desperately so we’re going to dive in!

I am thankful for…good friends that I got to spend time with this weekend while Steven was on his CRHP retreat! We had a pajama party and watched Twilight and just acted girly (even though most of are pushing or have already pushed 30!!!!) It was so much fun and I’m thankful these women have been brought into my life!

From the learning rooms…I’ve been a real slacker lately so it’s a good thing this year doesn’t really “count” (as far as our state is concerned!) We’ve really just been mainly focusing on reading every day and letting them explore. I guess we’re doing more “unschooling” right now than anything else!

From the kitchen…we had pinto beans and ham and cornbread for dinner.

I am wearing…jeans and a long sleeve pink t shirt. I can’t wait to get into my jammies!

I am creating…my shopping list and getting together my coupons.

I am going…to a meeting tomorrow night and then shopping.

I am reading…nothing. I need to make a library run!

I am hoping…that it warms up soon so that we can get back outside. This being shut in because of rain and cold is getting really old!!!

I am hearing…The Disney Channel movie “Star Struck”. It’s cute, and I can still say this after seeing it 50 times!

Around the house…It’s getting better and better. Our room is now organized (even the closet!) and I’m moving to the master bath next. It’s starting to feel like I’m finally getting in control of the chaos and clutter! And that feels good!!!

One of my favorite things…hearing my baby giggle at things his brother and sister do. It’s so precious to see their relationships growing.

A few plans for the rest of the week:
1) meeting and shopping tomorrow
2) book club at our house Friday night
3) the kids Sunday school closing on Sunday

Here is picture for thought I am sharing…we’re working on plans to go to Washington DC to visit my brother Christopher over the fourth of July holiday. We’re going to stay a few days and then go here..Assateague Island in Maryland. We’ve been here once before and it is soooo gorgeous. I am so excited about going to the beach, it’s about 5 years since we went to the beach. It’s time to go again and I can’t wait!

Have a great week! Check out more daybooks at The Simple Woman’s Daybook.

Welcome to Friday Family Fun Night!

Today is our first Friday Family Fun Night post! I am really excited about this because I know that I really love to learn from others and coming up with fun and interesting things to do for family night gets harder and harder sometimes! In our home we try to do a weekly family night with our kids. I say we try because we are definitely not perfect in doing this. I have my weeks where it’s just too much “work” to get together something to do. Or if the kids have been bickering and fighting all day the last thing in the world that I want to do is listen to them bicker and fight all through family night, so I have been known to cancel it (although my husband doesn’t agree with doing this so I might have to reconsider this in the future 😛 )

So, for our first Friday Family Fun Night post what I want to know from you is: 1) Do you currently hold a weekly family night with your family? And if you do, do you follow a regular schedule? Do you have it on a certain day of the week? Do you follow a certain format (ie, open with a song and a prayer and a scripture, do you light a family candle? Do you have a lesson and an activity? Or do you have family game night or a family outing?

And 2) If you don’t currently hold a family night with your family what would you want it to look like if you started? Is there any particular reason that you want to start having a regular family night? What are some of the things that you are hoping to teach your children during these special times together?

So, as for our family, we try to do family night every Thursday night. And we kind of go back and forth with our “routine” of how we do things. Some weeks we know that there is something we want to have a lesson on. For example, lately we’ve been having problems with hitting and name calling, so for next week I’m planning a lesson on showing love in our home and how hurtful things like hitting and name calling are to the love and spirit of our home. Then there are weeks when I just want to to do something fun. For example, this weekend is going to be a CRAZY weekend, so I just wanted to spend some time with my husband and my kids before we were all pulled a million different directions. So we went out to eat at Frisch’s Big Boy and then went to the park to run around on the play equipment and swing on the swings. It was a lot of fun, and we got through the whole evening with almost no fighting (which is a HUGE accomplishment!!!)

Those weeks where we do have a lesson planned we follow an outline…To begin we light a family candle that we made at a family night a while back. Then we open with a prayer, a song and a scripture reading that goes along with the topic that we are discussing. We usually try to keep the lesson short (10-15 minutes at the absolute max, but our kids are 5, 3 and 9 months so attention spans are very short!!!) After the lesson I try to have a craft or a game that we can play to try to reinforce what we were learning and then we close with a prayer, and the kids’ favorite, a snack!

So this is our first link up. In the weeks to come I hope to  have posts with activities for certain holidays or special events, just “regular” ideas for those “ordinary” times and I really help that we can help each brainstorm and become each others accountability in this area of our lives.

Please note: While having a regular family night is a premise for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, you do not need to be Mormon to participate in this meme. Other religions (and non-religious organizations) also see the importance in having a regular time that we spend together with our families. Do not feel the need to edit your posts or lessons because you think you will offend someone. That you are teaching your children your values and what is important to you is the most important thing. Another thing to remember is that couples without children (either who have not yet had any, or whose children have all grown up) are still a family. You can do things with your spouse to help keep your special relationship with each other strong. So feel free to link up too, you may help another couple out there find fun things to do!

OK…it’s time to link up! I am so excited!! And I can’t wait to see what we can share with each during this journey!

Help!

Since I’m still kind of new to this blogging thing, I need some help from some of you seasoned bloggers! I am starting a new meme, which will be up and running this Friday (YEA!!!) The thing is, I want one of those cool buttons that people can put at the top of their posts or on their blog for others to find the meme to join in on all the fun! (You know like Org Junkie has for Menu Plan Monday or The Simple Woman has for the Simple Woman’s Daybook) But I have no idea how to do this! So if someone could please let me know where to go to make one of these cool buttons I’d really appreciate it! Thanks!

Last Night

Last night was one of “those” nights. You know what I’m talking about. It was a night, following a day that had been less than stellar. And this day had followed a few weeks that had been less than stellar. I’ve been having a hard time getting motivated, doing more than “the bare minimum”. I’ve really felt like I’m just going through the motions, and missing out on a lot.

I made dinner, and cooked the pork chops too long so they were tough and really not edible. At least I didn’t think they were.  The kids wouldn’t eat, at all, not the pork (which I don’t really blame them for!!!), not the corn or the potato patties. Nothing but pineapple! (I mean, who doesn’t love pineapple!?!?!) Since they weren’t eating we threatened to not go on our family walk that we’d been planning. They finally ate (mostly) and we prepared to go on our walk. Brianna, in a 5 year old fit of glory, decided she wanted to be pushed in the stroller and stood in the driveway throwing her melt down for everyone to witness. So I grabbed her by the arm and took her inside, telling the boys to enjoy their walk. I put her in her room, and put the garbage can next to her since she inevitably makes herself throw up when she gets really upset! (And yes, she did with this fit as well!)

When the boys got home we did our Bible devotional time and then were saying prayers. We went around for each of the kids to say what they were thankful for that day. Bri looked up at me, leaned her head on my shoulder and said “God, thank you for my mommy!” Well, I lost it. Having felt like an awful mommy for a few hours (days, weeks…) and having just heard her scream as she had marched up the stairs earlier “I wish you weren’t my mommy!” it truly made my heart melt!

After the kids were put into bed I was laying there fighting back the tears, willing them to just go away. Steven wrapped his arms around me and asked me what was the matter. Well, I lost it again and it all started pouring out! How I felt like I was constantly screwing up, I didn’t feel like I was enjoying the kids as much as I should be, was I doing the right thing by trying to homeschool Bri? She’s so percocious and strong willed. Will I break her because I just can’t let go and let her go to school like a big girl? (Now mind you, I know why we are choosing to homeschool and I’ll share that later, but when you’re emotional it’s hard to be rational!!!!) And I just kept going and going. He listened and then helped me brainstorm some ways that I might be able to change how I was feeling. We brainstormed some jobs we could start giving the kids so that I wouldn’t be so overwhelmed trying to keep up with the house. We talked about a routine that we need to start implementing to give the days a definite flow and purpose (right now it’s kind of helter skelter around here!). And more importantly he told me that I was doing a great job, and that he knew he didn’t have to worry about their education because they are getting the best teacher in the world!

So, even though it was “one of those nights”, I felt like maybe I should have them more often! I mean, it made him say “And if you’re feeling overwhelmed just say ‘Honey, I need you to do the kitchen, or the laundry, or whatever it may be! And I’ll do it!’ ” Hmmm…maybe I should have these break downs more often! Just kidding! But I think the lesson here is don’t keep it bottled up! If you’re feeling less than stellar, less than perfect (and who isn’t) and you’re just having “one of those days/nights” go ahead and have it! And let your husband know how you’re feeling! Chances are he doesn’t have a clue, and he might have some really good ideas that you’ve never thought of before!

Daybook

FOR TODAY, April 13, 2010

Outside my window…it is beautiful and sunny and oh, I love spring!

I am thinking…that it’s nice to have a week where we don’t have to do a lot of running. It seems like lately we’ve been running a lot and the only thing we have this week is a well baby appointment tomorrow for Micah and a meeting tomorrow night for Steven. Whatever will we do with all this free time? Well, if the weather holds up we’ll be outside a lot! Yea!

I am thankful for…the chance I have to be on another Christ Renews His Parish (CRHP) retreat team. My last opportunity to do this was awesome, and I LOVE this new group of women that I’ll be with so I’m very excited about it!

From the learning rooms…today the kids just did some discovery play. Bri didn’t really want to “do school” but then she and Jonah got out the all about letters and numbers and measurements workbooks that they have and “played” school. Sometimes those days are even better than real school days because they don’t actually realize all that they are learning!

From the kitchen…well, it was supposed to be a pork tenderloin in the crock pot, but I took it out yesterday to thaw and then…left it out ALL night in the sink so it was no good this morning! So now I get to find something else! Yea! (insert sarcasm here..and anger that $6.59 just went into the garbage! GRRR!!!!)

I am wearing…navy blue lounge pants and a light blue t-shirt.

I am creating…this blog post, and that’s about as creative as it’s going to get today I think. Unless I get to pull out the Cricut and work on something that I need to start.

I am going…no where and it’s wonderful!!!!

I am reading…Twilight, but only for the second time. You see, even with my major Twilight obsession after I read the first book I wanted everyone else I knew to read it, and well, I never got it back! So I went out the other day and bought another copy and I’m reading it again! (And totally loving it again! Stephanie Meyer, you are a genius!!!)

I am hoping…that I can find a way to help tame my little guy. Jonah has become such a force to be reckoned with! He is hitting and punching and screaming at everyone! Which is really frustrating and weird. It’s not like he comes from an abusive home where we’re always hitting and punching and screaming, but somewhere he learned to do them, and do them well! So now I’m praying for guidance to figure out what I can do to help remedy this behavior before someone gets hurt!

I am hearing…a baby rolling on the floor blowing raspberries! And occasionally squealing! It’s precious! (Except for the squealing because he squeals like a girl!!!)

Around the house…things are looking relatively put together. I need to clean out the fridge, which I will be doing once I post this and link it up. But other than, it’s been an OK week so far!

One of my favorite things…Watching my kiddos play on the swing set. My mom got them a swing set last summer and they love to be outside playing on it! It’s so fun to watch their childish enthusiasm..and it’s catching too because you just can’t help but to answer their pleas of “Mommy, come push me!” and “Mommy, catch me!”

A few plans for the rest of the week:
1) Micah’s well baby visit tomorrow (and nine month shots! YIKES!!!)
2) just enjoying the great weather!

Here is picture for thought I am sharing…Friday night Steven and I went to the cast party for the Drama club. It was sooo much fun! They divided us into 6 teams and each team was given the theme of a past show. Our team got the show “A Knight to Remember”, which obviously was a medieval show. So this was the “set” we put together. Pretty cool huh (especially for one meeting to make it, which I couldn’t attend. My contribution to this was the red table cloth and the gold runner!!!) The second picture is me with my team. We had to choose a scene from the show and we decided to do a song and dance called “Joust” which is to the song “Shout”. It was a blast and we had so much fun! I’m so glad I joined the drama club and got back on the stage again. I didn’t realize that I missed it as bad as I did until I got up there again! It’s like a drug, but a good one!

 Have a great week day! Find more Daybooks here at The Simple Woman’s Daybook.

Kids and Allergies

photo from Google Images

I don’t know about you but we are experiencing horrible seasonal allergies in our house. In fact, experts are saying this is the worst allergy season in 27 years! Brianna has been suffering for awhile now, and I finally got her on some Claritin to help treat the itchy/watery eyes, runny nose, sneezing, etc. I’m going to do a through cleaning of her room this week, dusting, vaccuming, washing comforters and curtains, etc. Hopefully these things can help give her some relief!

Did you know that kids with eczema are more prone to allergies than kids who don’t have the annoying skin disease? Brianna and Jonah both suffer from eczema and so it really isn’t surprising to me that they both have rough springs and falls. We have found that Eucerine Calming Cream is one of the best ways to soothe their eczema flair ups, but everyone responds differently, so if your child is suffering from eczema make sure you talk to your pediatrician about the best course of treatment for them!

I found this great article at Safe Home Happy Mom about kids and allergies. If you’re experiencing this at your house stop by and read this article. You can find it here.  I found this site on the Ultimate Blog Party sponsored by 5 Minutes for Mom and it is a wealth of great information, so make sure you check it out!

I haven’t posted much this weekend because I’ve been having so much fun with the party! And now, thanks to the party I have 14 followers as of this post! Thank you guys so much for signing up to follow me! I’m very excited to get to know you guys better! If you’ve been reading for a while now sign up to follow me on Google Friend connect on my sidebar! I’ll be sharing with you some of the awesome blogs that I have found once the party wraps up on Friday the 16th. And I’ll post before that about something else…I just don’t know what that will be yet! Have a blessed week!