Friday, June 14, 2013


Today I did my weekly shopping trip to my local King Soopers and walked out filled with emotion.

My first emotion was happiness and excitement. My total cost this week was $59.78 with a savings of $156.40. And just so you can see what just under $60 worth of groceries and personal care items look like in my house here it is...

Yes, this is my entire trip...all the way down to my gallon of milk (I usually buy 2 but we had a little extra left from having house guests last week). Quite a few of the items were a part of the sales going on this week but some of things I picked up weren't hot items...just things I needed to buy. So this isn't full on "extreme" couponing because, well, I live in the real world where buying 40 bottles of mustard just won't cut it for the week.

Ok...I'm digressing.

The point is, shortly after my elation, my mood shifted. I felt tears forming in my eyes and I started crying. What I realized is how blessed I feel. It is just unbelievable that I can do so much for my family with just a little effort. It really is SO easy! That's what I kept telling my daughter as we were leaving the store (ya know, because I have conversations with my 10 month old while she's in the cart and then it doesn't look like I'm just talking to myself)'s just too easy! 60 bucks!! All of this...a trunk load of items...for 60 bucks!

I don't mean this to come off as bragging. I'm not. I wish I could really explain to you how fortunate I feel that I found the resources online to help me save what I do. I can't imagine my life without coupons and (I know I've said it before but...) I will never go back to shopping without them...ever! As long as those crazy little scraps of paper are being printed (or I can print them myself) I will use them.

I know I point to Bargain Blessings frequently as where I turn to find my deals and I'll do it again. Jennie and her team are fabulous and I owe a lot of my success to them. Jennie has said that one of the best ways we (as readers) can thank her is by spreading the word about the site, so that's exactly what I'm doing.
If you live in the Denver area, she is one of the best resources for local savings. Even if you don't, she posts about online deals that anyone can get in on. If you haven't done it yet, PLEASE go to her site and check it out. You can also follow her on Facebook so make sure to do that as well.

If you want to try and save money to help your family, or just yourself (man I WISH I knew about what I could be capable of by using coupons when I was single and struggling) please reach out and find the resources you need to be successful. There is SO much out there and I am willing to help as well. Want to get some friends together for a couponing class? I'm happy to! I'm no professional, so I would never charge money to do it, I just want to get out there and help other people make that change in their lives. I want YOU to know how it feels to walk out of a store with items for FREE and save $156 off your bill. It's a-MAY-zing!

My cup overflows. Have your filled yours. :)

Love and greatfullness,


It's Time To Get Busy

I'm happy to say that my kids do a darn good job of entertaining themselves. With that said, I definitely need to help feed their creativity some times. I broke down and finally got my act together and made some Busy Bags. The main reason I thought to make them now was because we recently purchased an RV (more on that later) and I wanted to have some things for the kids to do while we are traveling instead of just wanting to watch DVD's.
So I took some inspritation from Pinterest and made some Busy Bags and put together a few other activities. All of these ideas can be found on my Pinterest board "Activities With The Kids" so you can hop over there if you want to learn more, or to find some other ideas of your own.

First off, I found a plastic storage bin that most of these bags will fit in so it should be great for traveling. Just grab the box and go!

The first bad is really simple. Large colored paperclips. Threading them together helps with motor skills and you can do activities like matching colors, putting together patterns, etc. I found a box of 80 at the Dollar Tree and there are probably 25 in the bag (5 of each color).

The next set were actually a gift Nora received a couple years ago. She didn't play with them very well then so they ended up stashed away. I was happy to find them and I think they are perfect for her now. "Carrie" is one of 3 little magnetic dress up dolls and the kids should have fun playing with those.

I received the clothespin letters as a part of an activity exchange I did with a couple other gals last year. The strips of paper are lamenated so, with dry erase markers, the kids can practice their writing and they can also use the clothespins to match the letters and spell out the words.

Bead stringing is just basic motor skills. I had some pony beads with my craft stuff so I grabbed a couple handfuls along with some different colored pipe cleaners and they can have fun mixing and matching those together.

The animal stringing came about when I found these plastic animal beads stashed away. I put them away so I wouldn't have to worry about my (now) 10 month old getting a hold of them. But I went ahead and grabbed them back out and the kids can just play with the animals or string them onto some embrodery floss I found.

My oldest daughter has been asking if she could make some bracelets with beads so I grabbed the rest of my pony beads and some odd embrodery floss I had stuffed away and she can have at it.

I found these two card sets at the Dollar Tree so I stuck them in the box.

The next playset was from Pinterest...using toy cars and a print out of a city picture so the child can just drive the car around. Cars were, again, from Dollar Tree (the set of 3) and I just did a Google image search, found a picture I liked, lamenated it and voila!
These next 3 sets came from that same inspiration. I found these little plastic animals stashed away (are you noticing a theme...I have a lot of stashes thanks to hand me downs, thrift stores and garage sales), I seperated them by type of animal, did the Google image search, lamenated and fun was made! My kids found these 3 sets before I could get them put away and they have played with them multiple times over the last couple days.

This last one I just made yesterday. It was my most time consuming but worth it. The kids saw it while I was cutting out the pieces and they loved it! I mean, seriously, who doesn't love to build your own cupcake?? The website I found had all the templates you need and I had different colors of felt in my craft room so I used what I had and Build a Cupcake was born!
I mean, really? Look at those smiling faces!

I had one more thing I made up for the kids for our trip(s) and I show you that in another post. :)
I have had a lot of fun putting these together and I already have plans for more, when I have a little more time. I'm not in a rush though. I think it would be better to introduce some of these gradually instead of all at once. 
I hope you have been inspired to put together some activity bags for your kids. As you can see, some of mine were SUPER simple to throw together. So get your brain a working and see what you can have fun with!
Love and busy bodies,