Saturday, November 17, 2012

What happens when you are stocked up?


Days like today happen when you are all stocked up!

I braved the store on a Saturday, with my 3 kids (yes, a double whammy) but walked out feeling rather good and the kids even got a penny pony ride.

Because I took advantage of the great catalina deals and mega-events over the last few weeks, I was VERY happy to just pick up a few things this week. My bill was only $45.60 with a savings of $76.51!! Ok, wait, I did go to Sam's club yesterday and picked up milk and banana's so if I add that to my bill then I spent around $51 total this week.

I could have got by with even less but I used a few expiring coupons to pick up some deals to, again, stock up. Here's my entire haul from King Soopers today...

 
I'll give you a quick rundown of my prices after sale and coupons, in no particular order...
 
P&G promotion (Buy 4 participating items and get $4 off) -
Pampers wipes = FREE
Scope mouthwash = .50 each
Old Spice deoderants = .29 each
Secret deoderant = .29 each
 
Out of the markdown bins -
Swanson's Chicken broth - .49
Chocolate covered pretzels - .49 each (great for snacks and they also go into a holiday snack mix that we make every year)
Danimals smoothies - $1.59 (a splurge for the kids)
 
Buy 4 participating items and get milk free! -
Yoplait yogurts - the kids' were $1.50 each and the other (with granola) were $1.29 each
Gallon of milk - FREE
 
Other deals -
Ocean Spray Cranberries - $1.24 a bag
Baker's chocolate - $2.49 each
Kraft cheeses - $2 each (blocks and shredded)
Kroger veg. broth - .60 each
Country Crock spread - $1.49
Sara Lee pies - $1.99 each
Ground beef - $12.17 - eCoupon for $3 off $10 meat purchase = $9.17 for 3 lbs
Carefree liners - FREE
Blistex lipbalm - FREE (perfect stocking stuffers)

So there you go! Check out all of those great deals, especially the items that were under .50...plus 4 freebies!!

I hope you've been taking advantage of some of the fabulous deals that have been around lately. I am pretty well stocked up for all the holiday meals. :)

Love and low weekly bills,

Stephanie

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

The day has finally come

Tomorrow I am doing my first couponing talk. Eeeeek!

As you have seen from my blog, I've always offered to do a little class, or even one on one time with people to help them learn more about couponing and saving money but I've never had anyone seriously take me up on it until now.

I belong to a MOPS (Mother's of Preschoolers) group here in Strasburg and they asked me to talk at our meeting tomorrow. I mentioned to one of the other mom's one day that I coupon, in passing, so between that and some of the other gals seeing my posts on Facebook they decided they'd like me to talk.

I feel a little weird because all I'm doing is passing along information that I learned from other  money saving bloggers. Heck, I'm even promoting their sites! But what the hey, I'm happy to help other people save a buck or two...or $100...and if I'm just the messenger than so be it. :)

Even though it's a topic that flows out of me, I had to sit down and type out notes so I don't get up there and stutter around (which I may do anyway). I love sharing this kind of stuff but I'm not the best public speaker. I just have to remember to breathe!

Hopefully the information I picked out to share will be helpful to everyone. I only have about 30-45 minutes to talk and I'll definatly be pushing the limits of my time frame and I feel like I'm barely scratching the service.

I'll pop on and let you know how it goes. If you're a MOPS mom and are reading this, please leave me feedback. If it's good you can just comment below...if it's bad send me a private message, lol.

Wish me luck!

Love and spreading the word,

Stephanie

Friday, November 2, 2012

Hot off the Printer

I woke up the morning...ok, so my 3 month old woke me up this morning...and I decided to hop on the computer. Since it's the first of the month (yes...I know it's technically the 2nd) coupons.com resets and brand new coupons arrive. So I warmed up the printer and put it to work!

Once you've been couponing a while you'll realize what coupons are pretty common and which ones are rare. Right now, there are some fabulous Kraft coupons including ones for cheese, jet-puffed marshmallows, and Stove Top stuffing (very seasonal so stock up for the holidays). A lot of these items are on sale at King Soopers/Kroger this week so they will make for some amazing deals. Deals like FREE marshmallows and .30 Stove Top!


Two quick tips when using coupons.com...

Remember that you can go back and print out 2 of each coupon. After you've printed one time, just click on the "go back to coupons" link and print more! Coupons you've printed once will show up at the bottom of the coupon list.

With their (somewhat) new layout, you can't just hop to the last page, which is a pain. However I learned a little trick that helps a bit. After you click on the "show more coupons" bar hit the space bar on your keyboard a few times. It will make more "pages" of coupons load up. :)


I'm off to King Soopers today to hit up some of the hot deals this week. Hope you have a successful week too!


Love and loading more printer paper,

Stephanie

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

The 90 Day Challenge

I've had a few people ask me about the Challenge I'm currently on so here I am and I'm happy to tell you all about it!

A little over a month ago I started the Body By Vi 90 Day Challenge. I heard about it from a friend of mine who started doing the Challenge to lose weight and Visalus has totally changed her life! I knew that once I was done having children I did not want to keep hold of that extra baby weight. I wanted to get back into my pre-pregnancy jeans and look better than ever! So I contacted my friend Tiffany, got some more information and decided to give it a go.

I'm now 37 days into my Challenge. I've lost 4 pounds and an inch around my hips. I know those numbers aren't mind blowing but I feel like I'm really getting into the swing of it all now. Part of losing weight is making sure you are getting enough calories so your metabolism doesn't slow down, but not getting too many calories so you do lose weight. I've been working on that balance (as well as my water intake which I've never been great with and not eating that Halloween candy that taunts me so) and once I actually start exercising I'll be unstoppable!

 Even more than the pounds I've lost, I've noticed another HUGE difference in me. I was notorious for having a late afternoon crash. Around 4pm I would just hit a wall and just feel tired and worn out. That feeling wouldn't go away for a few hours and I'd probably perk back up aorund 8-9pm. That was horrible for me, especially when I had/have kids to take care of, dinner to fix and...well, a life to live. Since starting on the shakes I do not get that "crash" anymore. Even with having 2 toddlers and a 2 month old I feel great. Yes, I do feel drained by the end of the day, but when my body just keeps on trucking until bedtime THAT is a great feeling.

There are TONS of resources out there to give you information about the Body by Vi Challenge. I'd love for you to hop over to my Body By Vi site and watch the video to find out more because it can explain it to you much better than I can. You can also search YouTube and find an insane amount of resources and testimonies regarding the Challenge. If this video doesn't get you pumped to join the Challenge I don't know what will!

But here are the basics...

Although many people use the 90 Day Challenge to lose weight, there are quite a number of people who take the Challenge, and use the Vi-Shape Shake Mix to be in better shape, get fit or build lean muscle.
"» The shake mix provides complete nutrition – fast
» Helps control appetite
» Provides bone-healthy calcium
» Provides heart healthy, low fat protein
» Helps promote & maintain lean muscle mass
» Supports protein digestion and nutrient absorption
» Helps support healthy energy levels while cutting calories
» Provides fiber benefits for health protection
» Includes two unique fibers for health, and for hunger control
» Supports a low glycemic lifestyle
» Supports healthy metabolism
Each protein has been specially processed to remove fat, remove lactose, and remove carbohydrates. In addition, we have processed the soy to remove the isoflavones, so there is no estrogenic affect. The “shake mix that tastes like a cake mix” is hard to beat."

You use the shake mix as meal replacement, 2 meals a day (most people have it for breakfast and lunch), have 2 healthy snacks and a sensible dinner.

Now, I NEVER thought I would be someone who would drink shakes for a meal replacement. I love food and I did not want to give that up. HOWEVER, the shake mix is awesome. It has it's own sweet cream flavor so you don't even have to add much to it for it to taste great but there are pages and pages of recipes out there where you can create your own shakes (strawberry, blueberry, Almond Joy, Butterfinger, Peanut Butter Cup!....). It's nice to have such a variety of options so you don't feel like you're drinking the same thing over and over again.

The cost...it all depends on which kit you buy. There are multiple options but I picked up the Shape Kit because I felt like that would be best in my situation. I haven't had anyone join me on the Challenge yet (it's always best to do things like this with friends, right?) but if I get 3 people to join with me then I can get my kits for FREE!!! And so can you! Now that definatly makes it affordable. Who doesn't like FREE? (and you know me...I'm ALL about free, lol)

What I think is cool is how many celebrities are on the Challenge. Because, again, it's not just about weight loss. Many people use the shake mix to just maintain their weight, get that extra protein boost and just get themselves into better shape. Personal trainers, gym owners and fitness professionals promote the Challenge because of the results. There are many professional athletes doing it as well. Even rocker Chris Daughtry tweets about his Challenge here and check THIS out!

No, the shake mix isn't going to give you a 6 pack but it's all a part of a lifestyle of being the best YOU that you can be. I'm getting there...I'm not a gym rat but I do love to dance so I'm hoping to get out and get some fitness on doing Zumba.

So that's my rambling. If you want more information about ViSalus Sciences and the Body By Vi 90 Day Challenge I encourage you to contact me. If I don't have the answer I am a part of an amazing team of people, with my fearless leader Tiffany, who can help you out.

And just for the record...this is my official "before" shot...


It's oh so flattering, I know...but it's me...at least that was me 37 days ago.

Love and challenging myself,

Stephanie


Thursday, October 4, 2012

Back in the Saddle

I know it's been a long time since I've done a post. Having 2 toddlers and a newborn does take it's toll on my computer time. lol
I feel like I'm online a fair amount but it's usually on my iPhone. The time I do spend on my laptop is usually one-handed, or I know I only have a few minutes before someone wakes up. As I type I have a wee one on my lap...and she's starting to squirm.

I never really took a break from couponing, although my coupon binder gets a little neglected, from time to time, and I have to play catchup. I fully intended on not getting to the grocey store during those first few weeks post-partum, but I guess I'm too controlling when it comes to my grocery shopping. lol My mother went with me the first week and my mother-in-law helped/joined me on a trip a couple weeks later so I never skipped a week.

I've been keeping up with King Soopers deals but that's usually about it because I don't have the time to head out to other stores and do much shopping. Today, I had my oldest daughter with me while I was running errands and we made a stop at Albertsons.

I didn't take a picture my purchases because I had put all the cold stuff away as soon as I got home and didn't feel up to dragging it back out for a picture. But here's what I grabbed...

Albertson's has a Buy 8 items, Get $4 off sale this week so here's what I picked with that sale...

3 Hamburger Helper - .99 on sale + .75/3 coupon = .74 each
Keebler Vanilla Wafer cookies - 1.99 on sale (no coupon...just had a hankering)
Langers Juice - .99 on sale (no coupon)
Zatarain Rice - .69 each (I guess there is a coupon out there but I must not have clipped it)
2 Magnum Ice Cream bars - 2.49 on sale + $1 coupon (printed online a while back) = $1.49!

Other items:

Broccoli - .88/lb
Banana's - .55/lb
2 Milk - 1.97 gallon
2 Doritos - BOGO free + the $1/2 coupon from this last week's paper = 1.64 each
4 Old Orchard Juice (frozen) - $1.50 + $1/4 coupon (printed online) = $1.25 each
Keebler cheese and crackers - $1.99 (no coupon but my kids love these and that's a decent sale price)
Precious Mozzerella - 3.99 on sale + $1 coupon = $2.99 (I've been loving this lately...eating it with cherry tomatoes from my garden, oil, balsamic vinegar an basil...yum!!)

and 2 Brachs autumn mix candy - $1.50 on sale + $1.50/2 coupon = .75 a bag

My grand total was $30.10 with a savings of $38.51.

Yes, I know, I bought some junk food but you have to treat yourself sometimes, especially when you are getting some good deals! You can't go through life depriving yourself just for sake of your budget. Get a few goodies now and again! With all the couponing I do I feel lke I deserve it (like that justification?) As you see, nothing I picked up today cost over $2 (oops...ok, the mozzerella but that's normally $9.99!!).

I hope you are having some great store experiences! If not, let me know! I'd love to help!

Love and treats in my pantry (and freezer),

Stephanie

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

I'm Not Baby Friendly?


While still pregnant I had registered on the website of 2 different formula companies to recieve free samples, coupons and mailings. In one of the offers, I received in the mail, was a card to take to the hospital. You were supposed to ask for a gift bag that would have a formula sample as well as some other coupons, etc. It did say, on the card, that they were available at "participating" hospitals so I knew there was a chance that my hospital might not have it.

On my day of my release I asked my nurse if they had either gift bags from these companies. She proceeded to tell me that they are a "baby friendly hospital" (yes, those were her exact words) which meant breastfeeding, so they did not give out formula. She told me that she would be happy to make me up a plastic bag with some diapers and wipes instead.

Now, my disclaimer is this...I have absolutely no negative opinions regarding breastfeeding. I admire women who nurse their children and I do think it's the best way to go if you are able.

I have had difficulties nursing my children so I need to use formula. There is a protein in my milk that does not agree with my children. It was a problem that my mother had with nursing me, and a problem that my grandmother had as well. I struggled for 3 months nursing my oldest daughter, only to have an extremely fussy baby. Many, many nights of sleep (and sanity during the day) were lost because she was crying and in pain. After 3 months I caved in a tried formula with her. It was like a switch was flipped and she was noticeably better within 24 hours.
After 2 weeks, with my son, we started noticing the same fussiness and discomfort. I did not hesitate to make the switch. My baby girl is now 3 weeks old and I've been formula feeding her for over a week now.

I have no regrets.

Do I agree that breastfeeding is a better choice for most babies? Absolutely! But is it the best choice for my babies? No.

I could struggle and struggle trying to change every little thing in my diet and it probably would not make a bit of difference. Even if it did, would that make me super mom? Probably not. It would probably make me a really unhappy, grumpy mom and is that a good mom? No.

So that means I'm not baby friendly?

Because I formula feed, I am some sort of heathen?

My children are happy and healthy. They aren't obese, they don't have major medical problems and I felt like I bonded with them really well during those times when I bottle fed them. In fact, I felt like I bonded with them more than I did when I nursed.

When I nursed, it was usually painful and I was usually exhausted. They were facing towards my chest and sometimes, when out in public (or when we had people over), they were concealed by a nursing cover so I couldn't see them at all.
When I bottle feed they can look up at me and I can stare into their eyes (or just stare at them when their eyes are closed). My daughter even has this sweet way of grabbing onto my bottle holding hand. She holds my thumb with one hand and my pinky with their other. Oh how I love that.

I love being with my children, but I also love that I'm not attached to them all the time. I love that other people have the opportunity to feed them when the time comes. My mother-in-law just left  today, after staying with us for a while to help, and she was able to spend a fair amount of time with her newest granddaughter by doing some of the feedings. I know it was a really special time for her and I'm glad she was able to experience it.

Even though switching to formula was a neccessary move for me, it turned out to be a blessing. I'm a happy formula feeding mother.

I contacted both formula companies to let them know about my experience at the hospital. I'm sure that I'm not the only person who has written them and said they weren't able to receive their offer. I received responses with 24 hours from both companies and I've already received some things in the mail (and my understanding is that there is more to come).

Here is what I recieved from Enfamil today...a nice tote bag, an insulated bottle holder and cold pack, a sample of Bourdeaux Butt Paste (with a coupon attached), a can of Gentle formula (which all my kids have needed) and a cute Fisher Price turtle toy.

 
There was a card inside saying "Thank You" for contacting them. Well, thank YOU Enfamil for making me feel loved and for making me feel baby friendly...because I am.


Love and no regrets,

Stephanie

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Welcome To The World

Wednesday, August 1st, our family of 4 became a family of 5.

Miss Leona Lee Bloomfield was born at 2:33pm via c-section. She was 7lbs 9oz and 19 1/2" long.
Here she is about 3 hours after birth.

The delivery went well. I have an amazing OB doctor (he delivered Emmett as well) and the entire staff at Sky Ridge was wonderful. Even though it wasn't my first c-section, it's still scary going into it. The unknowns can always make me nervous...not just about the health of the baby but how I will handle the procedure. Luckily we both came through with flying colors.
Since I have a history of endometriosis, the doctor did some looking around while I was opened up. I did not have any active endometriosis in me...which was a relief since I did have some when Emmett was born, but I did have a lot of scar tissue (which can be caused by endo). So much so that my bladder (and another organ which I forgot) were slightly attached to my uterus and even more scary was that my left fallopian tube was completely closed off with scar tissue. That means that this determined little one made her way into our lives with only one open tube to try and go through.

Nora and Emmett came to visit later that day along with my parents, who were taking care of them while we were at the hospital. They just couldn't get over their new little sister. Well, actually Emmett was more concerned about seeing the doctor and they both wanted to see my "owie".


Here we are the next day after I had a chance to get up out of bed, brush my teeth and feel a little more human.

 Here she is with a rare shot of her eyes open. She really is so precious.


If you're wondering where Leona came from, it's sort of a funny story. As you noticed from our other kid's names, we like the older sounding names....not just the older names that are popular now but some that are a little off the beaten path.

Nora was the name of a great aunt of mine, who I loved dearly. Her middle name is Marie, which is my middle name along with my mother and grandmother (technically her middle name is Maria but it's close enough).

Emmett was my husband's pick. It was just a name he liked and I thought that since it was a boy he could have more say in the name. It actually took me a while to be ok with it but I'm glad I agreed on it. It's a sweet name. His middle name is James, after my husband.

And then there is Leona (pronounced Lee-O-nuh)...
When talking about names that we liked, we weren't having much luck agreeing on something. Jim brought up the name Leona. He didn't know anyone by that name and just liked the sound of it. As soon as he mentioned it I smiled. That was the name of my Great Grandmother (my maternal grandmother's mom). Jim didn't realize that it was a family name which makes it really funny.
Even though it was a name close to my heart (I do remember my great grandmother a little...bits and pieces) it was a name that had to grow on me. It was a name that just sounded old...probably because it does remind me of my great grandmother.
Over time I took to it, knowing that it would be even more special because of family tie in. The name Leona also means "Lion" and Leona was born under the astrological sign Leo so that just seemed perfect. Leona's middle name, Lee, is Jim's mother's middle name.

We are over the moon with this little one. She has been so good. She doesn't cause too much ruckus unless she's hungry. The main issue is that she wants to be held when sleeping at night (she does fine sleeping on her own during the day) but the last couple nights she's had longer stretches of being on her own so I think we are making progress.

Thanks for reading my story...

Love and little Leona,

Stephanie

Monday, July 30, 2012

One last minute trip

I thought last Friday was going to be my final shopping trip before the baby comes but, after I took my kids to play school this morning, I couldn't resist one last stop into King Soopers.
There were some good coupons in this last Sunday's paper so I had snag a few of the deals. Here's what I picked up...


Everything above (plus a second box of Gogurt that I had already put away and a $2 greeting card for my husband...shhh, don't tell) cost a grand total of $16.90. My reciept says I saved 60% but it was quite a bit more than that because some of the items were markdowns and at closeout prices and -those are not figured into the savings.

Here's the breakdown -
- The Pirate's Booty was in the markdown bin for $1.89. A bit of a slurge but it sounded good. :)
- Snoopy fruit snacks were not on sale but we are out so, at $1 a box, the Kroger brand will do us just fine until the next big sale.
- Gogurt - on sale 2/$4 + a $1/2 coupon = $1.50 each. My kids love their "squeeze yogurt" and we needed some more so it went in the cart.
- Colgate - On sale for $1 + the coupon from yesterday's paper = FREE
- Suave - On sale for .99 + the coupon from yesterday's paper = FREE
- Bananas - just needed them
- Starkist tuna - I paid .18 for both cans by using a catalina I recieved last week after purchasing Hamburger Helper (I purchased 6 boxes). It was for $2 off any hambuger, chicken or tuna purchase. I went with the tuna, which was on sale for $1.09 each.
- Good and Natural bars - there was the one variety on closeout for .64 each + 2 BOGO free coupons = .32 each
- Zone Perfect bars - regular price of $1 + .50 coupon (which doubles, of course) = FREE
 - And lastly, the Skinny Cow candy - There is a new BOGO free coupon from yesterday's paper but also one from a previous week, (which is expiring tomorrow). The candy is currently on sale B2GO free, at a sale price of .89 each. I was just trying to figure out if there was a way to have recieved a better deal on those (working the BOGO system) but my brain isn't functioning at high speeds right now so I'll just tell you what I did.
I had 5 coupons so I picked up 3 packages to go along with each coupon. Even though the coupon is BOGO free, the sale is B2GO free. So I recieved one free from the store sale and one free from my coupon, meaning I only paid .89 (the cost of one) for all three. Does that make sense? So 15 candy bars for only $4.45, or .30 each. These are SUPER good and, yes, they are still candy/sweets but since I will be trying to lose baby weight soon (and have a big sweet tooth) I thought that picking up some 110-120 calorie sweets wasn't such bad thing. ;)

I really do think this is my last trip before the baby comes (on WEDNESDAY...EEK!).

I hope you are having luck finding some good deals right now because there are definatly some to be had.

Love and Skinny Cow goodness,

Stephanie

Monday, July 23, 2012

Pregnancy Update

I'm down to single digits now...only 9 days until the arrival of this little baby girl (unless she decides to come early).

I remember the last few weeks being rather uncomfortable with my first two pregnancies, but I have to say that this one has really taken the cake.

All the things that I boasted over are now coming back to bite me.

When I told people my due date I always heard the "Oh, pregnant in the summer!" comment. I always brushed it off because I was pregnant in the summer with my last two (born in early September and late October)...well this year has been different. With record setting heat and drought conditions I have definatly felt a difference. Thank goodness for the invention of the air conditioner but that does mean that I've ended up staying inside more than I'd like to.
The heat has also caused extra swelling in my feet and ankles...something I really didn't deal with the first two times. When it first started (just a couple weeks ago) I would notice it later in the day and evening but the last few days I have woken up feeling a bit of the tightness and having the swelling within a couple hours of being up and about.

The last few days have been especially hard with discomfort....back pain, belly pain and all those cute little kicks are not so cute anymore. About a week ago I realized I was unable to sleep flat in my bed and I have officially moved into sleeping in the recliner....which still isn't that great but at least I'm getting some sleep in between getting up and going to the bathroom.

With all of that said, my husband made a comment last night that really struck me. I don't remember his exact words but basically making the referance that this next week and a half will be my last...ever.

That's really stayed with me and, even through the pain and discomfort, I am trying to enjoy these last 9 days of pregnancy because it won't happen again. We are done having children (at 36 years old and a third c-section it's time to call it quits) so this is my last pregnancy.
Besides the last few weeks, I do enjoy many things about being pregnant. I love knowing that I'm helping form a new human being. I enjoy the comments I receive from strangers, wishing me well. I like not worrying about having to suck in my tummy when taking a photograph. I will miss the baby nudges and hearing that little heart beating when I'm at the doctor's office.

I can't wait to have this little girl in my arms and out of my enormous belly but I feel ever so blessed to have gone through pregnancy three times. Some times I look at my children and wonder how I could have possibly brought them into this world. They are beautiful and amazing and I can't wait to see what kind of people they will become.

As for my last daughter...my baby...I can't wait to meet her. I am excited to find out if she will be the spitting image of my other 2 kids (blonde hair and blue eyes) or if she'll end up with her daddy's brown hair or mommy's brown eyes. Only time will tell and that time is getting shorter and shorter.

Love and waddling through 9 more days,

Stephanie

Some last minute deals at Albertsons

The clock is ticking until my baby girl arrives (and my body is sending that message loud and clear) so while I still have a bit of energy in me I'm still doing a little stocking up.

Today I made my way to Albertsons and happily snagged some items. Everything in the picture below was under $2 each, most were .50.



These deals run through Tuesday so you have one more day to snag them. Make sure you have the Albertsons ad with you because you will need some of the in-ad coupons to cash in.

The quick and dirty of it -

For .50 -
Mac-n-cheese
Jello
Water chestnuts
mushrooms
1 lb. bags of rice

1 dozen eggs - .88 each with in-ad coupon

Small garbage bags on clearance for $1.70 (for the diaper pail)

Club and Cheddar crackers - on sale for $1.99...I can sometimes get them cheaper but my kids really love these so I snagged an extra box to have on hand

Planters Peanut butter - $1.99 with in-ad coupon (I guess there is a man. coupon floating around for these too but I must not have cut it out *shame on me*) but that's still a good price for peanut butter

Blue Bunny Ice Cream - $2.49 with in-ad coupon plus I used a $1 off man. coupon that was good only for the Chef Duff variety which made them only $1.49 each!! (I bought 2 but I had already put one in the freezer and was too lazy to go downstairs and get it).

I also picked up a package of Aluminum Foil that I was in need of ($2.49 after sale and coupon for a 50 ft. roll) and 2 Milky Way bars (.20 each with sale and printed coupon!...I forgot to put them in the picture).
My grand total was $23.79 with a savings of $31.60. Not to shabby. :)

What have been your best deals this week?

Love and insanely good ice cream,

Stephanie


Thursday, July 19, 2012

A Few Baby Must Have's

As I was out shopping today, picking up some of those last baby items, I realized that maybe some of you might be interested in some of my favorite baby/toddler products. Of course the list of needed items, for a baby (and toddler) is MUCH larger than this, but these are some items that you may not think about, or may not have tried before. So just a few odds and ends of my favorite things.

One of the first items I was exposed to, as a new mom, was a pacifier. That was mainly because I wasn't available to Nora right after her birth and she needed something to appease her. The hospital offered her the Gumdrop paci and we used that brand with Emmett too. I love the design and the cut out area for the baby's nose.
You can find them in most stores now so if you plan to try/use a paci (or Diesel as we call it...ya know, like Vin Diesel..."The Pacifier") with your baby then I definately recommend giving this one a try.

To go along with your paci, you need a clip. I didn't have one with Nora and I have NO idea why. All the time we spent searching her car seat or stroller for a dropped paci...and all we needed was a clip. There are tons out there but here is a picture of ones made for the Gumdrop. Trust me, they will save you some sanity (and a little money from having to replace dropped/lost paci's).


Another must have is the swaddling blanket. Again, I didn't have them with Nora but was given a couple with Emmett and I will not go without them. There are a few different brands but Summer Infant and Kiddopotomus are a couple that I've had. The velcro tabs wrap your baby up securely and tightly and they are a sanity saver.



While garage sale shopping this year I felt like I won the lottery when I was able to pick some up for .50 and even a quarter! Definately keep your eye out for them when at garage sales, thrift stores and consignment shops and you can get some great deals. Once you use one (if your baby likes to be swaddled), you will wonder where it's been all your life.

The type of bottles you use (even if you breastfeed you will most likely need a few bottles on hand) usually depend on the baby. Some work better than others when it comes to reflux and just general comfort. I've had good luck with the Playtex Ventaire

and the DropIns.
I know there are some other great brands out there but, being the frugal gal that I am, I tried some of the less expensive ones first and these worked well for me.

For sippy cups, I love the Nuby brand, especially the No Spill Easy grip cup. They are super inexpensive and I love the soft spout and design of the cup. They are very simple and do the trick.


This isn't so much a "baby" item but for when the kiddos get older. These are usually under the "safety" catagory but I use them for my sanity more than anything. I love the finger pinch guards.

I use them, not just for protecting little fingers, but so my kids don't run around slamming doors. Plus, they make a nice gap for when you want to close the door but not all the way. I picked up a different brand today for around $5 so they are very reasonable and I recommend getting a couple packs for around the house.


This last time is brand new to me but I picked it up today and I can't wait to use it and you don't have to have a baby/child to have this great invention. It's the Brica Phone Pod.
As a recent owner of an iPhone, I am moving up in the world of technology. I use my phone for more and more things, now that I have all the options. This will be great for the stroller...to have the phone handy when out and about, but I have another exciting use for it...the shopping cart!! The last time I went grocery shopping I had part of my shopping list as a "note" in my phone. I had to keep picking it up out from inside my coupon binder bag (or off the child seat in the cart) to refer to it. Now it can attach to the handle of the cart and I won't have to keep picking it up.

It's a little bit of a luxury, I know...one of those "you don't really need it but wow that's fun" kind of things...but when you are juggling 10 things (as most parents do) it will be nice to have one thing that will just stay put. I'll give you a more personal review after I use it a couple times. ;)


I hope this helped give you a few ideas of brands/items you may not have thought about picking up.


Love and fun baby items,

Stephanie

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Doing Without

Today we were supposed to get a new satellite service installed.

"Supposed to" are the key words.

Without going into all of the insanely aggravating details, the installer that was supposed to come out ended up being over booked (or just had a call that lasted way too long) and was unable to come to our house. There were/are no other openings for installation until next Sunday so now we wait.
I was very close to cancelling the install and calling back our current service and telling them not to disconnect, but our new provider will save us quite a bit of money over the next few years (and hopefully beyond) as well as provide some channels and features that our current service does not. So even though I am thoroughly annoyed with them right now, I'm willing to give them another shot and see what happens (again, there are many more details other than just an overbooked installer that made this a ridiculous situation).

So after I calmed down (seriously, why do I end up dealing with this kind of stuff when I'm 9 months pregnant?), and talked with my husband, we decided to keep the install order and continue the plan to get the new service. In the meantime, our current service is supposed to be switched off at midnight tonight. I did NOT want to make the phone call to them to say, "Why yes, we are still cancelling but can you wait to switch it off?" I just knew it would turn into another conversation that I didn't have the patience for.

So for one week we will do without.

For some people, this is probably a normal situation. Some people don't care to pay for TV service, or just don't care about the programming on TV so they just don't watch. My husband claims that he could care less, but it will definitely be an adjustment for me. Since I've been on my own, I have never been without TV service (except for maybe a day or two when I was in the midst of a move).
I don't watch much TV...especially not live TV, but I do have some shows that I really enjoy watching and usually take the time to watch them in the evening after the kids go to bed. Luckily all of my favorite shows are on hiatus and so I'm not missing too much. We do have streaming Netflix so that's nice and will be helpful for the kids, since that's mainly what they watch anyway (when they watch TV) and, of course, we have DVD's but I rarely have time to really sit and watch a full movie.

I sort of freaked out at first, wondering how I was going to go without just turning on the TV at will to see what is on, or watching a show off my DVR, but now I'm taking it as a challenge. I am forced to leave the TV off...not just for me, but for my kids. They will be the bigger challenge...but I think we can handle it.
I'm sure this is one of the "blessings in disguise" moments so I'm going to take it as just that. It will be interesting to see how much we can accomplish (or how aggravated we get with each other) when watching TV is not an option. I'll let you know how it goes. ;)


Love and spending quality time,

Stephanie

Saturday, June 30, 2012

Where does time go?

We always wonder that don't we?

On days when the minutes seem to crawl, or on days when the hours just fly by...how does that happen? No matter what, it always seems like there are not enough hours in the day...

I knew it had been a while since I last posted but I didn't realize it had been a month! Wow...where did the time go? Well, I'll fill you in a little.

I'm currently 34 1/2 weeks along and chugging through. As of tomorrow, I will be exactly one month away from delivery. If you don't know, I had a rough delivery with my oldest and elected to have a c-section with my second child (you can read more about that here). To continue the trend, I will have a c-section with this child and it is scheduled for Aug. 1st. SO, unless she decides to come early, we have a birthday.
So as well as feeling the weight and fatigue of being 8-9 months pregnant, I have been tending to my garden!

I don't think I mentioned it yet, but we did plant a garden this year. My mother and mother-in-law (as well as my husband, of course) helped get it started and it's coming along. A few of the things we planted are not coming up at all but I still have a decent variety...cherry and regular tomatoes, green beans, butternut squash, zucchini, watermelon, cucumbers, corn and lettuce. We also have a "volunteer" plant growing and I'm not 100% sure what it is but it looks like it could either be pumpkin or squash...time will tell.

Of course I've been keeping up with my couponing. I went a little over budget this month but I've been trying to stock up on a few things. I know that the next 4-5 weeks are going to only get more uncomfortable so I won't be up to many big shopping trips. And I don't forsee hopping out to the store during those first couple weeks after the baby comes, either, so I want to make sure that very little shopping needs to be done at that point.
I did get some freebies this week at King Soopers, as well as hitting up a couple deals at Albertsons and stocking up on bread at the Bakery Outlet. My refrigerators and freezers are full so I suppose we should get eating. :)

Other than that, I've been trying to keep on top of my Avon business, still trying to be a good mommy to my 2 toddlers, and getting things ready for the arrival of their little sister. Boxes have been sorted, garage sales have been shopped at, a baby shower was attended (I love my friends) and lots of laundry has been done.

I hope that you are all safe and surviving the heat. This has been a brutile summer already and it's not over yet.

Thanks for reading.

Love and filling in the big gap,

Stephanie

Thursday, May 31, 2012

The End of The Month

I hopped over (ok...I waddled over) to King Soopers this morning to do my weekly grocery shopping. We are pretty stocked up on things, and there isn't too much that's exciting me in the weekly ad (except some blueberries, YUM!), so my shopping list was short. However since it is the last day of the month, I still had a stack of coupons in my hand.

One of the ways that I keep myself organized is by pulling all the coupons that will be expiring that week out of my binder before I go to the store. That way they don't sit in my binder when they aren't good anymore, plus it gives me the chance to take one last glance to see if there are any unadvertised deals that will go with my expiring coupons. If the deal isn't top notch then I make the decision to toss the coupon, or leave it on the shelf for another customer (I usually do the latter).

Today I found a few deals and picked up these goodies...



Everything above cost me $3.11. Here's how...

Ban deoderant - on sale BOGO free (reg. $2.69). I used four $1 off coupons (yes, at King Soopers you can use 2 coupons on a BOGO deal as long as the coupons do not cause an overage) so they ended up being .34 each!

Banquet fruit pies - On sale for .79 each and I had a .40/2 coupon that doubled making them .39 each. A nice little treat...with some ice cream...yum!

Yakisoba noodles - On sale for $1.09 - used three $1 off coupons so they were .09 each.

Reach Floss - not on sale but the regular price is $1.05. I had four $1 off coupons so they were .05 each. These went straight into a bag to be donated to the food pantry at my parent's church. :)

The Kool-Aid sale continued this week. They are on sale 10/$1. The current coupon (not expiring until the end of June) is Buy 10 Get 5 Free. Now, .06 a package is good in and of itself but the cashiers have had trouble entering in this coupon both times I've used it (I picked some up last week too). Today she had to key in a generic grocery coupon for .50 (5 packages free at .10 each) but the computer doubled it so it gave me $1 off! That made the Kool-Aid .03 a package. Yay for kool-aid in the summer time!

So there you have it. That along with a few other items we needed, and a few markdowns I found, I only spent around $35 today, with a 48% savings.

This is awesome considering I went a little over budget last week with the Memorial Day sales. I do have 2 more stores to stop at this week but the items will be minimal. $1 eggs at Albertsons (we are nearly out!) and $1.99 for a 10 lb. bag of potatoes at the Byers General Store....so I think it will be a successful week all in all.

Love and unadvertised goodies!

Stephanie

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Memorial Day Sales

I know I usually let you know what I picked up after I do my shopping (and I probably still will) but this time I thought I'd give you a heads up as to what I'm planning to do a little stocking up on.

You can check out the full list of deals over at Bargain Blessings and make sure to check the comments since there are a few deals that were missed (we're all human, right?).

At King Soopers I'm looking to pick up...

Ball Park franks for $1 each (not the best price, but for the brand it's a good deal for now)
Kool Aid for .07 each!
Land O Lakes butter for .66 each
All Detergent for $1.99 each (that's my go-to price for laundry detergent and fabric softener)
Snuggle fabric softener for $1.99 each
Jett Puff Marshmellows for .50 each (I stocked up on Rice Krispies a while back so I'm ready to make some treats!)
Popsicles for .50 a box (find the online coupon for that here)


I haven't finalized the deals at Albertsons but just scanning through the ad I see..

Petite Sirloin Steak B1G2 free
93% ground beef for $2.99/lb (hard to find a good price on lean ground beef anymore)
Coke products 4/$10 plus get a free bag of Snyders pretzels with the in-ad coupon
Drumsticks (I swear I printed out a coupon for those recently so I have to check that out)


Let me know what fabulous deals you are snagging this time around. I love to hear your success stories!

OH, and just a note - this Sunday's newpaper will not have coupons in it since it's a holiday weekend. I'm putting my subscription on "hold" for Sunday so I don't have to worry about getting a paper I don't need. :)

Love and Memorial Day weekend,

Stephanie

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Finding the Goods

Yesterday I skipped my original plans and went out to some garage sales. I had been driving around the day before and saw a bunch of signs for community sales so I couldn't deny myself.

The quick and dirty of it is here...


I found 15 items of clothing (including those adorable red cowboy boots for the new baby),  10 books, 4 toys, some clothes hangers (originally I was buying the kids hangers and he threw the "leftover" adult ones in for free), a boppy pillow (which forgot to make it's way into the picture) and 8 other misc. household items.

My grand total for the day was $33.50 and that included this...


A "big girl" bike for Nora! She doesn't know about it yet, which is why it's still in the trunk of my van. I also picked up that bike helmet for .25! It's not the best but for a quarter it will get us started. The woman I bought the bike from couldn't find one of the training wheels so that is the one thing I need to buy for it before we give it to Nora. She will be so excited because she has wanted one for so long.
I'm wondering if I overpaid since it doesn't have training wheels with it, but I think $10 isn't too bad.


Have you been out to some garage sales yet? If so, what gems have you found??


Love and a "new" bike,

Stephanie

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Look and See What Was Free!

Today I did my weekly shopping at King Soopers and here are all the goodies I got for FREE!


Yes, even the flowers were free! I received a catalina (from a DiGorno promotion a few weeks ago) for $5 off my next floral purchase. I found this nice $5 bouquet and voila! Free flowers!
The Acqua Panna was also free from a catalina I received.
The Crave cat treats were on closeout for .95 and with my $1 off coupon they were free (I think I actually made .05 on each of them because I noticed the coupon didn't adjust down)!
The Friskies cat treats were actually not free, but I found this one variety on closeout for $1.19 so with my $1 off coupon they were only .19 each.
The Good and Natural bars were free because of using the free coupon in last Sunday's paper (I bought 3 but one made it's way into my belly before I could take the picture)
The Blue Bunny ice cream was free with a coupon I received from being chosen as a HouseParty host.

So nothing toooo mind blowing...just some good luck with some catalinas and a couple closeouts. I did save 60% at the store this week so that made me very happy!

Before grocery shopping, I stopped at Walmart to pick up a couple things. One of the things on my hit list were these candles.


They were FREE after coupon (actually a .03 money maker) so you can hop over to Hip2Save and find out where to print out the coupons for these.

Not too shabby of a day all in all. Tomorrow I'm hitting some garage sales and can't wait to see what kind of deals I can score.


Love and taking home the free stuff,

Stephanie




Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Update on King Soopers "Incident"

My previous post was about an interaction I had with one of the cashiers at my local King Soopers. I meant to update you on this earlier but better late than never, right?

I did send a "comment" to King Soopers via their website, later that afternoon, and waited for a response.

I didn't have to wait that long because the next day the store manager called me to ask about it. He wanted to find out who the cashier was who handled me and wanted to make sure I was taken care of. He told me that he was going to have a talk with her about it and I made sure he knew that she wasn't rude to me, just that she made the comment regarding the coupon and that she did go ahead and ring them in. I also, kindly, stressed how I just wanted to make sure she (and other cashiers) were knowledgable regarding the print on a coupon.

I did receive an email back, regarding my comment, from a customer service rep. but it was very generic and didn't really address my concern. It didn't matter though. I was blown away that the store manager called me to talk to me about it. It made me feel better about walking into the store last week to do my shopping.

It's nice to know that even a big company like King Soopers does care about their customers.


Love and continuing to be a King Soopers shopper,

Stephanie

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Understanding the fine print

While at the grocery store today, I was thinking all about the blog post I was going to write - about the great deals going on right now and some of the freebies I picked up. My focus shifted after I went through the checkout line and had a small incident with my cashier. For the record, it wasn't really an "incident" because I didn't want to continue to disagree with her. I'm not a confrontational person in the first place, plus there was a lady in line behind me and I didn't want to hold her up. But here's what happened...

I was redeeming my FREE Starbucks Refreshers coupons that came in last Sunday's paper. I had 4 of them and they were on the top of my coupon pile, along with my other "free" coupons (I always try and do that to help out the cashier). As she was entering them in she commented that the computer was beeping because the coupon says "One coupon per purchase." My response, "Yes, one coupon per item purchased." She disagreed with me saying that that phrase meant one coupon per purchase, as in transaction. I decided at that point to let it go because that's when I didn't want to start an arguement. She did go ahead and ring the coupons through for me and it was left at that.

I was riled up on the way home (and a couple hours afterwards), frustrated that the cashier (who was a "head cashier" according to her nametag) was not knowledgable about the wordage on a coupon. Even more so, I was upset because I don't like the feeling that someone thinks I'm someone trying to take advantage of the system, like I'm doing something wrong.

Since I have become an avid couponer, I try and be very careful to follow coupon wordage and follow a store's coupon policy. I don't try and get away with things that I shouldn't because I know it will just come back to bite me in the rear (and all the other couponers out there).

I'm still trying to decide if I want to call (or go back into) King Soopers and explain the situation to them. I just don't want to be marked as a trouble maker because I know I'm not. I think, for now, I will just send a general comment to King Soopers, via email (is that passive aggressive enough?) lol

So for those of you who aren't familiar with the fine print on a coupon, and what it actually means, I found a blog that explains it all. I was going to do it myself, but she has it laid out really well. So hop over to the Krazy Coupon Lady and make sure you know what it all means. Maybe I should just print this out and take it into the store with me next time I go. lol

In the meantime, check out the deals at King Soopers and Safeway this week so you can grab your freebies and steals. I saved 62% off my order today thanks to Bargain Blessings. :)

Love and reading the fine print,

Stephanie

Monday, April 30, 2012

A little bargain shopping today

Today I was out and about, running a few errands and wanted to share a few of my deals. I know I haven't done much of that lately. We are still having home internet issues so between that and everything else going on around here (getting boy things ready for consignment, garage sales and giving to friends) I haven't taken a lot of time to just sit on the computer.

Can I tell you my other issue? It's not a bad thing, but ever since I received my iPhone I have been using it to check email, Facebook, etc so that's another reason I haven't been on my laptop as much...and blogging from my phone isn't very easy. :)

So on to the deals...

My first stop was at Walgreens. I went in with one thing in mind...pacifiers! Maybe I should have waited until they were on sale but I didn't want to have to deal with them being out of stock when/if that time came (especially since I'm about 30 minutes from my closest store).

The Avent Soothie was Nora's favorite when she was a baby. I couldn't get her to use any other kind. Emmett didn't like them as much so it's a toss up as to which ones the new addition will like. I thought I'd take a risk and pick some up. If she doesn't like them, I can give them to friends who are also expecting, or donate them elsewhere.

Regular price of $4.49 - $2 off coupon from the Walgreens May coupon book (pick one up in the store) - $1.50 off from an online coupon = .99 for a 2 pack!
I also received a coupon for $3 off an Avent bottle. Not sure if I'll use it but that's a great coupon to be given (it's the thought that counts, right?)
With tax I paid $5.40 for all four packages, with a savings of $14!!


Collin at Hip2Save posted about this deal so you can check it out here. I reached my print limit on the coupon so I can't tell if it's still available to print or not. If so, pick a couple up! What a great baby shower gift or item to donate.
A note with the Walgreens coupons - one coupon will deduct for as many as you buy, unless there is a limit specified on the coupon itself. So I only needed one coupon to get the $2 off all four packages.

Next I went to Safeway.

I did most of my end of the month grocery shopping at King Soopers this week (as usual) and used up my grocery budget for the week, but decided to pop into Safeway anyway to pick up a couple things.

Everything below cost a total of $8.21 with a savings of $25.20 (75%).


We were out of bananas so those were just something we needed.
Kix was also something we were also dangerously low on, and if you are in my house at breakfast time and we don't have Kix for Nora it can get ugly! lol They weren't on sale (ugh) but I did have a $1 off coupon so that helped a little.
The Ken's Salad dressing was FREE with the .99 sale - minus a $1 off coupon expiring today. The cashier did have to adjust down my 4th coupon because of the .01 overage on the coupons but he did it with no problem. :)
The Precious String Cheese was a part of their BOGO free sale, ending today (and also something we were low on). They were $5.99 a pack and then I used a $1 off coupon from yesterday's newspaper, which made them $2.50 a package for the 16 count. Not to shabby, I think!

Note - at Safeway you can only use one coupon, for your two items, on a BOGO free sale (unlike at King Soopers). You can check out Safeway's coorperate coupon policy here (the BOGO senario is noted on #4).

My last stop was to run into the Dollar Tree and see if they still had any Sunday newspapers left. Luckily they did and I picked up a couple extra since yesterday's paper had 4 inserts!

I hope you all have had some fun and successful shopping lately.

Love and a few good deals,

Stephanie

Thursday, April 12, 2012

The thoughts in my head...

...rarely make it to my blog. I can believe it's been almost a months since I've posted.

Part of that time we were dealing with computer issues. Our home internet would go off and on constantly and then was off for about 2 days. We have a new router and (knock on wood) it looks like it's finally fixed.
So, during all that time, I didn't feel like toying with my computer too much...at least doing much of anything overly productive.
In the meantime, I have aquired a new iPhone 4S so luckily I had that as a back up to check messages and such...just not a great tool to create a blog post.

Since my last post, I've been chugging along in my pregnancy. I'm now 23 weeks along and a few weeks ago, when we had our ultrasound, we found out we are having another girl! Poor Emmett will be stuck in between 2 girls. lol And poor daddy is going to have to deal with a lot of hormones (right now mine are enough for him to handle).

I'm glad Spring has finally sprung. I love the warmer weather and I really look forward to it continuing. Everyone comments on how I'll be very pregnant during summer, and how horrible that will be, but I went through that with both Nora and Emmett so it's nothing new. I'd rather be warm, with a fan blowing on me (or inside with the A/C going), than cold. I really don't like to be bundled up and feeling cold.

As far as couponing...of course I've been keeping that up. I went shopping today and saved 48% on my bill, picking up laundry detergent and fabric softener for $1.99 each, free Suave deoderant and boxes of Jello, and .99 boxes of cereal!

I know that as time goes on, and I get more uncomfortable, my grocery trips may be shortened but I love grocery shopping! I'm blessed to have occassions when I can go by myself and take my time going through the aisles. Besides, I have to continue to keep active, right? Walking through King Soopers won't raise my heart rate (unless I find FABULOUS unadvertised deals like I did today on the Sauve and Jello) but it's something. :)

So until next time, I hope you have successful, money saving ventures.

Love and little baby kicks in my belly,

Stephanie

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Some birthday creativity

Last Sunday was my husband's birthday and I always have a tough time figuring out just the right gift for him. This year, my idea came from Pinterest and with a few adjustments it turned out great.


I found a simple, plastic, flower pot at the dollar store and put in craft/floral foam inside. I purchased 5 mini bottles of liquor (some of his faves) and some of his favorite candy bars and hot glued them to wooden skewers. The skewers poke right into the foam so they stand up perfectly. Then I picked up a few gift card, taped those to skewers as well and then finished it off with some gift bag filler to cover the foam. Voila!

It seemed like my husband enjoyed his gift...so much so that he thought it was professionally done (like I had just went out and bought it like that)! That's a great compliment.

So next time you don't know what to give someone (especially those hard to shop for men) think outside the box and see what you can throw together.

Love and creative gifts,

Stephanie

Not Irish at all..

but I can't resist a holiday so we were all a little green yesterday.

I've never been one to really care much about St. Patrick's Day because my family isn't Irish (and I'm not a huge drinker), but once you have kids it's so much fun to celebrate every holiday.

We kicked the day off with green pancakes. My kids went nuts over them so I guess they are a keeper. Nothing fancy...just regular pancakes with green food coloring.



As you can see there was nothing left...

 Not much happened at lunch time but for supper the milk went green...
 And so did the jello...

Dessert was a small decorated cookie from my FAVORITE cookie shop, Eileen's Colossal Cookies. I grew with these cookies in Nebraska and was so excited when a location opened up in Highland's Ranch. They are soooooo good.

I hope you all had a little luck of the Irish yesterday!

Love and green goodies,

Stephanie

Thursday, February 23, 2012

B.Y.O.S.

I'm sure I get some funny looks when we are out eating and the straw in my kids' cups aren't the same ones my server delivered but I have found a silly little thing that makes life a bit easier when dining out, and my kids love it.

B.Y.O.S.

Bring Your Own Straw

And not just any straw but a "bendy" straw. You know...these!

I picked these up for $1 (maybe at Dollar Tree, or in the dollar section at Target...I don't remember) and they are fabulous!

Why would I bring my own straw? When you have toddlers and they are given a regular straw in their kids' cup sometimes they struggle with drinking out of it. They either have to move the cup off the table, down towards their lap, to take a drink, or tip the cup to be able to drink out of it. Either way, spills usually occur.

Plus, the kids think it's fun to have some little special treat just for them.

The best way, I have found, to transport straws is with a travel toothbrush holder! I think I found the idea in a Parents magazine one time so I can't take credit for it.


I have to cut the straws to fit into the holder but that's ok since they are usually going into kid size cups anyway.


Voila! They just stay in my diaper bag (or you can put them in your purse) and you can B.Y.O.S. too!


Love and bendy straws,

Stephanie

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Markdown Madness - UPDATE!

As I was typing out my previous blog post, and looking through my reciept, I noticed that my receipt didn't seem right. I was charged full price for 4 of my Downy products and the 2 Aveeno baby washes. Something didn't seem right when I looked at my original total but I thought it was just pregnancy brain at work.
While at the store, the cashier and I were talking about the markdowns and shared our excitement about it, then I realized I left my wallet in the car (yep, THAT was pregnancy brain at work). She suspended the transaction and I came back in. I also realized that I forgot to hand over 2 of my coupons (after I paid and was getting ready to leave...MORE pregnancy brain at work) but that was a quick trip to the service counter and no big deal.

Even with all of that, I didn't notice that I was overcharged!

Long story short (too late), I recieved an adjustment on 4 of the 6 items, and recieved my money back on 2 of them. The policy, regarding receiving a refund on items that ring up incorrectly (if you buy multiple of the same item they just refund one of them and adjust the rest), is very generous of King Soopers but not one I like to take advantage of. Even though I did have to drive 12 miles out of my way to go back to the store, all I wanted was to get my proper adjustment...no more, no less.

I did adjust my total amount paid in my previous post for what I WOULD have paid had I not been refunded for those 2 items. But my actual out of pocket ended up being $14.44...that seems really low so I'm not sure if another error occured when she was doing the adjustment but that's where I stand.

I just wanted to be honest, and also stress the importance of checking your receipt before leaving the store. 98% of the time I look over my receipt but every now and again (like today) I forget. Even better, if you can make sure to watch the screen as items are getting rung up then you can save yourself a trip to the service counter.

Love and price adjustments,

Stephanie

Markdown Madness!

I had to make a quick trip into the grocery store today because we were low on milk (we must be drinking more than normal...not a bad thing, really) and the kids needed some more yogurt. I always check the markdown areas to see if there are any good deals to snag. To my delight (but not to my weekly budget's delight) I feel like I hit the jackpot. Besides my 3 gallons of milk, here's what I found...


Yep, ALL of this was marked down!



It's a little tough to see the markdown stickers so here's the easy rundown...

Downy - the big 78 (purple) and 90 (blue) load bottles! marked down to $3.59 each - $1 off coupon = $2.59.
Yogurt - 1.09 for the Dananino and 1.39 for the YoBaby (no coupons for either of those but my kids like them and that's still a good price)
Shredded Cheese -  the big 1 lb bags for 2.69 each and a $1/2 coupon = 2.19 each
String Cheese - 2.69 - $1 coupon = 1.69
Aveno baby wash - 1.49 - $1 coupon = .49 each
J&J and soap - $1.29 - a $1.50 catalina they adjusted down for me = FREE
Orajel - $1.39 (no coupon but a great price)

If all of this was purchased at regular price it would have cost $79.90...plus 3 gallons of milk for a grand total of $88.97.
My cost for everything (inlcuding the milk) was $23.94!! That included $10.79 in coupon savings and .30 in King Soopers savings, from the milk.

A note regarding coupons and markdown items - One of the managers was up front when I checked out and made a comment regarding not "normally" accepting coupons on markdown items. I have heard that in the past but, 95% of the time, my cashier doesn't bat an eye over running them through. So this is an instance that will vary by store, by the cashier and by the manager on duty. It's up to you to try using them...I figure it's always worth a shot! All they can do is tell you no and then you can decide if you still want to buy the item or not.

DON'T SHY away from the markdown areas! As long as you pay attention to the expiration dates, and the quality of the packaging, you will be just fine...and pleasantly surprised at the great deals you can find!


Love and madness,

Stephanie

Monday, February 20, 2012

A Special Day

I woke up this morning to hear the wind blowing and blowing (as it normally does out here). I peeked out the window and saw the snow that was coming with it and was less than thrilled.

It's no secret that I'm not a big fan of winter. I think it's beautiful to have snow at Christmas but other than that I can do without it. I love spring and the rain that comes with it. I love summer and the warm temperatures and long days, and I love fall when the leaves change and there is just a little nip in the air. Winter....I can pretty much do without.

This time every year I am ready for winter to be over. I know we were very lucky the first few months and it was really mild. February has been fairly miserable and I'm pretty much done with it. Even my daughter, who loves playing in the snow, has commented about wanting it to be warmer.

Today I was really stuggling to figure out something fun to do with the kids. Since it's a holiday the library is closed (that was my first choice) and I don't have any grocery shopping or errands to do. I had originally thought about taking them out for lunch but all my outing ideas were canceled with the wind and snow.
Starting up the oven and doing some fun baking projects in the kitchen wasn't too exciting because we have some other treats laying around right now, but I still wanted to find something a little unique to do with the kids today...so we had a picnic.


We are very much a sit at the kitchen table and eat kind of family, so this is something fun and different for them. The "blanket" is some fabric I found on clearance at Jo-Ann's a while back. It's a vinyl material and I just sewed a hem around it. Perfect for an indoor/outdoor tablecloth (I made it so it fits on a 6' folding table)...or a picnic blanket.

We had sandwiches (they had butter and jelly and I made myself a BLT), chips, apples, hardboiled eggs and cheese (they like to eat sliced cheese). All finger food and easy clean up. The kids loved it and asked if we could do it again tomorrow. :)

It's the simple things sometimes...you don't have to do anything fancy to make your day special.

Love and indoor picnics,

Stephanie

Friday, February 17, 2012

Easy Peasy Treats!

I love Ree Drummond, The Pioneer Woman. She's so down to earth and I love how easy her recipes are. She has a show on Food Network and I love watching it! On one of the episodes she made these easy, scrumptious, Strawberry Oatmeal Bars. I tried them out the other day and they are family approved. I really wanted to share the recipe because it is soooo easy and good. Plus, there is no online picture so I took one of my own!


Strawberry Oatmeal Bars

Ingredients

  • 1 3/4 sticks salted butter, cut into pieces, plus more for greasing pan
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 cup oats
  • 1 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • One 10 to 12-ounce jar strawberry preserves

Directions

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Butter a 9-by-13-inch rectangular pan.

Mix together the butter, flour, oats, brown sugar, baking powder and salt. Press half the oat mixture into the prepared pan. Spread with the strawberry preserves. Sprinkle the other half of the oat mixture over the top and pat lightly. Bake until light brown, 30 to 40 minutes. Let cool completely, and then cut into squares.

**The other great thing, for variety, you can use any flavor jam you want!**

Love and yummy treats,

Stephanie