Saturday, July 25, 2009

Food Review - Lean Cuisine Breakfast Panini

Josh and I started Weight Watchers a couple of weeks ago (and have both been doing well - Yay for losing baby weight!) and have been looking for different options. For breakfast I have been eating cereal or oatmeal with fruit, but I really like hot breakfast. However, pancakes and biscuits and gravy and things like that just don't seem to fill me up long enough for the amount of points they "cost" me.

We recently found Lean Cuisine breakfast paninis and let me tell you, I am in LOVE! They have two kinds, the Sausage, Egg, & Cheese and the Denver-Style which has ham and peppers, etc. I did not try the Denver-Style, but Josh said it was not bad. I did, however, have the Sausage, Egg, & Cheese and it was delicious! It tastes like sausage egg and cheese on french toast with a drizzle of maple syrup. For only 5 points I am able to have my hot breakfast and still have plenty of points left for the rest of the day. I would definitely recommend them to anyone, especially if you are dieting.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Our Building Project

This is our building project from yesterday:


Actually it is the foundation for our new FREE pool! Our friends got a bigger pool and gave us this one (Thank you Scott & Jamie). We had to build this foundation due to the fact that we have two inches of rock beneath our grass before you actually hit dirt. This was the easier option. As you can see the kids are having a lot of fun in the sand too, so we will be using it as a sandbox in the spring and fall before and after the pool. Overall this was a very successful project!

Not quite full yet.

Full enough to swim by dark, but REALLY cold! It was much better today, but still needs to warm up a bit.

Friday, June 26, 2009

Let's Try this Again!

I realize it has been several months since I posted anything and I'm sure the small group of followers that I had gained has long ago stopped reading, but I'm going to give it a try again and hopefully have better luck this time. So, let me explain my absence. Just as I was started to feel like things were coming together, my house was manageable, projects planned, saving money with couponing, and excited to be super mom/susie homemaker, it all began to unravel. I was suddenly overwhelmed with everything - even changing diapers seemed to be a major chore and the need to do it would put me in tears at times. I could not wrap my mind around even the most basic tasks and was tired beyond belief. It took me a bit to realize what was going on, but after a few weeks and the even more overwhelming feelings as the house piled up around me I realized that I had some baby blues. It has taken me a while to adjust to the medicine and be able to get things back to a manageable level, but thanks to my mom and Josh giving me some help and a few days without the kids to be able to care for myself and our home I am feeling MUCH better! So, I think I am ready to begin blogging again. I have been working with short to-do lists, the 15 minutes at a time principle, a lot more energy (well, as much as the mother of 2 under 2 can really have), and a BRIGHTER outlook! So, bear with me as I get back up and running.

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Walgreens 3/29-4/4

Walgreens was out of a few of the things I wanted, but I may get back there today. If not then I really didn't need them. I would have gotten rainchecks, but the people behind me were getting irritated already. Here is what I got I did have to do multiple transactions for the body wash.

Transaction #1

2 Bic Soleil Disposable Razor 4 pk
sale - $4.99
coupon - $2.00 x 2
Just realized I forgot to clip the easy saver coupon (would have been $1/ea)

2 Bayer 24 ct (mine were a bonus pack, so actually 48 ct)
sale - $1.99/ea
coupon - $1 x 2

Halls Breezers
in-ad coupon - $1.39/ea
coupon $.75 x2

Colgate Wave Toothbrush
sale - BOGO
coupons - $.75 x 2

coupon $1
generated coupon for free softsoap

Headbands - no sale (Daddy was with me and thought they would be cute on Lily)

Total Before Coupons: $26.71
Total after coupons: $16.71 + tax

Total OOP - $18.36
Rewards - 1 coupon for free softsoap

Transaction #2

coupon $.75

Total OOP - $3.55
Rewards - 1 coupon for free softsoap

Transaction #3

coupon $.75

Total OOP - $3.55
Rewards - 1 coupon for free softsoap

Transaction #4

coupon for free softsoap

Total OOP - $.31 (tax)
Many people across the country reported this to print another free soap coupon - mine did not

So, for a grand total of $25.77 OOP I got a lot of stuff and I still have coupons for 2 more free soaps to use next time I go!

CVS 3/29-4/4

I did pretty well at CVS this week, although there are a couple of other things I wanted to try to get at the other CVS since my home one didn't have it. If I get there today I will, but if not, no big deal. Here is what I did get!

Scrubbing Bubbles - Action Scrubber
sale - $2.99
coupon - $2.75

Swiffer Wet Jet Refill
sale - $3.99
coupon - $.50

Softsoap Ensembles Pump & Refill
sale (pump) - $7.99
sale (refill) - $3.99
coupons - $2.00/1 (MFG) x2
$2.00/1 (CVS)

2 Veet Gel Hair Remover
price - $5.49/ea
coupons - $2.00/1 (MFG) x2
$2.00/1 (CVS)
ECB - $5 WYB $10

2 Wisp
sale - $1.97
coupon - $.50 x2

4 bags Starburst Jelly Beans
sale - 2/$4
coupons - $1/2 x2

Total Before Coupons: $41.88 + tax
Total After Coupons: $22.63 + tax
ECB Used: $21.49

Total OOP: $.92

ECB received to use for next time: $5 from Veet, & $4 from Softsoap & still have a $3 left from last week!

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Financial Goals Progress

As I mentioned in my introduction, we are going through Dave Ramsey's Financial Peace University and working hard to pay off debt. We set some goals for March using the baby steps as our guide. So, here is where we are:

Baby Step 1: $1000 Emergency Fund by March 31 - completed as of 3/26

Baby Step 2: Debt Snowball started with $100 paid towards - started & paid $309.92

Close CC Accounts & Shred Cards - DONE

Use Envelope System - We did this, but still have some perfecting to do to make it work best for us!

Sell Expedition - Deal in the works, hopefully done by the end of the week at the latest!

We have been working so hard - cutting the budget as much as possible, selling stuff, and a little bit of extra side work (If you are local and need a babysitter let me know!)

So, what are we looking at for April? April holds an extra paycheck for Josh and we will still set our goals high.

Baby Step 2: Debt Snowball - pay extra 2 payments on van

Envelope System - keep working to make this work for us

Set aside $ for Graduation gift - (My "baby" brother graduates HS this year and we currently do not have a gift fund set up, so we decided on an amount to put aside for this from our extra money AFTER we accomplish the extra van payments)

  • Check policies we have - adjust if needed or helpful
  • Get Health insurance for me
  • Get TERM life insurance for us with riders for the kids

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Coupon 101 - Coupon Lingo

There are a lot of terms and abbreviations specifically related to couponing. Use this as a reference as you view my blog and others that use this lingo.

Couponing - the "game/art" of using coupons

Couponer - a person who uses coupons

Stacking/Stack - using a sale, store coupon, and/or manufacturer coupon together to maximize savings (or make money) on an item. Example: Item is on sale for $2.99 and you have a store coupon for $2 off and a manufacturer coupon for $1 off - you get the item free plus "make" $.01

Coupon Inserts

SS - Smart Source insert found in your sunday paper

RP - Red Plum insert found in your sunday paper

V - Valassis insert found in your sunday paper

P&G - Proctor & Gamble insert found in you sunday paper

Types of Coupons

MFR, MQ, Q - Manufacturer's coupon

Peelies - coupons directly on the item that can be peeled off. These also are sometimes around the "neck" of the products
like shampoo.

Tear pad - pad of coupons on the shelf or display

Blinkies - coupon dispenser (usually red and blinking) near the product

Catalina, Cat - coupon that prints from the register after a purchase

IP - Internet printable

MIR - Mail-in Rebate


ECB - Extra Care Buck - rebates printed at bottom of receipt


ESB - Easy Saver Book - book found at front of store near weekly ad - this is monthly, full of coupons and rebates

ES or ESC - Easy Saver Coupon - coupon found in ESB

ESR - Easy Saver Rebate - rebate found in ESB

IVC - Instant Value Coupon - coupon found in ad or ESB

RR - Register Rewards - coupons/rebates that print out at register

Directly on Coupon

One per purchase - coupon applies to one item - this does not mean you must do separate transactions, but simply means if you have one coupon and buy two of the item the discount is only applied to one of them.

One per order/transaction - you may only use one of these coupons per transaction, but you may do multiple transactions as you check out or come back another day and use another of that coupon for that item.

Once per customer - one per time you enter the store (you are a new customer when you come in the store again). If you get a nice cashier they may let you just do multiple transactions, but if they are alert and sticklers to the rules you may want to go out and come back in or come back another day or just make your husband or child do the transaction for you in a separate order.


BOGO or B1G1 - Buy One, Get One Free

B2G2/B2G1 - Buy 2, Get 2 or Buy 2, Get 1

$1/1, $1/2 - $1 off one item, $1 off two items

CRT - Cash Register Tape - coupon prints at end of receipt or at register

FAR - Free after Rebate

OYNO - On your next order

OOP - Out of pocket

PSA - Prices starting at

WYB - When you buy

Overage - when an item is more than free or gives you a "profit"

Filler - inexpensive item that gives you an expense so that you can use all your coupons to get items free or more than free (the stores will not literally pay you to take their things)

YMMV - Your mileage may vary - basically saying this is the deal at my store, but may not be the same at yours - usually for items that aren't in the ad, but were on clearance or unadvertised special.

I know this list may be a bit overwhelming, but it pretty much covers everything that you may see in your ads, coupon inserts, on coupons, and used on blogs. This should help you interpret what people are referring to so you can get the best deals too!

Coupon 101 - Where to get Coupons

Ok, I've talked to a couple of you who are reading my blog that really aren't that familiar with coupons and asked me to give you more information.

I have recently learned that buying a sunday paper and using the occasional coupon on things that we buy at Wal-Mart and saving $10-20 every week or two is not really maximizing my savings. You can do that of course and you are saving money, however, you could be saving so much more! Couponing is a HUGE thing (and my new hobby), especially with the economy in its current state. Learning to effectively use coupons can save your family a TON of money!

First things first - You will need to build a stock of coupons to maximize your savings. This means acquiring coupons from multiple places. I would recommend starting with the Sunday paper. I would buy at least 2! If there are really good coupons on stuff you use you may want to get more - to determine that you can preview the inserts here.

Another place you can get coupons is All You magazine. This is sold exclusively at Wal-Mart or you can get a subscription. This magazine usually contains higher dollar coupons and is well worth the $.

Store ads (these are usually "store" coupons) & in the store (near or on the product).

Of course, we cannot forget the internet. There are so many places to get coupons online. You can go to the manufacturers websites directly. Many of the sites will have coupons on them. If they don't you can always use the contact us section and tell them how much you like a product or that you would like to try a product and you will often get samples and/or coupons. I just did this with Enfamil after they sent me samples of a formula we couldn't use (we use soy). Not only are they sending me coupons, but also a sample of the soy (hopefully 16oz like I got with the other) A few manufacturer sites I frequent are:

You should also check out sites specifically for coupons:

There are MANY more places to get coupons online, but these are a few of my favorites!

There are also places like Ebay & Craigslist where you can buy coupons (I mean pay someone for their time of cutting coupons for you since buying them is illegal). I personally have never bought them and doubt I ever would, but some people do, so it is an option if it interests you. Just be sure to weigh the cost and make sure you aren't getting expired coupons.

Don't forget your friends and family - do they get the paper and throw the coupons away? Ask them to keep them so you can have them. If they use the coupons, you could trade them ones you won't use for ones they won't use but you will.

Most important - Don't get frustrated or overwhelmed. Do what works for you and if you don't understand something - ASK! This is about doing your best to save your family money and every penny counts, so take it one coupon at a time and learn as you go.

To learn more - see my post on coupon lingo.

More CVS Deals This Week

First of all I apologize for being MIA this week. The week just got away from me, but I hope to do better this coming week. I mentioned in my last CVS post that I received $5/15 and $5/30. I had a few more things I wanted to get and could get some ECB's, so here are more deals!

With my $5/15 I got:

Bengay Cream - $5.49
Coupon - $1.00/1

Bengay Moist Heat Pads - $7.99
Coupon - $2.00
ECB - $5 for buying 2 Bengay items

Schick Quattro - $8.99
Coupon - $4.00
ECB - $3.00

+ $5 from $5/15
+ I paid with $10 ECB

Total OOP - $.60
Total ECB Earned - $8.00

For my $5/30

I must admit that this would have and should have been a better deal, but I was in a rush and knew my baby was out in the car with Daddy and not a happy camper, so I didn't do my best, but still not a terrible deal.

2 Loreal Preference - sale - $6.99/ea
Coupon - $2.00 (I had 2, so $4)

Loreal Face Wipes - $6.99
Coupon - I forgot this one at home ($1 not saved :( )
ECB - Loreal Deal already had some towards this - $5.00

1 Dayquil & 1 Nyquil - sale - $5.49/ea
Coupon - $1.50 (I had 2, so $3)
ECB - $4 for purchase of 2

+ $5 for $5/30
+ $2 ECB used (I had more of these and not sure why I didn't use them - DUH)

Total OOP - $ 19.00
Total ECB Earned - $9.00

I definitely could have paid about $5.oo or less OOP, but still a decent deal looking at normal price of these items.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Wal-Mart Super Shopper

Learning to "play the game" at CVS and Walgreens has really opened my eyes to use my coupons to their full potential at Wal-Mart to buy those things that you really can't get for free or just really have to have right now and can't wait until they are free.

I saved $50.85 in coupons on this Wal-Mart trip!

I also saved on some clearance items another $13.06 which seems like nothing compared to my coupon savings, but it is still money in my pocket, so I'll take it.

I won't go through everything I bought, but a few of the highlights:

7 Johnson's Buddies Soaps - FREE + $.03 overage on each
Artisan Cheese crackers - $2.00/2 boxes
Wheat Thins - $1.00
Ritz Chips - $1.00
Mentos Gum - $.28
Shoes for Lily - $3.00
Sani-hands Wipes - $1.00 (bought 2)
Air Effects Air freshner - $1.50/2
Crest Kids Toothpaste $.99/2
Dora Band-Aids - $.97
Diego Band-Aids - $.24
Robots DVD - $4.50
Garfield the Movie DVD - $4.50
Cheaper by the Dozen DVD - $2.00
Sandlot DVD - $2.00
All Dogs go to Heaven DVD - $2.00
V-Smile Backyardigans game - $10.00
Head & Shoulders Trial Size - FREE + .03 overage

Many of the coupons I used were printed online here or here.

Sidenote: If you save over $50 in coupons a Customer Service Manager will have to come to approve the transaction - Don't be alarmed, this is Wal-Mart's policy that you aren't "allowed" to save that much.

CVS 3/22-3/28

I hit CVS today(technically yesterday) - so proud of myself for getting there on sunday! The sale items were actually available and some of my raincheck items from a couple weeks ago had stock too, so I came out with stuff instead of just rainchecks - YAY!

Here's what I got from this weeks ad:

Dry Idea Clinical Strength - $7.99
ECB - $5.00
Coupon - $2.00

Excedrin Migraine 100ct (mine came with a bonus 24ct) - $8.99 (just realized as I type this that is wrong price - should be $7.99)
ECB - $2.00
Coupon - $2.00

Crest Pro-Health - $3.49
ECB - $3.49
Coupon - $.75

Campbell's Soup - B1G1 - $1.49
Coupon - $1.00

Aveeno Anti-Itch Cream (bought 2 @ $4.49/ea)
ECB - $2.00/ea
Coupon - $2.00/ea

These are my raincheck items:

Lucky Charms (bought 2 bxs @ $3.33/ea)
Coupon - $.55/ea

Nature Valley Granola Bars - $3.34
Coupon - $.60
ECB (for Lucky Charms & Granola) - $5.00

Herbal Essence Hydralicious (bought 2 @ $2.88)
ECB - $1.00/ea
Coupon - $3.00/2

I used $14.99 ECB I had from last week.

Total OOP - $17.70

ECB Earned - $19.49
Also got a $5/$15 and a $5/$30 (from the scanner @ Highland CVS)

Overall, pretty good considering I made more than I paid - way more if you count the coupons!