Saturday, May 31, 2008
Good news---we have an a/c again. Finally got fixed, luckily the day before the temp hit the nineties! Here is my problem with Oklahoma---the humidity! West Texas was hot--all the time, but it was a dry heat. You think its bad but you aren't damp all day! We haven't done too much. Just trying to stay out of the heat. Our move was postponed a week due to ridiculous prior tenants. We drove by today and it appeared they were out, but who knows...
Baby Mia, Furry Bentley and I have been at home packing- staying cool.
The house is almost completely packed. We've only ventured out for a few days of MDO, my working at our Church's food pantry & my trip to Walgreens and Blockbuster. I did so awesome at Walgreens--so awesome in fact, that the Walgreens cashier asked if I could e-mail her my info on how I did it. I arrived with my list, planned on buying $32 dollars worth of goods and paying about $5. It didn't quite end up that way. Instead I bough $72 dollars worth of goods for $8.67. (This is without any Register Rewards---all combinations of coupons and sales!) Thus we are building our stockpile for the summer. My goal is to stockpile enough to not pay over a dollar for any big purchases...I'm also racking up the RRs so that come July and August, when I'm not getting paid anymore, we can buy stuff for free!
I also found some Blockbuster coupons and we were able to rent two new movies for free and they gave us a bag of popcorn. So we got National Treasure 2 and Juno. (You can guess who picked out which movie.)
In other movie news, I watched a hilarious movie on tv the other morning while Mia took a nap called Connie & Carla. I so connected with the movie of girls always breaking into show tunes & having Debbie Reynolds as an idol! Every time something bad has happened in the last three weeks, I break out into "Divas Lament" from Spamalot! The show is coming to OKC soon---and we've already bought tickets. I'm showing Dave with all our receipts how I have saved the money for my show tickets. He's only agreed to go b/c its Monty Python! He'll never admit he likes it even if its his favorite---oh boys...
Thursday, May 29, 2008
Sorta like the last few weeks, just have to spend a bit more. Luckily Walgreens has some really great deals. Also, if you're like me, you've noticed that most of the coupons we've been stockpiling expire the 31st of May. Thus, I'm going through everything one last time to make sure I don't miss any good deals.
It looks like I'm going to spend over 40, and then after coupons spend 5...we can handle that. I have a spare change jar that I cash-in every now and then for fun purchases--I can totally use it to stock up on fun supplies...Nothing like buying more stuff before we move!
Wednesday, May 28, 2008
Thus I'm staying very still, eating the coldest items I can find, sent the baby off to MDO. The puppy and I are hanging out under ceiling fans...its so hot and humid in OK...yuck!
So here are some of the best sites I have found in the last few days...must check them out!
1) If you're looking for an extensive list of internet and printable coupons, check out Mommy Snacks. Not only has she compiled an exhaustive list of sites but she also helps out beginners with tips for shopping at CVS and Walgreens. Such a wonderful and helpful site!
2) If you want to see how far $800 can go, check out Jane & 4 Girls.
This brave single-mom has an annual budget of 800, and they're actually gaining money. It's very inspiring to me when I think we have no money or can't buy anything--she'll prove that you can!
3) If you love Williams & Sonoma or Bliss but don't want to pay crazy prices, check out the Giving Gallery Department Store. I've been trying to find more of Nigella Lawson's Living Kitchen Line. The frugal part of my brain, however, will not allow me to spend $35 on 4 measuring cups...Thus I went searching. Ialso found some of her line on E-bay, but the Giving Gallery had everything. And most was 50% cheaper than Bliss.
4) This one is really only for the girls with big feet...OK, for those of you who weren't "blessed" with feet the size of canoes, you won't understand how hard it is to find shoes, especially cute shoes! I've found some really cute size 11 shoes on E-bay, but not that often. Then NPR did a segment on girls over 6 foot! (Finally, my people get a voice!) The girl on the program wore size 11 shoes, and recommended the following site, Gotham City Online. Now, they have shoes for all foot sizes, but for the girls with the big feet---they're designer shoes and they're fairly cheap. They aren't Jimmy Choos but they're designer and so cute!
5) Also, my love for Nigella Lawson (as well as other's I'm finding) continues to grow. I happened across this fabulous blog the other day, Pennypincher's Pantry.
Her tag line is that she writes about frugal recipes & ideas, menu planning, retro collections & Nigella Lawson recipes! You'll love it!
Enjoy! Stay cool---we're all trying!
- Do they accept internet coupons? YES.
- Do they stack coupons? YES. You can use a Target coupon with a manufacturer's coupon for extra savings, unless either prohibits such use.
- Do they accept competitor's coupons? NO.
-- We accept two kinds of coupons: Target-issued coupons and manufacturer-issued coupons.
-- We'll accept one Target coupon and one manufacturer coupon for the same item, unless either coupon prohibits it.
-- We can't give cash back if the face value of a coupon is greater than the purchase value of the item; in that case, we'll adjust the value of the coupon to equal the price of the item.
-- We can't accept coupons from other retailers, or coupons for products not carried in our stores.
-- All valid coupons should be presented to the cashier at the time of sale.
I apologize for any disappointment this may have caused you. Have questions or want more information about using coupons at Target? Check with a Guest Services Team Leader at your store. You can also give us a call at (800) 440-0680, or visit us on Target.com. Either way, we're here to help!"
Click here for a copy of Walmart's coupon policy.
- Do they double coupons? NO.
- Do they accept internet coupons? YES.
- Do they stack coupons? NO.
- Do they accept competitor's coupons? NO.
- Do they double coupons? NO.
- Do they accept competitor's coupons? NO, except pharmacy.
- Do they accept internet (printable) coupons? See below, but my CVS does.
Click here for some great information on Walgreens' coupon policy, thanks to Sense To Save.
- Do they stack coupons? YES. You can use a Walgreens coupon and a manufacturer's coupon on the same item, unless either coupon prohibits such use.
- Do they accept competitor's coupons? NO.
- Do they accept internet (printable) coupons? See below, but my Walgreens generally does.
And I hope this information helps YOU with future purchases!
Tuesday, May 27, 2008
I never watch the Rachel Ray show...I feel that she needs the editing that only the Food Network can give her.
So, today on the show she had a guy on the show telling how to save money at big warehouse stores like Sam's Club and Costco. Some of the tips were really great. Here's what they said:
Look for the codes. Knowing the warehouse clubs' secret pricing structures will help you make sure you’re getting the rock-bottom price. According to Clark, at Sam's Club, if there’s a "C" on the price tag, the item has been discontinued and if the item's price ends with a penny, it's been marked down. At Costco, look for an asterisk for discontinued goods and anything that ends with 97 cents for markdowns.
Buy private label items. Warehouse clubs' own private label products are sold at great prices. Clark's advice: Look out for Member's Mark at Sam's Club, Kirkland Signature at Costco, and the Berkeley and Jensen labels at BJ's.
Go on an empty stomach! Warehouse clubs always have yummy food samples and great prices for a quick lunch or snack. Be sure to get your drink before you shop to take advantage of free refills!
Split a membership for cost-saving. You can share on both membership dues and the well-priced, super-sized items even if you don't have the extra storage space. If you are tight on room, pair up and share with a friend or neighbor so that you both can enjoy savings on multi-pack items.
And, don't forget Clark's number one tip:
Don't get a cart! What do you do if you get a shopping cart? You fill it! Shopping carts can lead to impulse buying. "I walk around with stuff in my arms," Clark says. "As I get tired I say, 'Do I really need that?'" Clark says it'll save you a fortune!
To read the rest of the tips you can go here.
Monday, May 26, 2008
Baby Mia swung on the baby swings by herself for the first time and LOVED it!! Quite the big girl. We then took her for a walk in her stroller around OU. We saw a white puppy, she got excited. Brought home the sticky baby and let her play in her bathtub like it was a swimming pool. She loves to splash around!
Some packing did happen. More needs to go down in the next few days. So glad the water heater wasn't worse!
Another fun part of today was the Jon and Kate Plus 8 marathon! We are so obsessed with the show! We laugh so much at the Type-A wife with the "little Brother" husband...so Dave & me.
Friday, May 23, 2008
Thursday, May 22, 2008
This morning, at 5 a.m. Ms. Mia awoke and decided the rest of needed to be up. Dave, not being any variety of a morning person complained of his lack of sleep and what a bad mover he will be with little rest. As if on cue, sweet Mia rolls over to him, grabs his face and said "da-da" for the first time!!! Oh, how his heart melted!!! No longer was he thinking of his lack of sleep, but of his little girl. We clapped for her and she continued her ramblings until 7 when she passed out and I had to get her up to get ready for the day.
I'm proud of Mia for learning quickly that little girls are to wrap Daddy's around their fingers.
From this moment on, he was totally hooked...(Look how little she was!)
Six months later, she's still finding ways to control her Daddy's affections!
Wednesday, May 21, 2008
We desperately need to have a garage sale b/c we have so much extra stuff that we don't need. There is no way we can do it before the move, so we'll have to do it after the move.
So much to do...Too bad I have four thousand different things going on right now!
Tuesday, May 20, 2008
I then went to one of my favorite local cafes. I waited until after 1 so that I it would quiet and most people would be gone. I found a corner booth, ordered my meal & sat down with the latest issue of the New Yorker! I got to read the entire thing! Oh it was splendid! I had a yummy soup & half-sandwich, free refills, and nice soft music to read to. I haven't gotten the chance to read an entire issue since before Mia was born. It was actually the weekend before she was born. I read a few articles the morning she was born, but not an entire issue.
After they brought me this complimentary organic cookie I decided I should do a few errands. I went to Best Buy, a store I don't like going in, and got a great deal. For Valentine's Day, I bought the hubby a Nintendo DS. The special had been with purchase of a DS, two free games, and a free hard case. The case has been out of stock since. So, I went in today, determined to get the case. They didn't have the one that was supposed to be free, but they had a better one in stock. I talked to a manager and since it has taken so long, they gave me the better case that came with a memory card, headphones, and an extra stylus. The case was over $30, and my free case was to be only $10. I guess I better start liking Best Buy more.
After Best Buy and picking up the baby, we came back to talk to our apartment people. I was intending on extending our lease for one more month to thus give them the true 30 day notice. They told us not to worry b/c someone already wants our place. Thus, if we'll be out on our original date, we won't have to extend or pay anything extra. So this sounds all great- the issue is, we have 11 days to move! Eleven days!!! Tomorrow, I'm going shopping for free boxes and a hitch for the Jeep. Oh, its going to be chaos! Sounds like the label maker will need to be whipped-out!!
Sunday, May 18, 2008
In non-E bay related news, today was Mia's first trip to the park.
She loved the swings and
laughed out loud when we took her down the slides! Being mean parents, we made her wear a funny hat, but she took it well and stared at all the children playing. The weather has been beyond beautiful here lately, and we wanted to take her before it got too hot.
After the park, we had to run to the store for a few things, and on the ride home we realized how quiet it was in the back.
We completely wore her out. She crashed on us--mouth open, hat askew, bottle out of her mouth...poor little girl was so give out!!
Saturday, May 17, 2008
I was in charge of decorating the table and making the cake. I thought a diaper cake would be great. Using my coupons and strategic shopping, I made the cake and bought all the decorations and items for game for under $20!
The diaper cake was much bigger than I anticipated. It was hard to find ribbon and decorations when they don't know the sex of the baby. I thought ducks and alphabet ribbon were uni-sex.
Another view of the diaper cake, with the extra gifts I got with my free CVS rebates and coupons!
On the diaper cake is are 5 white cotton onesies, 2 bottles of baby lotion, baby powder, vasaline, and diaper rash ointment. The side package is Huggies body wash and a travel pack of wipes. The diapers--was one 114 pack of newborn Huggies. I folded 114 diapers--it went much faster than I thought!
Monday, May 12, 2008
On the actual day, Mia helped deliver the presents to my mom and grandmother. The women got in the kitchen a made a wonderful lunch. I drew lots of pictures with my niece and nephew, and had a talked to my grandmother about her first date with my granddad. It was such a great day.
Also on the farm this weekend, Mia got to see her Papaw's new chickens. She also met Mare, our thirty year old horse. She really wasn't all that interested in the horse, but thought the chickens were interesting.
So after a weekend with the grandparents, baby Mia is going through "Nana detox." She can't believe that no one is holding her the entire time.
Friday, May 9, 2008
We are off in a few minutes for Texas. Let all rejoice! We get so excited when we get to go back to my hometown.
My mother called today. She's planning something big for my first Mother's Day. I've been working on how to make my mother and grandmothers gifts frugal yet awesome. I want the gifts to be something that I would give them with or without a budget.
I thought for a few weeks about what to get, and then watched the sales for my items. My family also has a stipulation that whatever we get each other must be consumable. We all feel that we can buy the essentials that we need, thus we don't buy clothes or books for each other unless given specific instructions. Its more fun to come up with consumable gift ideas anyway. (It also helps not to clutter up the house!)
When I think of being a little girl, I think of my grandmother and mother's nails. They always have beautiful names. This amazed me as a child b/c they are such hard workers. I wondered how they kept their hands so pretty. Thus, I bought the ladies in my life a cute make-up tote bag filled with items for a great at-home manicure. The awesome thing is that each set would have been over $30- but with my handy-dandy coupons and watching for good sales, I bought all 3 for 30! I'm so excited.
Wishing all of the mothers (especially my friend Laura who is a new mother!! I hope pictures will be uploaded when I get back!) a very Happy Mother's Day!!
Thursday, May 8, 2008
Some of the big items purchased:
Jumbo pack of Pampers for Baby Mia
More Ora-jel swabs for the Texas Trip
2 Revlon nail files
2 packs of cotton swabs
2-bottles of nail polish remover
3-mothers day cards
2-32 load Tide concentrates
6 pack of Charmin
2-roles of aluminum foil
3-bottles of Dawn
-Out of pocket was $25 and I saved over $40.
So today I got to thinking, I've become really frugal in the last year, yet in what ways am I not.
-I will not buy generic cereal. I really don't like it.
-My purse budget can be so ridiculous. To say that I have champagne taste on a beer budget is beyond an understatement. I love, love Italian purses. I have found, however, that I can get a few through Ebay.
-I don't buy any sheets under 400 thread count. I like my bed to be a haven from all the stress. I like lots of pillows, a great comforter/duvet, and the most luxurious sheets imaginable.
-I never buy generic toilet paper. My West Texas ways won't allow me to buy the cheap stuff. I can remember my grandmother saying she'd never forgive herself if company came over to cheap paper.
-We have extended cable/ dsl internet/ phone & I won't get rid of it. I need my BBC, TiVo and History international. Dave apparently needs the discovery and hunting channels.
So, now I'm interested in the other ways in which you all are and aren't frugal....
Today is laundry day: piles and piles of laundry are all around this apartment. Baby Mia is illustrating that the laundry is truly piling up around here. I found her in her Bumbo yesterday with the blanket on her head. I love her little look--so surprised that someone thought to look under the blanket for her.
Before Mia came into our lives I only had one day of laundry per week including sheets, blankets, comforters, pillows--everything. If I go two days without doing laundry, let alone an entire week, it looks like we're a clothing land-fill! Amazing isn't it what one little eating, spitting up machine will do to your chore list!!! Those pretty eyes and chubby cheeks make it all worth it!!
Tuesday, May 6, 2008
Another really fun day of grocery shopping. Since I had not bought food in a couple of weeks, we were getting down to the absolute last straw! So after dropping off Baby Mia at MDO, I sat out on my journey. I ended up spending exactly 100 b/w three stores, but I saved $87. Usually I would cringe at spending a hundred, but Baby Mia is now on food other than cereal and needed formula. Mia LOVES the pears!
Some of the big purchases today including 2 4lb bags of chicken, ground beef, pork loin, chicken stock, bottled water, and pasta. With all of these big items, I'm not feeling so guilty about the extra cash, and I was able to get three bags of various goods for the church pantry. Consequently, I'm going to be in charge of our church's pantry this summer since the lady who usually runs it is going back to school. I'm quite excited!
Later today I'm viewing a few houses that we are looking to rent. We have completely outgrown our apartment. Hopefully they will be as cute on the inside as they are on the outside.
Monday, May 5, 2008
Baby Mia, who is in the midst of full-blown teething was up at 5:30 ready to scream. Least to say, I didn't get too much sleep. I gave my students their final at freaking 8 am, and then turned in my paper. Luckily David dropped off the baby at "baby camp."
Now we're all home and everyone is attempting to take naps. I'm thinking that after this post, I'll try to get a little nap in before the hubby gets home. Nights when I don't get much sleep are made easier by my Sunday prep work. Every Sunday after we get back from church and I make dinner and always make extra to freeze. This way, on the days when I feel that I can't stand up, I just pop it in the oven, and we all can eat. (Dave says this is my super-power in that anyone who can be a ph.d student, mother, and keep him fed, must be able to control time!)
Friday, May 2, 2008
The survey is from the magazine Real Simple.
What did you want to be when you were little?
I wanted to be a "Dairy Queener". I thought they got free ice cream. I was devastated to learn that you didn't get all of the free ice cream or Hunger busters to work there.
What surprises you most about your adult life? I'm not sure that I always consider myself an adult, but I've been surprised how the weirdest small events end up changing ones entire life.
What's the one thing you'll never understand? Heavy metal music...I don't understand the loudness and the angriness....just be happy
What scares you? Water that I can't see the bottom of---I'm sure there are crazy sharks or some sort of fresh water variety that's just waiting to eat me...
What celebrity crushes did you have as a teenager? I loved athletes....Chipper Jones was and still is my favorite..
What's your favorite possession? My Grandad made me a really pretty bird house before he died. Its one of the things I would grab if a fire or storm came up.
--I thought the survey was interesting. One of my girlfriends and I used to always ask each other the survey they ask on every episode of Inside the Actor's Studio, so I thought this would be fun too.--
Thursday, May 1, 2008
Of course, this is all on top of a large pile of papers that my students turned in. All must be graded before they take their final on Monday. After next Thursday, my summer officially begins and I can sit back with the baby, move houses, complete a directed readings in Modern British history, Colonial American history, and study for my Italian language exam.
Baby Mia, Bentley the crazy schnauzer and I are currenlty all in our big bed enjoying the cool breeze from the windows. Living in OK, we get really cool nights. Tonight the wind is really up. All around us tornadoes have been touching down all night. Luckily our town has been safe, not even a single drop of hail. (knock on wood!) We've been enjoying the breeze, Mia's occasional coos and the sounds of jazz from the radio. I love listening to the radio at night. Just one lamp on in the room. No other sounds but the radio...nothing ever catchy or with lyrics-either classical or jazz. Its so relaxing.
In totally opposite news, but something on my mind...I watched Oprah today, which I don't do all that often. But my trusty friend TiVo recorded it for me because the cast of Sex & the City were on talking about the new movie. The girls remind me of my Texas girlfriends...our great nights out, our love of this fabulous little wine-bar called La Diosa...Oh, how I miss my girls. Dave offered to take me to the movie. (We haven't seen a movie out since Harry Potter came out last summer!) I told him I would see it a second time with him, but he doesn't understand that's a girls-night movie...with cosmopolitans, your cutest outfits, and excellent gossip!