Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Where I get my coupons

Local Newspaper- We found a deal to get it delivered on Thurs and Sunday. It was cheaper to do this than to buy a weekly paper at the store.

Online sign ups and samples- I watch these blogs for mailing sent out from companies. If you have a favorite brand they will probably send you coupons. I signed up with all the formula, diaper, and baby companies when I found out I was pregnant (each time) I get sent samples and really good coupons. Other companies have this too. Check the web site of your faves.

Printable coupons- There are several sites that you can print great coupons from. A few of my faves are coupons.com, Redplum, and smartsource. Also, the blogs will often post special deals. Another site with printables is Meijermealbox.com. I will give the detailed instructions further down.

Catalinas- These are the coupons that print at the grocery store check out. These can be high dollar or not worth it so you have to pay attention

E Coupons- Sites like Shortcuts.com and P&Gsaver.com have e coupons you can load on to your loyalty card (Kroger) These are nice because they are stackable which means you can use them with manufacturers coupons.

Meijer Mealbox

http://www.meijermealbox.com/ is a website that is hosted by Meijer with coupons to use only at their store. These are store coupons which mean you can stack them with Manufacturer coupons. These can result in some good deals and freebies.

  1. Go to http://www.meijermealbox.com/
  2. In the box on the right click specials
  3. Scroll down and click "add to shopping list" on the coupons you want.
  4. When you have all your coupons click "shopping list".
  5. Then click "Print List"
  6. Check the "coupons" button.
  7. Print as many copies as you need. There are no limits to how many you can print to my knowledge.

Note: When checking out at Meijer be sure to watch your total to make sure the correct amount is being deducted. We have had trouble with these scanning. Just save them until the end and ask the cashier to go slowly.

Blogs I heart!

http://www.moneysavingmom.com Awesome ideas for how to save money, recipes, and being a Godly wife. She also home schools.

http://mommysnacks.net/ Realistic busy mom with 3 boys. Lots of great ideas for moms who are just trying to keep it all together. Lives in Cinci. (So for me)

http://cincinnaticents.blogspot.com/ Great for grocery match up, local activities, good freebies.

http://www.momsbyheart.net/ Mom of five with lots of great deals. I did most of my Christmas shopping online with all the ideas through her site.

I follow several blogs. To keep it easy and make sure I don't miss anything I use google reader.

Tips for keeping your grocery bill low:

Make a meal plan/menu- Don't buy food that will expire before you use it. Just because it looks good doesn't mean you have to buy it. Have a plan for all perishables.

Have a realistic budget- If you spend $100/week on groceries don't set your budget at $20/week right off. You will be frustrated and give up. Also, know what your budget includes. Do you use the same amount to buy groceries, diapers, formula, cleaning supplies? Be realistic about what your family needs.

Use cash- This is something I used to be a lot better at. However, after a year of a cash budget I don't typically go over budget. When you know you don't have a credit card to fall back on you are much more careful about what you buy.

Stockpile- When an item you know you will use (but won't expire before you will use it) goes on sale stock up. For example: if you can find a kick butt sale on cereal for say $0.25/box and it is something you know you go through quickly buy 10 or more if you can. Then the next week you aren't stuck buying it at full price. Once you have a good stockpile it allows you to only buy those items for rock bottom prices. Some weeks all I do is stockpile (and milk and produce). I have enough food that really aside from some perishables my family could eat for at least a month. This also allows us the joy of being able to give at times to others in need.

Coupons- A huge part of saving money is to use coupons. When doubled and matched with sales you can find great deals, free stuff, and sometimes they even pay you to take it home. I watch several blogs to help with match ups and I collect coupons from everywhere I go. It is a game to me to see how little I can spend.

Monday, September 21, 2009

kroger gift card give away...

I follow several blogs to keep up on all the good deals. One of them is mommysnacks.net, and she is doing a giveaway for a $30 Kroger gift card. You can check it out here. I could use a free gift card for groceries how about you?

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Asher is two!

Two years ago today our little Asher came into this world. We are so blessed because of him. He is such a joy and a handful. God is so good to us to have given us such a smart, fun, and cute little boy. Happy Birthday Asher.

Organizing my life

Well, this week was overall successful. I was able to organize my fridge and freezers, garage storage, and pantry. It all still looks very full, but I know where everything is and what I have. Which was really my goal. I realized while cleaning my deep freeze that it is in bad need of being defrosted. So this week we are going to work on eating down some of the contents and then defrosting. I've never actually done this so it could be interesting. I'll keep you posted. :)

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Free clothes?

I've seen several other blogs posting this almost too good to be true coupon. But apparently it works. It is for $10 off any juniors clothes at Sears. Click here to take you to the PDF. This is good until November and if you watch clearance could probably result in some free clothes. Who doesn't like free clothes?

Coupons in the mail

Proctor and Gamble have a coupon book available right now with over $35 worth of coupons. Go here to sign up for it. This is one way that I get extra coupons is registering for them online. I've gotten this book before and it is worth the two minutes it takes to register. Just thought I'd pass that along.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

OCC boxes

Every Christmas our family joins our church in putting together Operation Christmas child boxes. We fill shoe boxes with toys, school supplies, and hygiene items and send them to children in extremely poor areas of the world. It has become a habit at school supply time to stock up on crayons and other school supplies while they are super cheap.

Last night I was browsing the clearance at Target, (so dangerous for me) and came across lots of clearance supplies. I try to fill the boxes with as much as possible so the less I spend per item the more I can buy. I was able to find calculators for .25, kits with zipper pockets, scissors, pencil sharpeners, and a ruler all for only .37, a large pack of pens for .30, and some fun pencil cases to .60.

Also, some of the dollar spot items were 50% off making them only .50. So I stocked some stickers, and small toys. This past Sunday's paper had coupons for $1/1 Johnson's product. One of the things I like to add to our boxes are the buddies soaps. They have a washcloth already wrapped around them and they usually retail for around $1. So with this coupon these will be free. I can find toothpaste for free most of the time at CVS too. I find that with a little planning ahead we can usually fill these boxes pretty well.

Does anyone else participate in the OCC program? Do you have any inexpensive ideas of things to add?

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

We went to Possum Creek the other day. They are a park with a working farm. My kids love the animals and all the fun of the farm. I love that it is free. :) Isaac and Brady were trying to feed the donkey and horse. Asher and Austin liked driving the car.

First day of school (on the second day of school)

Isaac had his first day of Tuesday school last week. I'm just a little slow getting the pictures up. He had to be potty trained to go, and about a week and a half before his first day he started going on the potty full time. For those of you who I talk to on a regular basis you know this is a huge praise. I never thought I would pray for my kids to go to the bathroom on the potty, but I did. And Praise the Lord, God is good. Isaac is officially potty trained and in preschool.

One of my friends told me about a ministry one of the local churches does called Tuesday school. It is a totally free preschool that meets once a week. What a huge blessing. I don't think Isaac would be going to preschool if it weren't for this program. He loves it. They have art, music, gym, and class time. It is once a week for 2 1/2 hrs a week. Anyway, these are the best pictures I could get. He at least looked at the camera, but he is not a huge fan of getting his picture taken. We pick up Isaac's friend Brody every week. They are in our house church and the boys are in the same class. I just can't believe how time flies. I still feel like he is a baby.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Meals for the week

Here is my menu plan for this week. I'm excited to try a few new recipes.

Mon- Eggs
PBJ, yogurt, fruit
Broccoli cheddar soup, chicken salad sandwiches

Tues- cereal, yogurt
soup and sandwiches
Chicken broccoli Casserole, rolls

Ravioli, garlic toast
House church finger foods (French Fries)

Thurs- cereal
chicken nuggets, tater tots, and green beans
Taco pie, tortilla chips, spanish rice

Fri- Cinnamon rolls
cheese, crackers, applesauce, peas
Asher's Birthday party.

It will be a busy week for us, but I'm looking forward to some new recipes.


If you don't get the paper today would be a good day to go buy it. There are five inserts today. That should be the same for most areas. I do get the Sun paper delivered, and I'm still going to buy one today because there are some awesome coupons. I love lots of coupons.

Getting organized!

I've decided I need a little organization in my life. In the midst of all the craziness that is my day a few things have gone by the wayside. So, I'm looking forward to taking the next few weeks to do a little organizing. This week I'm going to hopefully get all of my food storage organized.

I'm a stockpiler. Which means when an item we use goes on sale I stock up. That ensures that I only have to buy it when it is at a low price. I have found it to be one of the most useful tools in saving money. Next to planning so that we don't waste. Because I stockpile we have a lot of food that needs a place. It is important that I know what I have and use it in a timely manner to insure not to waste it. So, this week I will be working on organizing my freezers, fridge, pantry, and garage shelving. Last week we worked on the garage a bit so most of that project is done. I am going to be working pretty slow right now due to the limited time I have with the boys. But my goal is to know what I have, what I need, and what I can give away.

I'm hoping to do six weeks of organizing including working on our schedule, toys, paperwork, all closets, and meals and recipes.

I'd love some accountability. Plus, this is way more fun to do with a group. So let me know if you have anything you are planning to organize and we can all watch our progress together. It may take awhile with littles running around, but I'm excited to have a cleaner, more efficient, more organized home.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

falling for fall

Ok, I know it is cheesy, but I love fall! I can't believe we are in September already! I love when the weather can't make up it's mind as to what the temp should be. I love waking up to a cool breeze in my room and snuggling under the warm covers. I love a hot shower on those cool mornings. I love wearing a T shirt and sweatshirt because you aren't sure if you are going to be hot or cold, but either way it is rarely too hot or too cold.

I love all the things that fall brings. I love the color. Deep reds and oranges. I love when the leaves change. The drive down a long windy road that the tree hang over when you look all around and see all the gorgeous colors of fall. That is just truly God's art showing off. I love raking leaves and jumping in them (bagging them up not as much). I love hot apple cider, bonfires, pumpkin patches, hayrides, corn mazes, smores, caramel apples... fall just smells good.

I love taking pictures of my kids in fall. The scenery is adorable. Nothing is more perfect than a toddler in a cute sweater and cords trying to pick up a pumpkin twice his size. My fave pictures of my kids are usually in a pumpkin patch. They just scream awesome memories. I love to decorate for with leaves and wreaths. I love the cinnamon smells that come with candle for fall. I love making soups and chilis to eat on the chilly evenings.

This has always been my favorite season. There is something beautiful about the change of season. The expectation of something new and fresh. I can't imagine living in an area where year round everything stayed the same. I love the anticipation of what happens next. When fall ends the excitement of the first snow kicks in. Then we long for the new life spring brings. The break of summer is anticipated by every school aged child. Then back to fall with all the joy it brings (at least to me). I know I'm a dork, but I just thought how good our God is. He knows we need that constant movement to keep us going. Some days we complain, but all in all it is good. God is good.

Monday, September 7, 2009

This week on the cheap

I'm trying to get back in the swing of things now that Levi is almost six weeks old. I finally finished transfering my coupons to the binder system. I'm really liking it so far. Dan and I sat down to figure out our financial goals and timing for them. Which, led us to realize we need to be working like crazy to save more. So this month we are hoping to only use cash and try to spend less than normal. So I challenged myself this week to see if I could get all my groceries for under $30. I did it and here is what I got...

Meijer was running some great sales this week. I like to most of the deals are posted at http://cincinnaticents.blogspot.com/. If you want a complete list.

They are running a 10 for 10 event get the 11th item free. These are always nice because with coupons I get a lot of freebies.
2 Easy Macs free w/ coupon
4 Green Giant steamers free w/ coupon
4 pizza rolls .60/ box
1 can fruit 11th item free

Barilla pasta was on sale with coupon ende up being .39/box so I went ahead and got 4.
Campbell's soup 8 cans @ .50/can (cream soups)
2 cans Select harvest soup .45/each
3 loaves whole wheat bread B1G2 $3.19 total
2 rolls breakfast sausage $1.80/each
2 packs cookie dough $1/each (buy 2 get $1 off milk)
2 gallons milk $2.20
2 heads broccoli .79/each
Family pack of chicken $1.79/lb
lunch meat $1.50
Leaf lettuce
Garlic toast

I ended up with 45 items and spent $27.26. I saved $56.70. I bought food for the week and some for the stockpile.

Menu for this week: (these are just dinners)

Mon- Free Chick fil A (bought large fry to share $1.98)
Tues- Church meeting Dinner provided
Wed- Chicken casserole times 2 for house church
Thurs- Brinner (Breakfast for dinner)
Fri- possible date night (child care at church for $10 fundraiser + gift card for dinner= cheap date)
Sat- homemade pizza, sweet corn, salad
Sun- Homemade soup

Also, this week one of my goals is to organize our stockpile of food. We are so blessed to have so much. So, I'm hoping to put together a box to send to the local food bank, and get an inventory of what I have for my family. I'd like to prepare to defrost my freezer either this week or next also. I'm hoping over the next six weeks to do some major organization. So this weeks goal is food.