Sunday, November 7, 2010

30 Days of Giving: Day 6

30-Day Giving Challenge

Today we went to Buffalo Wild Wings (with a coupon of course) before we went to my students' play. We had a nice waitress who seemed very "momish". Come to find out she had four children. I decided to write her an encouraging note on the receipt. Hopefully it lifted her day!

30 Days of Giving: Day 5

30-Day Giving Challenge

On Fridays everyone just wants to get out of the school. I had just put in a large number of copies into the copy machine at the end of the day. Another teacher came in and I suggested that she interrupt my copies and put hers in. I feel bad because it wasn't much, but I figure that it is the little things that count!

30 Day Giving Challenge: Day 4

30-Day Giving Challenge

Today I went to a bridal shower and of course brought a gift. I felt a bit silly because I bought a gift that was fairly practical off of their registry and a lot of the other ladies bought games and the like, but oh well. Marriage isn't all fun and games and occasionally you do need to open a can :).

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

30 Day Giving Challenge: Day 3

30-Day Giving Challenge

Today is Day 3 of the thirty day giving challenge. We are 10% of the way done! Today I gave some of my time (ok lets be honest, probably too much of my time) to a struggling student who is a senior. This is where I am torn. One of the things I struggle with most is letting my job as a teacher overtake my marriage. My husband's love language is time, and so when I give time to students I feel that I am taking it away from him. I also gave some of my time (luckily I was driving-although that is probably not the safest) to help my younger brother with his college math.

I would like to expound more, but since I have already explained that my poor husband doesn't get that much time with me, I think I am going to go hang out with him a bit.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

30 Day Giving Challenge- Day 2

30-Day Giving Challenge

Seeing as today was day 2 in the challenge I was already trying to figure out what I was going to do to "give" for the day. I didn't figure that "giving" my opinion at the polls would count ;). Late in the day I had one of my old students stop by with a fundraisor. Although I am not a huge fan of fundraisors (I would rather just write a check for a certain amount and not be worried about picking out random fundraisor items), I decided that since it was November I would give in and buy a "cookie card" that allows me to go online and order 3lbs of cookie dough and supposedly gets me discounts. I was glad that I donated because my old students face just lit up. Who knows, maybe I will actually use that cookie dough over the holidays?

Monday, November 1, 2010

30 Days of Giving: Day 1

30-Day Giving Challenge
Today is the first day of November which means that it is the beginning of the 30 Day Giving Challenge. I've decided that I am going to do my best to participate, even if my posts are not all that elaborate.  Today I've decided to give a nice back scratch/rub to my husband.  Poor guy, he doesn't get much attention during the school year.  I would suggest you go and check out the challenge today.

Monday, September 27, 2010

A Long Time Coming

Well, it has been a really long time since I have posted.  Since then I have really started to analyze my priorities and realized that at that point, the little amount of free time I had I wanted to spend with my husband.  I also went and considered shutting down this blog and creating a more "math teacherish" blog.  When I thought of that I was a little sad because my faith and being frugal are very important to me and I didn't want to leave them out.  My final decision has been to continue with this blog, but most definitely on the side and only for "kicks and giggles" and possibly for far away friends.  Just a warning: it might contain a bit more math than the average person cares for.

So many things have happened since I last wrote.  Family has come and gone.  My husband and I have gotten baptized (finally!- long story).  Lots of couponing over the summer, followed by practically no couponing now (Aldi's can fit better in my school schedule and still fits in the budget).  Creating a "new to me" amazing teacher wardrobe all from Goodwill (seriously I have nice wool pants from Banana Republic, Gap, Limited, and Express for just a few dollars!).  Creating a cleaning schedule (I used to have one before I was married, but somehow that went to the wayside after the ring went on the finger).  Going to games to support my students.  Reading and reading and reading lots and lots and lots of articles on teaching.  Freezing corn, strawberries, blueberries, and wild raspberries.

My hope is to write down specifics on these accomplishments for days when I feel discouraged.  Also, possibly I hope to possibly inspire some of you to try some new things or maybe try something again that didn't work for you in the past.  In high school I tried to go to Goodwill and I could never find anything.  However I have made out like a bandit this summer, and I am better dressed than I ever was before! 

I am looking forward to sharing more with you in the future!

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Free Best Life Buttery Spread

I went to Meijer today and was able to pick up 6 FREE Best Life Buttery Spread.  I also picked up a cup of Skinny Cow icecream for $0.25!  Note: I only buy one newspaper a week, and I was able to accumulate 4 $1/1 coupons, plus 2 $1/1 printables.  For more details go here.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Menu Plan Monday: 6/21-6/27

It is the official beginning of summer!  It has definitely arrived where I live.  We have been enjoying the warm weather on the lake.  I have been settling in to the new summer routine (vs. hectic schoolyear) and have learned that even though I now have a lot of time to cook, I dread it.  I am definitely not a 1950's housewife. 

Being a problem solver, I figured I needed to solve this problem of the "angst" that I felt every night when I had worked hard all day and still had dinner hanging over my head at night.  Turning on the stove seems like the most awful thing to do when the house is heating up from the summer sun.  I have found three possible solutions:
1. Cold meals- not easy to find suitable with a meat/potatoes husband
2. Crockpot/Homemade microwaveable dinner: lots of possibilities
3. Freezer meals- my personal favorite:)

This week I am back to freezer cooking.  I am really looking forward to being able to just thaw something out and put it in the oven/microwave/crockpot/stove on any weeknight where I don't want to be "chained" to the kitchen.  I really like being free to help my husband in the evening, so easy "heat and eat meals" are perfect for me.  Here's my menu for the week:

Monday: Chicken, green pepper, mushroom BBQ kabobs (just brush BBQ sauce on the kabobs and grill until they are done)

Tuesday: Parmesan, Chicken, and Broccoli Noodles

Wednesday: Ground beef tacos

Thursday: Burgers on the grill

Friday: Chicken & Wild Rice Crockpot Casserole

Bonus Meals: Egg salad sandwiches/ cold meat sandwiches

**Freezer Meals**
Sausage Hash
Garlic Ranch Chicken
Pizza Calzones
Breaded Smothered Chicken

**Bible Study Snacks/Desserts**
Spinach and Artichoke Dip
Fudgy Oreo Icecream Dessert - use homemade hot fudge recipe

For more menu ideas visit Organizing Junkie.

Friday, June 18, 2010

Frugal Fitness Friday: My Fitness Pal

My Fitness Pal is the featured free fitness site of the week.  This site is very similar to Sparkpeople because it provides an easy online free food and fitness diary.  It makes it easy to keep track of everything you eat even when you go out to eat, because you can choose your meal from a list of common restaurants.  It has nutrition facts on over 441,000 foods!  It also has a physical activity diary where you can choose between a list of exercises and input personal data and it will compute an approximate amount of calories burned.

This site also encourages you to network with other people to keep you accountable.  They have downloadable "badges" to place on your blog/emails/etc. that state how close you are to your goal.  I don't know about you, but if I was trying to lose weight, having it broadcast to the world would probably motivate me.

The most interesting tool that this site has to offer is its free iPhone application.  This way if you are out and about all day, you could easily document what you have eaten or what physical activity you have completed.  That way as you contemplate getting that gigantic piece of chocolate cake, you could see whether that is an ok choice for the day, or not.

Also remember, if you are exercising to lose weight, help feed the needy by recording your pledge online.  Read about it here.

Feel free to visit my past posts reviewing these free fitness websites:
Map my Run
Couch to 5k
Yoga Today
Women Workout Routines
My FitnessPal
Military Workouts
Exercise TV

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Worth Reading: One Pretty Thing


Last week I found this website (One Pretty Thing) while surfing the web.  It is an amazing website.  Each day it give you a round up of the best DIY ideas of the day and also features a round up for a specific topic.  After following it for a few days, I am thoroughly impressed.  I suggest you head on over, since it is worth reading.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Menu Plan Monday: 6/14-6/20

This week is VBS at my parents' church.  They have programs for adults and children in the evening, so we will be busy most nights, which means quick meals!  Also, things are heating up here, so most of the choices for the week shouldn't heat up my kitchen too much.

Monday:  Lunch: Out to lunch with family
     Dinner: Grilled Cheese, Chips, Dill Pickles
Tuesday: Lunch: Leftovers from last week
      Dinner: BBQ Slow Cooker Chicken Breast (just throw he chicken into a crock pot and pour on some BBQ sauce and put it on low for a while), Broccoli, Cut up Apples
Wednesday: Lunch: 
     Dinner: Leftover Chicken Quesdillas, Strawberry Smoothies
Thursday: Lunch: Black Bean and Corn Quesadillas
     Dinner: Grilled Moza-Chicken Sandwiches, fresh fruit and veggies
Bonus Meals: Homemade Pizza, Grilled Hot Dogs and Hamburgers

For more menu plan ideas, visit Organizing Junkie.

Friday, June 11, 2010

Frugal Fitness Friday: Map My Run

Last week I brought to you the Couch to 5k program online.  You can also go directly to the program by this link.  This program helps you go from sitting on the couch to being able to run 5k in 9 weeks.  If you are feeling stuck, because you don't know how far you are running currently, fear not, I have found a new online fitness freebie.

Map my Run is free program that allows you to "draw" the route that you take when running, walking, biking, etc. to determine the distance travelled.  It will make note of mile markers (how far you have until you have gone 1 mile, 2 miles, etc.).  It allows you to choose "up and back" and "loop".  They also have a workout calculator which will determine your speed, calories burned, and bmi.  They are in the process of testing a new format- which is the beta site.  If you create a free account, you can save your routes and join "teams".

I have used this site this summer.  I live in the country, so there is not a lot of choices for routes, but I really like knowing how far I have run.  It really helps me push myself to go a little bit farther each day.  The only draw back is that you have to sit through a 30 sec ad when you first visit the site.

If you are running to lose weight, help feed the needy by recording your pledge online.  Read about it here.

Feel free to visit my past posts reviewing these free fitness websites:
Couch to 5k
Yoga Today
Women Workout Routines
My FitnessPal
Military Workouts
Exercise TV

Worth Reading Round Up 6/11

I just ran across two really great articles.

A Thrifty Mom just posted Get Out of Debt Part 1 of 3.  It describes how they focused on staying out of debt when they got married and instead tried to focus on the things that really matter.

The Simple Dollar posted Make Each Day your Masterpiece.  It describes looking at life in a way that you really try and make each day/dollar count.


Free Subscription to Kiplinger's Personal Finance

Go here to sign up for a free subscription to Kiplinger's Personal Finance Magazine. 

Thanks, Freebie Blogger!

Thursday, June 10, 2010

New Market Coupon Match ups: 6/7-6/13

New Market's is having a  Moonlight Madness Sale on Friday from 4pm-10pm.  They will have Dean's Gallon Milk $0.99 with $25 purchase.  This is not a triple coupon week, which means they will double coupons to $0.50.

Kellogg's Cereals 12.2-20oz - $1.88
Use $1/2 printable
Final Price: $1.38 each when you buy two

Keebler Wheatables 8.5oz - $2
Use $1.50/1 printable
Final Price: $0.50

Angel Soft BAth Tissue 12 Dble Rolls - $4.99
$0.50/1 printable doubled
Final Price: $3.99

Weight Watchers Smart Ones Entrees 8-11oz - $2
Use $1/5 printable
Final Price: $1.80 each when you buy five

Healthy Life Dieter's Dream Bread 16 oz $1.50
Use $0.25/1 doubled from the Smart Source 5/23 Insert
Final Price: $1

I Can't Believe It's Not Butter (8 oz spray or 15oz pkg) - $2.48
Use $0.75/2 printable
Final Price: $2.11 when you buy two

Land O Frost Premium Lunchmeat 16oz - $3.50
Use $1/1 printable
Final Price: $2.50

Eckrich Smoked or Polish Sausage 14-16oz - $3
Use $0.55/1 from the 05/09/2010 SmartSource Insert
Final Price: $2.45

Hot Pockets, Lean Pockets, or Croissants 8-10oz - $2
Use $1/3 from the 4/25/2010 RedPlum Insert
Final Price: $1.67 when you buy 3

Daisy Sour Cream 16oz - $2
Use $0.50/1 printable doubled
Final Price: $1

Shedd's Country Crock Spread 45oz - $3
Use $0.40/1 printable doubled
Final Price: $2.20

Nestle Drumsticks Lil' Drums 10pk - $3.99
Use $1/1 printable
Final Price: $2.99

Bar S Hot Dogs 16oz - $1
Use $1/2 from the 05/16/2010 RedPlum Insert
Final Price: $0.50 each when you buy two

Yoplait GoGurt 18oz - $2.50
Use $1.10/1 printable
Final Price: $1.40

Hunt's Ketchup 24oz - $1.25
Use $0.20/1 doubled from the 5/16/2010 SmartSource Insert
Final Price: $0.85

General Mills Cereal 8.7-14oz - $2.50
Use $1.50/2 printable
Final Price: $1.75 each when you buy two

Hershey's Syrup 24-26oz - $2
Use $1/2 from the 5/23/2010 SmartSource Insert
Final Price: $1.50 each when you buy two

Lawry's Marinades 12oz - $3
Use $0.50/1 printable doubled
Final Price: $2

French's Mustard 20oz - $1.50
Use $0.50/1 printable doubled
Final Price: $0.50

Thrifty Thursday: Cheap Sunscreen at CVS

During the summer my husband and I go out on the lake with his family a lot.  We go through a lot of sunscreen.  This week at CVS, if you buy two Coppertone Sunscreens at $10.49 each, you get back $10 ECB.  That made each bottle $5.50 each.

I sweetened the deal by using two $1/1 coupon printables (I got it off of, but I believe that it is no longer there).  Now the final price: $4.50 each.

I used the 2 ECB's that are printing at the in store scanners that only last 3 days.  New final price: $3.50 each.

I used a $5/$15 coupon that had printed on a receipt that expired that day.  New final price: $1 each!!!

I ended up picking up the bag of Skittles for my husband, so that I could use some of my other ECB's.  I'm so excited about this deal, because the spray kind of sunscreen is absolutely wonderful because my husband always wants me to put on his sunscreen so that he won't miss a spot (he had a bad experience with this in the past).  The spray kind really speeds up the process!  So if you are ever wondering whether it is worth reading through all of the CVS deals each week, I and many others would definitely say yes!

For more thrifty ideas visit Coupon Teacher.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

$10/$20 Smokey Bones Coupon

Go here to print a coupon from $10 off $20 at Smokey Bones.  I have used this coupon before, and my husband and I had a great date night.  We had tons of food leftover and were able to eat out someplace nice:).

Thanks, Money Saving Mom!

Tuesday, June 8, 2010 Gift Certificates 80% off ! Weekly Promo Offer 125 X 125

It's not even the end of the month and has their gift certificates 80% off!  That makes the $25 gift certificates $2 and the $10 gift certificates only $0.80!  I have used these for date nights in the past and they worked perfect!  Make sure that you read all of the fine print though.

Free Icecream at CVS!

According to Money Saving Mom, CVS has Skinny Cow icecream on sale for $1 this week.  Go here to print off a $1/1 coupon to get a free pint of icecream!  I'm planning on going tomorrow because that is when my store restocks everything.  If you are new to CVSing and get frustrated because all of the free stuff is gone, I highly recommend asking when your store restocks everything.  It has saved me lots of trips now that I mainly go on "restock day."

Monday, June 7, 2010

Delayed- Menu Plan Monday: 6/7-6-12

Well, Blogger has been down for most of today, so here is my "better late than never:)" menu plan.  During the summer I plan on testing out on a small scale some meatless meals for my lunch.  My hope is that I will be able to find at least a handful of recipes that my husband might not notice are meatless.  I am not a vegetarian, but I think that just cutting out one dinner with meat would cut down on our grocery bill, and if done right, be very good for our hearts! 

I also did not include sides this week.  We were given a lot of leftover fruits and vegetables from my brother's graduation party, so we will mainly be eating those up before they go bad.

    Lunch:  Salad topped with grilled chicken and cherry tomatoes (see picture above:) )
    Dinner:  Leftover pulled pork sandwiches from my brother's graduation

    Lunch:  Egg Salad Sandwiches
    Dinner:  Pizzeria Chicken Packets - from Pat & Betty's No-Fuss Cooking

    Lunch:  Spaghetti with Maranara
    Dinner:  Slow Cooker Chicken Fajitas - from The $5 Dinner Mom Cookbook

    Lunch:  Leftovers
    Dinner:  BLT's

Bonus Meals (to be made sometime over the weekend):  Broccoli, Rice, and Chicken Bake; Breakfast for dinner

For more menu planning ideas, visit Organizing Junkie.

Friday, June 4, 2010

Frugal Fitness Friday: Couch to 5k

It's summer, which means it is swimsuit season.  If you're not motivated yet, think of how good exercise will be for your heart.  Now that it is so nice out, it seems silly to stay in to exercise.  If you are just as ready to go out as I am, visit the Couch to 5k program online.  You can also go directly to the program by this link.

This program is very simple and easy to follow.  By the end of the 9 week program you should be able to run a 5k in 30 minutes or less!  I'm planning on using this program for my cardio a few days a week during the summer and I hope that you'll join me.

Highlights: There are tons of helpful links at the bottom of this page!  I am planning on downloading the free Christian music with verbal cues of when to run/jog/walk onto my mp3 player (that is if I can find my chord).

If you are running to lose weight, help feed the needy by recording your pledge online.  Read about it here.

If you're not a running fan, feel free to visit my past posts reviewing these free fitness websites:
Yoga Today
Women Workout Routines
My FitnessPal
Military Workouts
Exercise TV

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

New Market Matchups: 5/31-6/6

This week is Triple Coupon Week at New Markets.  Remember that with New Market's current coupon policy they will triple to $0.50 and that is it.  New Markets generally have higher prices, but if you live far away from other stores, it still might be cheaper to go there than to drive a long way.  Here are the best deals that I see this week:

French's Mustard 20 oz - $1.50
Use $0.50/1 tripled printable
Final Cost: FREE!

Bar S Bologna or Hot Dogs 16 oz- $1
Use $1/2 from the RedPlum 5/16 insert
Final Price: $0.50 each when you buy 2

Hunt's Ketchup 24 oz- $1
Use $0.20/1 tripled  from the SmartSource 5/16 insert
Final Price: $0.40 each

Banquet Value Meals 6.6-12 oz- $1
Use $1.50/4 printable
Final Price: $0.63 each when you buy four

Chef Boyardee Canned Pasta 14.5-15 oz- $1
Use $1.50/4 printable
Final Price: $0.63 each when you buy four

Post Cereals 11-14.5 oz- $1.99
Use $1/2 from the 05/16/2010 SmartSource Insert
Final Price: $1.49 when you buy two

Land O Frost Premium Lunchmeat 16 oz- $3.50
Use $1/1 printable
Final Price: $2.50 each

Tyson Anytizers 18-32 oz- $6.99
Use $1/1 from the 3/7/2010 SmartSource Insert
Final Price: $5.99
Daisy Cottage Cheese 16 oz- $2
Use $.45/1 tripled from the 5/2/2010 SmartSource Insert
Use $.65/1 printable
Final Price: $0.65 - $1.35
Daisy Sour Cream 16 oz- $2
Use $0.50/1 tripled printable
Final Price: $0.50
Lawry's Marinade 12 oz- $3
$0.50/1 tripled printable
Final Price: $1.50

I used Money Saving Mom's coupon database to help compile this week's deals!

New Market Updated Coupon Policy

New Market's coupon policy has changed so that they can participate in Coca-Cola deals.  The main change is that during the Triple Coupon period there won't be "double to a dollar" situations anymore.  Here is New Market's new coupon policy:

We will gladly double manufacturers’ coupons everyday up to 50 ¢.
We will gladly accept coupons over .50 at the face value.
We will gladly accept internet coupons.
We will gladly accept duplicate manufacturers’ coupons per the purchase requirement at face value.
We will gladly accept manufacturers’ coupons for beer, wine, or tobacco products at face value.
We will gladly triple manufacturers’ coupons up to 50 ¢ during any advertised triple coupon period. 25¢ coupons are worth 75¢, 45¢ coupons are worth $1.35, and 50¢ coupons are worth $1.50.
Catalina coupons can be redeemed at face value.
Catalina coupons may not be used with a vendor coupon or any other checkout coupon for the same item.

School's out for Summer!

It's official.  Today was the last day of my first year of teaching.  It has been an exciting and even emotional ride as I went from a baby teacher (the mistakes I made on my first day, still make me shake my head) to where I am at now (maybe a toddler teacher?).  I have learned from both the good days and the bad.  I have so many hopes for next year.  I might even start a blog about my teaching.  For the moment I am just enjoying other high school math teacher blogs.  But, we'll just have to see how everything goes.

To answer the question that has been the most popular question of the past few weeks, I am technically doing "nothing" this summer.  Normally I have a summer job at a local daycare.  My husband and I both decided that it would be best for me not to take the job again this summer.  My original plan had me taking classes to help me earn my Master's in Math, however due to the fact that my job is a long drive north and the closest university that offers it is a long drive south, it will not work unless I am able to get a teaching job closer to home.  They only offer three of the eleven classes needed during the summer, so I would be forced to make the impossible drive during the school year.  Online options are off the table for the moment, because each option is approximately double to triple the cost of the local university.

Since I will have more time on my hands this summer I have created many different lists in excel, to keep me on track and off of my fanny during the day.  I hope to blog about many of my summer projects.  There are sooo many that my husband just rolls his eyes.  I'm also looking forward to finding more freebies, and posting more deals.  I'm looking forward to sharing all the details with you in the days ahead!

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Free OPI Nail Polish

Go here to print off a coupon for a free bottle of Nicole by OPI nail polish at any participating Ulta.  My husband once bought me a pedicure- I think it was for my birthday, and they used OPI nail polish.  That stuff is absolutely amazing!  It didn't really chip.  Now you have to realize that the stuff that I normally use is really old bottles that were extremely cheap to begin with, but I have to say that I am really excited about this coupon!

Also, seventeen runs a decent amount of these type of free deals and they've always worked for me.  I've scored a free tank top in the past, so it's worth printing off and bringing to the store.

Free Benjamin Moore Paint Sample

From now until June 30, participating Benjamin Moore stores are offering 2oz color samples when you bring in this printable coupon.  If you are anything like me, you have a lot of projects that this sample will be perfect, such as adding accents to a lamp, coffee table, etc.
Thanks, Freebie Blogger!

$25 Gift Certificates for $2 Weekly Promo Offer 234 x 60
It's the nearing the end of the month which means has cut their $25 gift certificates down to only $2! Now would be a great time to buy some to use next month for a Father's Day dinner. Just make sure that you read all of the fine print before you buy! Go here to check out this great deal.

Free Photo Magnet

Right now Kodak Gallery is offering a free photo magnet when you use the code FREEMAGNET.  This could be a great small item to add to a graduate's gift.  You could have some type of inspiring quote or something as fun as "happiness is painted toenails."

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Menu Plan Monday: 5/23-5/29

Today we went to CVS (made $$ off of the Gillette Body Washes) and Aldi's.  It was definitely my lucky day.  They had marked down ($2 off) each package of boneless skinless chicken breasts.  My husband laughed as I whipped out my cell phone to do the math to determine the price per pound.  That's what you get when you are married to a math teacher/frugalista.  We ended up buying nine packages (close to 18 lbs)of chicken because the price averaged out to be about $1.38/lb (the packages that weighed less cost slightly less per pound and the package that were heavier cost slightly more per pound- hence the average). 

There was a time when I would have only bought a few packages because I would not have wanted to spend so much on one trip.  However, I now completely abide by the stockpiling principle.  If something is on a great sale that I use a lot (chicken, hamburger, peas, etc.) I will buy a ridiculous amount.  It might be "expensive" that one week, but the price overall is great.  My first experience with this was finding 93/7 hamburger marked down to only $2 package.  I bought ten packages, which I thought was a lot then.  However, now I would have bought out that section because after I used that I up I had to buy much more expensive hamburger.  I have never seen that high percentage meat on sale for much lower than $3.

Moral of the Story:  Strike while the iron is hot (as my mother would say).  In other words, take full advantage of great deals (while of course keeping an eye on the budget).

The menu this week was pretty much designed by my husband (as was last week's which I didn't get around to posting).  This is the end of the year and I have been pretty much living at the school.  My husband has been taking care of much of the cooking (and I do the clean up:)  ).  Here's what he chose for the week:

Monday:  Hamburgers on the grill, tater tots, carrots and dip

Tuesday: Chicken fajitas, strawberry smoothies

Wednesday: Spaghetti, salad, bread

Thursday:  Grilled cheese, clementines, apples with peanut butter

For more menu plan ideas, visit Organizing Junkie.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Family Christian Bookstores Deals

Click Here To Save 40% On Bestselling Book Titles

If you have a lot of graduations coming up, giving an encouraging book or CD can mean a lot to a graduate.  Right now Family Christian Bookstores is running a few deals that could help with the upcoming graduation parties.

Save up to 75% at's Clearance Center.

25% Off Any Regular Priced Item or 10% Off Any Sale Item - Enter Code 1284508 at Checkout

Receive $10 Off Your Purchase Of $65 Or More

Family Christian Stores - Buy One Item, Get One Item 50% Off
- Enter Code 1256775 At Checkout

Top 20 Bestselling titles in music just $13.97 or less at

Irregular Apron Sale!

I am always interested in anything that will make me feel better in the kitchen.  Right now Flirty Aprons is having an Irregular Apron Sale - $12.99, while supplies last (they are guessing it will last max of a week).  So if you are on the market for an apron or could give one as a gift, then now's a great time to look for one!  I have never seen them this cheap!

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Frugal Flop: New Market Coupon Policy Print-Out

New Markets are running their triple coupon sale this week.  I just went today and I was in a slight hurry.  Never plan on couponing in a hurry.  I quickly scanned through the store looking for items that would match up with coupons and get a better deal than Aldi's.  I only found a few items that were worth picking up because I believe they might have raised their prices even higher now that it is getting close to the start of "laker season" (lots of vacationers will be arriving to go to their lake homes).

I went through the checkout and noticed that the cashier was manually putting in every single coupon.  There were no "bonus coupons" popping up.  In fact on two occasions it said "bonus coupon suppressed".  I was a bit upset, but I tried to stay calm as I let the cashier know that it did not double or triple my coupons.  She says that "it will only double or triple $0.50 coupons."  That doesn't make sense.  Either it doubles at $0.50 or it triples, not both.  I repeat that I was sure that they double to $1 and triple to $0.50, so she then asks the other cashier who says that my cashier is correct.  Well, at that point I just decided that I just wasn't in the mood to be the "pushy customer", so I paid and left.

Now that I am home and can look through my receipt I can tell that none of my coupons doubled or tripled.  I also looked through my past emails and pulled up the email sent to me by the manager of the Syracuse store which states:

Syracuse Coupon Policy:

  •  Valid vendor coupons will double up to $.50, with a maximum value of $1.00. 
  • During the specified triple coupon period, valid vendor coupons will triple up to $.50, with a maximum value of $1.50. 
  • During the specified triple coupon period, valid vendor coupons with face value between $.51 and $1.00 will double, with a maximum value of $2.00. 
  • One additional vendor coupon may be used per item that meets the purchase requirements and has a valid date. These additional coupons will be redeemed at face value. 
  • In-store coupons and any vendor coupon that states “Not To Be Doubled” will be redeemed at face value. 
  • Vendor coupons for beer, wine, or tobacco products will be redeemed at face value. 
  • Catalina coupons may not be used until the next transaction. 
  • Catalina coupons will be redeemed for face value only. 
  • Catalina coupons may not be used with a vendor coupon or any other checkout coupon for the same item. 
  • We will gladly accept internet or computer generated coupons.
Therefore, I have now printed this policy and will carry it with me any time I go to that store.  I lost over $5 from not getting the doubles and triples today, and I am also trying to decide whether to go back and ask for a refund.  I am not sure whether that is worth my time though. 

Moral of the story: Have a printed copy of the store's coupon policy at all times.  It can save you lots of time, $$, and mainly stress from dealing with uncooperative cashiers.

Have you ever had difficulty at the register with double/triple coupons at grocery stores?  Tell us about it in the comments section.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Incredible CVS trip!

In the middle of this crazy end of the school year rush, I actually had a bit of time tonight.  I decided after seeing Money Saving Mom and Freebie Blogger's amazing CVS line up this week that it would be worth my time to go over to CVS and I am so glad that I did.  This was the first time that I actually made more than a few cents from my transactions.  The final tally for the trip:

Before Coupons: a little over $32 (with tax)
After Coupons and $11 Extra Care Bucks : $3.76
Total ECB's earned: $17!!!!!

Items purchased: Carefree liners, Bayer aspirin, 2 Right Guard deoderant, 2 Crest toothpaste, Kotex U tampons, Dove Dark Chocolate bar, 3 Hershey Candy Bars

Side-note: I know that many of you use the envelope system and only use cash.  I think that is great.  Someday we hope to switch to that.  However, now is not the time to push that on my husband.  We currently use our Discover card for almost everything (and pay it off every month of course!).  If you happen to use Discover, use your rewards to get CVS gift cards.  I buy my newspapers using that card (and get a ECB every four times for using my green bag tag), and I haven't paid a cent for any of my CVS purchases in ages (not that I spend more than a few dollars).

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Showers of Babies (as opposed to baby showers)

Whew!  Three babies in five days!  That's got to be a record.  They have been keeping everyone busy!  We've been able to visit all but one of them which we are desperately trying to find time to travel to meet.  They have to be about the most loved babies in the world :).

Other news, there are three weeks of school left (students' last day is June 1), which means sadly that my absolutely pitiful lack of any posts of substance will continue until the end of the school year.  Right now my life is filled to the brim with end of the school year happenings.  However, I have such great hopes for things outside of school this summer like finally getting to writing all of my ideas for posts, but we'll have to see what happens.  My mind has been percolating over what to do for the $20 challenge.......

Friday, May 7, 2010

Free Book: The Radical Question

I have the day off today, yippee!  Therefore, I have been catching up on printing coupons, clipping coupons, organizing my coupons, hopefully later cleaning my house, cvsing and more.  I had hoped to go garage saling, but the weather is just awful. 

I just found out about that if you go here you can sign up for a free copy of The Radical Question by David Platt.  You will have to sign up for their mailing list and they send you an email that you must respond to in order to receive the copy.  This offer expires May 9.

Thanks, Empowering Mommy!

Monday, April 26, 2010

Menu Plan Monday: 4/25-4/30

Babies, babies, and more babies!  It's official that there is only one more to go!  We will be traveling a lot, plus there are birthdays and anniversaries, which means very little cooking for me.  I have no idea how much I'll be blogging between now and the end of school (5.5 weeks and counting!).  Here is the plan for the week:
Spaghetti (with cottage cheese and meat sauce), salad, strawberry shakes (my husband makes amazing ones)

Armsteak with carrots/onions (we are actually going to finally make that hunk of meat that has been in our freezer for months), potatoes


Awards banquet (no cooking!)

Grilled steaks (given to us by family, thanks!), steamed broccoli with garlic, pineapple

For more ideas, visit Organizing Junkie.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

The Importance of Lists

I am a list person (it's ok if you're not-my husband isn't and still gets tons done), and I get it rightly by my mom.  I used to sit and watch her write these gigantic lists on the weekend full of things that I knew that she would never get to and would wonder why she did it.  Now I do the same thing and I understand completely.  Seriously, I do.

When I get to my school each morning I write down on a piece of paper most of the things that I need to do, even though they are pretty much the same tasks each day.  Do you know why I do this?  Because of days like yesterday, when I was so excited about a project that I was preparing for my Geometry students which required me going out to the football field during my prep period, that I completely forgot that we were on a shortened schedule that day and that I had yet to write up all of my notes on the overhead.  Luckily I came in before the bell rang to release the kids to come to my class.  Who knows what would have happened if I had still been outside! 

I also write lists to remember the "weird things."  You know what I'm talking about.  The random request by someone to show them how to do __________, or to send them directions to _____, or to please drop off ________.  In others words, tasks that would rarely ever be on your list. 

My husband has been incredible by nicely (that is the key) keeping me on task and remembering first things first.  He helps remind me to prioritize my lists.  I never used to do that because I would just stay up until all hours of the night to get things done, but now that would not work.

This summer I have completely and utterly off.  I have already started making my lists for the summer, so that I won't forget that the windows need to be washed (my husband noticed this, and I honestly don't think I would notice that windows are dirty until I could no longer see through them), the doors need to be painted, the ceiling in the bathroom needs to be touched up, I have a photo project I want to do, stacks of books to read, more Spanish to learn, a garden to keep, updates to all lesson plans, family to visit, etc.

If you are a teacher I highly suggest making an excel spreadsheet for your goals for the summer.  I have broken my lists down my type -school, home, business, volunteer.  I plan on assigning each of my goals to different weeks.  I only have 10 weeks, so I have to make the most of it!

If you are wondering how I got on this slightly boring, and yet important to me topic go here to read an interesting article that I found (that I might have shown to my husband to show that I am not the only weird list person)about the worth of lists- to some people.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

$20 Challenge!

Money Saving Mom has found an absolutely fabulous blog Life as I See It that includes a post about a $20 challenge between her and her husband.  In summary they both have $20 that they can use to grow and make money throughout one year (they can also sell things).  At the end of the year they will see who has made the most money.  I think this is such a fabulous way to force yourself to think outside of the box!  I have kind of gotten into a rut with just focusing on saving and not thinking so much about creative ways to grow my money.

I plan on taking this challenge starting in the summer to help push me a bit(possibly hitting up some garage sales!).  Go to her blog to join in on the fun!

Free Event Season Grand Opening!

Tonight was the official beginning of free event season.  We went to our county's Taste of Ag.  There are barns, barns, and more barns full of all kinds of booths, some with information, many with animals, and few with my absolute favorite..... freebies!

The night began with some rousing Ag Olympics, which included dressing up a piglet in baby's clothes.  Who needs to pay anything to be entertained when you can watch four groups of high schoolers try to clothe a baby pig who is of course not happy about it and it showing it by wiggling and making a mess (if you know what I mean).

This was then followed by a children's peddle pull.  It was so much fun to watch the little kids try so hard to peddle a tractor down the strip.  It was amazing how they had rigged up a pull cart just like a real one for the kids!

The barns were full of free reusable shopping bags, seedlings (tomato, green pepper, cabbage, and broccoli), notepads, pencils, coloring books and crafts for children, balloons, meat samples, cheese samples, popcorn, and even yummy frozen yogurt!

I enjoyed tonight so much, I'm looking forward to the rest of spring and summer full of free events in all of the parks near us!

Menu Plan Monday (or Tuesday;)

Whew!  I'm back after a fabulous vacation.  It was really wonderful and I have to say that I relaxed so much that by the end of the week I was ready to come home and get to work!  This spring/summer is going to be full of weeks that will be a bit abnormal to plan meals for, since our plans could change daily.  My husband is still in the middle of doing a remodel job for my parents, so some nights we eat with them.  There have also been a significant amount of other family events and there will be many more (did I mention I'll be an aunt three times over in the next few weeks?!).  Furthermore, whether good or bad, I have been really digging deep into my teaching now that I am much more comfortable with my job.  Each day I spend a significant amount of time researching for my lessons which leaves me coming home a bit later. 

Over the next few weeks I am going to try to find some really tasty, at least somewhat healthy, easy, quick, and of course cheap homemade meal recipes.  If you have any that fit in those categories (I know I'm asking for a lot) please respond!  I love to try new things.

Here's the plan for this week:
Monday: Grilled out hotdogs on whole wheat (on sale!) buns, carrots, strawberry shakes

Tuesday: Ham rolls, salads, bread

Wednesday: Rotini with meaty tomato sauce (and some sneaky spinach, hopefully my husband won't notice), broccoli

Thursday: Pizza bread or Crockpot arm steak, salads, cut up apples

For more menu plan ideas, visit Organizing Junkie.

Monday, April 5, 2010

Vacaciones!- Vacation!

This is a little late, but I have been so busy that I could not write.  I will not be writing for the remainder of the week because I am with family on vacation!  If you need inspiration visit any of my favorite blogs (they're on my side bar).  Enjoy the week!

Monday, March 29, 2010

Menu Plan Monday: 3/28-4/1

This week we are leaving to go on a trip for spring break with the in-laws, so I'm trying to focus on using up our perishables for the week and not create more leftovers.  It's going to be a busy week getting prepared for the trip and keeping up with all of my classes (I ask myself again, why did I plan quizzes and tests for the day before break?).
Monday: Pork chops (thawed), mashed potatoes, salad, carrots/dip

Tuesday: Spaghetti, fresh fruit/veggies

Wednesday: Quesadillas, apples/peanut butter

Thursday: we're on our way!


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