Thursday, September 16, 2010

Record your Yourth - what happened after high school...

So after I got into the college of my dreams, I spent that summer working as many hours as I could and saving as many pennies as I could.  I left for Franklin in the fall with much anticipation and excitement!!!

I met one of my best friends that first week at FC.  Like the first night or two she sat outside of her dorm room SOBBING on the phone to her boyfriend...who was like 20 minutes away.  I know I walked passed her, rolled my eyes and thought not nice thoughts.  Within just days though I got to know her much better and we became very close! 

The rest of the year was filled with friends and classes and working - I worked all the way through college and still left with loan debt!  I worked part-time in the campus bookstore and did some volunteer work with the theater department (and after that year - ended up being the theater house manager for the next three years).

I didn't make it home often - the drive was only about an hour and fifteen minutes but I didn't have a car of my own.  If I wanted to get home, I had to have my parents come get me or hitch a ride with someone else headed that way.  I was lucky that there were a few other people from my area that were at FC and could hitch a ride if needed.

I've often told people (and still do say) that you couldn't have paid me to go to another school.  Purdue University is just 1/2 hour from my house...a nice large state school that probably would have left me with a bit less loan debt at graduation but not my cup of tea!  My graduating class at FC was actually smaller than my graduating class from high school - it was perfect!  I knew most of my classmates and many of the upperclassmen in just a few weeks time.  It was such a "family" to me and I really enjoyed that aspect of school. 

I graduated from FC with a BA in Journalism...  I left FC and didn't go into the field though.  It is something that no one can take away from me and an experience that totally shaped my life and I wouldn't change any of that for any reason. 

This is my fifteenth (and final!) post with Mommy's Piggy Tales recording my memories in just 15 weeks. If you're interested in doing the same for yourself, swing by her place to check it out! She will be starting a new session soon!

Click here to read my post from last week, where my twelfth grade finished up my high school years quite nicely.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Marsh ad highlights - 9/16 through 9/22

The Mega Sale is STILL on (make sure you get the right amount of items!) and there's a four-day Tailgate Sale too!

Tailgate Sale (Thursday through Sunday, 9/16 through 9/19)
Food Club brats - $2.99 ($1.50)
Ruffles potato chips - $1.98 (save $2.01)
2lb Fried chicken strips - $3.99 (save $1.00)
6-pack Coke products - 4/$9.88 (save $8.88 or more on four) - limit one

Mega Sale items - Buy any 10, get $5 off instantly!
(final price listed - see the ad for specifics!)
Food Club or Sargento cheese - $1.49
Dean's cottage cheese or Breakstone's sour cream - $.99
California Pizza Kitchen or DiGiorno pizzas - $4.49
Kraft Mac & Cheese dinner - $.99
Oscar Mayer bologna or Food Club ketchup - $.98
Gatorade - $.58
Tropicana or Dole juice - $2.49
Swiss Tea or Green Giant Steamers - $.99
Jell-O pudding or Gelatin - $.49
Nature Valley granola bars - $3.49
Bull's-Eye bbq sauce, Red Gold salsa or Tuttorosso pasta sauce - $.99
Progresso soups or Pillsbury Grands! - $.99
Pillsbury Grands! cinnamon rolls or Oreo cookies - $1.99
Mids, Planters or Totino's - $2.49
Red Gold Sloppy Joe, tomatoes or sauce - $.49
Crystal Light or Yoplait yogurt - $1.49
Wanchai Ferry Asian meals or Macaroni Grill meals - $5.49
Marie Callendar's Bakes - $3.99
Herbal Essences or Aussie - $2.00
Old El Paso dinner kit - $1.99
Betty Crocker mix or Pillsbury Toaster Strudel - $1.49
Edy's Eskimo Pie or Nestle frozen novelties - $2.49
Kellogg's cereals, Nutri-Grain bars or Nature Valley granola thins - $1.99
Jell-O, Yoplait Smoothies or Dannon yogurt - $1.99
Keebler, Kellogg's or Betty Crocker - $1.99

For the entire week enjoy sale items like:
Boneless rump or round roast - $1.98/lb (save $2.21/lb)
Center cut pork chops - $1.98/lb (save $2.01/lb)
Eckrich franks or sliced bologna - B1G1 FREE (save $3.29 on two) (mix and match!)
Marsh bread or buns - $.99
Red Glob or Seedless red, black or green grapes - $.99/lb (save $1/lb)
Hostess snacks - B1G1 FREE
Libby's canned veggies - 10/$5
Libby's canned fruit - 10/$10
Perdue chicken thighs or drumsticks - $.98/lb (save $1.01/lb)
El Monterey Tornados - 2/$4 (match with recent $1 for a $1 final price!)
Pop-Tarts - 3/$4.98
Food Club singles - 2/$3
Aunt Millie's bread or buns - B1G1 FREE (free item must be same kind as purchased item)
Quaker oatmeal - $1.88
Act II popcorn - 10/$10
Quaker rice cakes - 10/$10 (recent coupon matches maybe!?)
Campbell's condensed soups - 10/$10
Ortega taco seasoning mix, dinner kit, shells or sauce - 20% off
Nature's Own bagels - B1G1 FREE (finally - some bagels on sale!!!)
Q-tips - $2.48
Dole salads - 20% off

I'm thinking there are probably some good coupon match-ups in here too.  I'll try to keep an eye out for Bargain Briana to post her match-ups - she does an amazing job!

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Got another good blog to share...Stuff Christians Like

I just found this blog at the end of last week and definitely haven't searched it for all it's worth (I'm sure!) but I wanted to go ahead and get this out there!

Stuff Christians Like was

Started on March 21, 2008 as a reaction to the wildly popular blog Stuff White People Like which was created by Christian Lander, Stuff Christians Like is a blog about the funny things we Christians do. And what they just might reveal about our faith.

The site is written by Jonathan Acuff, a preacher’s kid/copywriter who lives in Atlanta with his wife and two kids.

I just found this last week when I read that Jon joined Dave Ramsey's staff and he posted a short article about "7 Ways Working for Dave Ramsey is Like Willy Wonka's Chocolate Factory".  It was hilarious!  So of course I had to go find his blog and I wasn't disappointed.  I hope you enjoy it too.

Weekly shopping - we barely eeked it out!

1 Deans cottage cheese was $1.89 for .99
3 Shamrock milks was $4.17 for FREE
2 Breyers ice cream was $10.98 for $4.98
2 Mission tortilla 8" shells was $5.18 for $3.18 (should have been $1.58)
3 El Monterey Tornadoes was $8.37 for $3.00
5 Kraft Velveeta Shells was $9.35 for $4.95
1 Double Stuf Oreo was $4.19 for $1.99
4 packages (appx 8lbs) split breasts was $24.84 for $7.40

Okay - so the highlighted items are what prices SHOULD HAVE BEEN with the Mega Sale Marsh had going on.  I'm going to have to look at the ad but I'm thinking we should have had $5.00 off our bill for purchasing 10 Mega Sale items (the seven listed above plus a pizza and I'm not sure what the other two items where).  I tried to call Marsh just now about it but no one answered.  I'll be going there tomorrow!

We also bought things like sour cream, milk, OJ, rice, yogurt, black beans, bread, eggs, and some fresh fruits.

All totaled we spent $78.30 (had $2 from my mom for her gallon of milk) and saved $54.48 which was 41% - which if I'm right about our Mega Sale items should be a bit different!

So, only $1.30 over budget as of right now - I'm hoping that will change after tomorrow.

Monday, September 13, 2010


So.  I hadn't planned to take a week plus off from blogging.  I normally try to post Monday through Thursday for sure and if something good comes up over the weekend, make a post about that as well.  But here lately I've just not been feeling the blog.  I'm really struggling with what my purpose is and why I do this. 

I LOVE writing.  I love sharing my thoughts and processes but sometimes feel like I'm writing to myself (which with tracking my grocery store purchases is great because it's become short of like a price book for me).  I'm just not sure where I want to go with this.

I don't think I'll ever be a FishMama or Money Saving Mom but I would like to be!  I'd love to have a spot where I can share my thoughts and ideas about life in general, money, deals/bargains and our Total Money Makeover journey that could be a great spot for other women (moms or not) to utilize.  But I think that both FishMama and Crystal at MSM do that so I'm not sure where I fit in.

I've thoroughly enjoyed linking up to Record Your Youth with Janna at Mommy's Piggy Tales for the last 14 weeks and look forward to wrapping it all up this coming Thursday.  But again - I don't see that side of what I've blogged becoming anything permanent.

So I guess I'm looking for any ideas or suggestions.  I don't even know if there is anyone out there who reads my blog on a regular basis.  I know there are girls from the Record Your Youth group that follow through those posts and I know that if I've linked up to FishMama's Ultimate Recipe Swap that someone might click through but that's about it.  I don't know if me putting more out here would be a benefit to anyone or not. 

When I originally started this - I wanted to share deals/bargains but so many other people do that (and do it way better than I do and much more quickly as I only access my blog in the evenings). I still do share if I find something really good but once again - I don't think I have much traffic so I don't share like I should (or could).

If you read this, why do you visit my blog?  Do you visit regularly?  If you don't visit regularly, how often do you stop by?  What else would you be interested in seeing in this spot?  If you could leave me a comment or email me at I'd very much appreciate it.

At this point, I'm going to continue to do what I've done in the past (Monday is my shopping from the weekend, Tuesday a blog to share, Wednesday the Marsh ad highlights, Thursday is Record Your Youth (for one more week at least) and sometimes I even share the Kroger ad highlights and coupon previews).

If you do stop by regularly, thank you - I hope to make this a better place for me and for you.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Record your Life - 12th grade tied it all up nicely.

Last week's post was short and sweet - I didn't want to get to far ahead of myself and sharing more than that would have done so.  My 12th grade year was an awesome year for me.  I had decided in the spring of my junior year to apply to Franklin College so I could major in journalism.  I had never set foot on the campus but knew it was the right spot for me.  And then for my 18th birthday - my acceptance letter from Franklin!  It was absolutely awesome.  It wasn't until that spring that I finally set foot on campus but I knew deep down that I wouldn't want to be at any other school.  Getting into Franklin (and the journalism school) was awesome!

That Christmas break I spent 10 days in Mexico - Mexico City and close areas on a Girl Scout trip.  I've mentioned before that Girl Scouts was a big part of my life (and it still is - even today).  Girl Scouts truly helped shape who I am and this trip did so more than any other trip I had been on.  Not only did I get to meet so many new people, get a sunburn on New Years Day and experience the first snow in Mexico in like 15 years, I also met a little boy who changed the way I looked at everything.

Let me back up some...  I had "senioritis" - bad.  That's when you're a senior in high school and you want nothing more than to get O.U.T.  I seriously considered dropping out of high school after first semester because I was so done with school.  I had my acceptance to Franklin, I had all of the credits I needed (so I wouldn't have technically been quitting...just finishing early) and was ready to be done. 

But part of our trip to Mexico was to go to a small village - think dirt floors and thatch roofs - and just spend some time playing with the kids.  We taught them songs and played games.  We took little trinkets and gifts and this one little boy.  Ohmy...  His eyes when I gave him a small box of crayons was just mind blowing.  Here he was...had never seen a crayon before and I was ready to throw away half of my senior year of high school. 

I graduated with the rest of my class that year.  And I did my senior speech on "senioritis" and how that little boy totally changed it all for me (I got an A+ on that speech too!).  I'm so thankful I was able to experience that trip and will never forget those big brown eyes...

This is my fourteenth post with Mommy's Piggy Tales recording my memories in just 15 weeks. If you're interested in doing the same for yourself, swing by her place to check it out!  She will be starting a new session soon!

Click here to read my post from last week, where my eleventh grade changed my career path.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Record your Life - 11th grade changed my career path.

When I began 11th grade I wanted to be a librarian.  Still.  And I had wanted to be a librarian since like 1983 - when I was six.  I love to bury my nose in a book and I even love to physically bury my nose in a book and smell the paper, ink and glue that binds the pages into a story that will take me away. 

But 11th grade made me realize that I wanted to be a journalist.  And a photojournalist.  I wanted to write!  I wanted to travel the world behind a camera and share stories of everything I found. 

I had spent the previous two years on our local high school's newspaper staff but that year really grabbed me as the turning point in the "what I wanted to be when I grew up" situation.  I knew I needed to be thinking about my future career because the next year was going to begin the process of thinking about college.

So I spent a lot of time that year writing.  Whatever my newspaper advisor would give me, I'd write.  I'd take the camera with me and go see what I could find.

You'll hear next week about where I decided to go to college and why and I'll even share where I'm at now with it all but this year...this was the year that I wanted to grow up and be a journalist. 

This is my thirteenth post with Mommy's Piggy Tales recording my memories in just 15 weeks. If you're interested in doing the same for yourself, swing by her place to check it out!

Click here to read my post from last week, where my ninth grade memories are all about a boy.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Marsh ad highlights - 9/2 through 9/8

Marsh has a Labor Day sale going on - all seven days of their ad! 

Ground beef - $1.48/lb (save $1.01/lb) limit 10lbs
Ground chuck - $1.68/lb (save $1.61/lb) limit 10lbs
Ball Park franks - $.99 (save $2.40) limit four
12-pack 7-Up, Coke or Pepsi - 4/$10 limit one
Aunt Millie's Honey hamburger or hot dog buns - $.99 (save $1.70) - match with recent $.55 coupons for $.44 final price!
Lay's - 2/$4 (save $3.98 on two)
Perdue chicken leg quarters - $.68/lb (save $.81/lb)
Nabisco snack crackers - 2/$4 (save $1.50 or more on two)
Kraft cheese (singles, 100-Calorie packs, cubes, chunk or shredded) - $1.99 (save $.50 or more)
Marsh ice cream - $1.88 (save $1.61 or more)
Honeydew melons - B1G1 FREE
In-husk bi-color corn - 10/$2 (save $3.00 on ten)
Sunbeam bread - $.99 (save $1.40)
Eckrich smoke sausage - 2/$4 (save $4.98 on two)
Eckrich sliced bologna - B1G1 FREE
Sara Lee turkey breast - $5.99/lb (save $1.70/lb)
Eckrich ham - $4.99/lb (save $1.00/lb)
Kellogg's Poptarts - 3/$4.98
Sweet Baby Ray's sauces - B1G1 FREE
Lawry's marinade - $1.98
40oz Heinz ketchup - $1.78 (not as cheap as Walmart had it earlier this summer but a good price!)
Chi-Chi's salsa - B1G1 FREE
Kraft mayo or Miracle Whip - $2.49 - match with recent $1.50 off two for $1.75 final price
Kellogg's cereals - $1.99 when you buy three
Kool-Aid FunFizz - B1G1 FREE
Rice a Roni or Pasta Roni - 10/$10
Marzetti dressing - B1G1 FREE
Mission tortillas - $1.79 - match with recent $1.00 blinkies (coupons from the machine hanging on the shelf) for a $.79 final price
Bounty or Charmin - $5.99 - match with recent $.25 P&G coupons for $5.49 final price
Dixie napkins, cups, plates or bowls - 2/$4 (there had been coupons out there...if there are again - you can get cheap paper products!)

I see some good coupon match-ups out there!  I'll try to find Bargain Briana's Marsh ad match-up and post it here too - she always has great match-ups!

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

New blog to share... The Prudent Homemaker

As always, I click and click and click and have no clue how I got to where I go to but tonight I found this post about stockpiling.  Wow.  What an awesome story! 

And she shares what a well-stocked pantry looks like. 

This one is going on the favorites list - there is so much information here and not enough time to tonight to read it all.  There is a LOT of information here - I hope you can find some good out of it.  I know I will.

Week of 7/30 through week of 8/20 grocery budget

So I actually should have shared this sometime last week but I'm a bit behind on this.  I hadn't printed out my current budget sheet (which I keep in my checkbook) which means I hadn't taken last months out and gathered all my receipts together to share.  And I feel like I'm missing a trip - this just doesn't seem right for some reason.  I've gone through the history on the blog here though and looked through all of my receipts.  As far as I can tell - this is right.  Go us!

7/31 Kroger - 18.47, saved 32.74 (66%)
8/1 Marsh - 30.45, saved 13.03 (30%)
8/7 Walmart - 7.49, saved 6.00 (in coupons, clearance saved me 6.00 also) (?)
8/8 Marsh - 50.13, saved 14.80 (23%)
8/14 Walmart - 6.94, saved 6.04, (50%)
8/14 Marsh - 14.48, saved 1.89 (12%)
8/14 Walmart - 12.36, saved 1.01 (?)
8/15 Marsh - 62.25, saved 40.72 (40%)
8/22 Marsh - 84.14, saved 23.00 (22%)

Total spent for the month:  286.71
Total saved for the month:  145.49
Appx savings for the month:  34%

So - under budget (as far as I can tell) and pathetic savings - not a bad combo I guess!  Here's hoping for a better month this time around.

Monday, August 30, 2010

Weekly shopping at Marsh - not bad but not exactly good either.

We shopped kidless yesterday!  She's such a good shopper though, I actually kind of missed her.  She doesn't make us buy anymore (or spend any less).  Here's what we got:

2 Doritos was $7.98 for $3.99 (B1G1 FREE)
2 Wavy Lays was $7.98 for $4.00 (2/$4.00)
4 Food Club shredded cheese was $11.56 for $6.68
2 Lipton Rice and Beans was $2.60 for $1.98

We also bought garlic toast, taco season, sour cream, biscuits, lunch meat, yogurt, milk, buns, Coke Zero and fresh fruits and veggies.

Total spent: 52.28
Total saved: 25.98
Percent saved: 34%

And the Coke Zero killed us! It was on sale three 12pks for $10.98 which is something I'd NEVER pay. But on the end of each 12pk was a coupon that said $1.00 off Coke Zero. I read it and reread it... It seemed to good to be true. So I was going to get three 12pks for $7.98 which is pretty much my goal price ($2.50 or less per 12pk). BUT only one coupon worked (of the three) so I paid $9.98 for three 12pks which is normally what I'd pay for FOUR 12pks. Grrrrr. Next time I'm reading the coupon better!

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Not to Baby Step 7 yet, but I still enjoy giving.

So, one day last week at work a co-worker stopped by my desk and we got to talking about coupons (which is a joy for me!). She had questions about doubling and which stores in our town double and using multiple coupons (for multiple items). I tried to explain the P&G $.50 Crest coupons and how those coupons got me FREE Crest at Kroger in the week or two prior. She was pretty much shocked (and excited) that such transactions could be done and wanted to know more and about my Dave Ramsey journey but had to leave for an appointment.

Tuesday I found her in a work room loading a cart and decided to stop and ask her how she was doing. We got to talking again about coupons and then about Dave Ramsey and Brian and I's 12 months of working the "Dave Ramsey diet". I found out that she's had a rough go of things lately. I had heard bits and pieces here and there but had no clue all that she was facing (and still don't - but she did share a bit more with me than I had heard prior).

At that point I knew that one of the sets of books I had recently purchased from the Dave Ramsey Store was meant for her. When I purchase extra books I never have a set person in mind. I keep them in the basement until I hear someone's story and it lays on my heart that this one person is the person I should be helping.

And that is exactly how I felt after speaking with her Tuesday morning. I felt pressed to give her both a Total Money Makeover book and the TMMO workbook so that she too can know what peace and freedom Brian and I are experiencing (even with another year to go on our debt snowball).

When I went back to work after lunch, I took her these two books. I told her, "I buy these and keep them until I hear someone speak that needs them and I want to give these to you." She tried to say she'd give them back but I told her I wanted her to mark in USE the workbook and make it her read it at her pace and refer back to it again and again as needed on this journey.

It isn't an easy journey. It's hard. And it takes a lot of work. But you know what? The weight that has been lifted off Brian and I (in just the last 12 months, with another 12 months to go) has been exhilarating. We can breathe.

I had an email this morning from my co-worker. She said,
"I can’t begin to thank you enough. Your thoughts, kind words and compassion are amazing and an inspiration. I can’t wait to finally start that book tonight – this is one book I’m going to really take my time in reading and studying. I’m so encouraged and can’t wait to start seeing some changes. Once again... thank you."
And THAT is why I give these books away and share everything (openly and honestly) about what we've gone through, what we are doing and how we've done it. If you have any questions about how we've faced this journey, please ask. Comment here with your email address and I'll email you back or email me straight up at - I want to be able to help everyone feel the same sense of peace that Brian and I feel.

Record your Life - 10th grade was all about a PARTY!

Ahhhhh...10th grade. That was the year I turned 16 - and I got to have a P.A.R.T.Y! Now, don't get me wrong - I had always had birthday parties but this one...this year stands out.

I had a group of really, really close friends in high school. There were about 20 of us who hung out at school, after school, at work and on the weekends. Our parents all knew each other (well, everyone knew my parents - my dad is a teacher and my mom has worked for the schools for 20+ years) so many times you could come to our house and find a whole gaggle of teenagers hanging around. My parents always preferred us (my brother and I) to hang at home with our friends than be out running around.

So this year in particular, I was able to have an evening party at our house and everyone got to come over. By the end of the night there was a broken picture, blood (but not from the broken picture), trampled plants and newspaper EVERYWHERE. We also had some tears, a fight and a break-up/make-up too (we were 16 - remember!?).

The night started off innocently enough. I don't remember it really. I'm sure we ordered pizzas and had them delivered and ate cake and opened presents. I remember getting a leather jacket that I had been dying for from my parents. I still have many of the birthday cards my friends gave me from that year - a girl only turns 16 once you know! The excitement really began when my two girlfriends B and T showed up.

B has two little brothers. Apparently they had spent the whole week prior to my party tearing the daily newspaper up into tiny, itty-bitty confetti type pieces. There was a whole black trashbag FULL of newspaper confetti. I swear - it took both B and T to carry that bag into the house (and T was no wimp - she was a shot put and discus throwin' mama!). It was FULL. Like - if you moved it just a smidge the bag opened a bit and a little piece would flutter to the floor. FULL.

So these two girls showing up with this big bag of confetti made the party go from laid back and calm to crazy in about 10 minutes. L (a guy friend who I started school with in kingergarten) grabbed a handful of confetti and stuffed it down B's shirt. Then another friend grab another handful and put it down another friend's shirt. Well before too long there were piles of confetti on the blades of the ceiling fan and the fan got turned on. Those pieces landed in the food and drinks and in people's hair and just about everywhere else. At one point D picked up a handful to put down S's shirt and she took off sprinting for my bedroom. Well, my door was shut so she kept running down the hallway. She ended up in my parents room (hiding by the bed...which my dad was sprawled out on watching TV) and D just threw that handful towards S. My parent's bed, their floor and their dresser was covered in confetti. It ended up in the toilet. It ended up IN the floor vents. It ended up in my bedroom and my brother's bedroom (both doors closed). It was outside. It was inside. It was in our clothes, our hair, our mouths. It was a mess!!! It was so much fun though!

Later that night, L and D decided to have a wrestling match. It was all cool until L threw D over the back of the couch (which was a "wall" between the living room and dining room) and D's foot hit the wall as he fell over it and a picture fell off the wall, breaking the glass and causing a bunch of us to just about die laughing because just 10 seconds before everyone was all loud and rambunctious but in that second you could have heard a pin drop.

Also at the end of our street is a creek (the road ended in a cul-de-sac) and there was a pipe that crossed the creek. Several of the guys crossed it and a few of the girls too - one girl fell though on the little path to get there and split her knee open. I was thinking the worst and expecting a trip to the ER but my mom fixed her up with a butterfly Band-Aid and she was good to go.

After we got back to my house from crossing the creek pipe some of the guys were being dumb and kept trying to moon those of us inside the house from outside (through the big picture window). Little did they know they were trampling my dad's hostas under that window. Needless to say - that was probably the thing that upset my dad the most about everything!

And then of course there was the drama that always involved 16-year-olds. A break-up and a make-up. To be honest...I was excited about the break-up 'cause that boy was CUTE. But M and N made up before the night was over and I was happy really because N was a good friend and I hated to see her cry.

For the next ten years, if my parents moved furniture (or when they bought new furniture and moved the old out) there would be itty-bitty pieces of newspaper confetti hidden away somewhere that fluttered to the floor and reminded them of the craziest birthday party I ever had.

This is my twelfth post with Mommy's Piggy Tales recording my memories in just 15 weeks. If you're interested in doing the same for yourself, swing by her place to check it out!

Click here to read my post from last week, where my ninth grade memories are all about a boy.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Marsh ad highlights - 8/26 through 9/1

Marsh has got their Under a Dollar Event going on!  Lots and lots of items for $.99 (or less!).

Marsh hamburger or hot dog buns
Bar-S jumbo or bun length franks
Armour LunchMakers
Eckrich Loaf or sliced pepperoni
Betty Crocker potatoes or Suddenly Salad
Kraft Mac & Cheese - $.58
Bush's beans - $.79
Tommy Atkins mangoes
Food Club canned veggies - $.68
Lipton Sides
Hamburger Helper
Kool-Aid Bursts
Buddig chipped meats
El Monterey burritos or chimichangas
MaMa Rosa's deluxe or pepperoni pizzas
Fresh limes - 3/$.99
Red Roma tomatoes
Nestle or Skinny Cow - 1ct items
Propel Fitness water - $.79
Cousin Willie's microwave popcorn
Dole Pineapple or Tropical Fruit salad
Food Club marshmallows
Food Club pudding snacks - $.88
Food Club relish - $.98
Easy Mac or Velveeta
Frusion smoothies - $.88
V05 hair care - $.98
2-liter Pepsi

What else can you watch for?
40% off all Fresh Perdue chicken
Food Club cheese (slices, chunks or shredded) - $1.67
Hormel cooked ham (deli meat) - $3.99
Marsh milk - 2/$4
red or green seedless grapes - $.99/lb
Doritos - B1G1 FREE
6-pack Pepsi - 4/$8.88
Powerade - 10/$10
Aunt Millie's bread or buns - B1G1 FREE (free item must be same kind as purchased item)
Thomas' English Muffins - B1G1 FREE
Crystal Light mix - B1G1 FREE
Bounty and Charmin - $5.99

And that's about it for me.  Just like last week - I'm thinking there isn't too much exciting stuff going on this week but with my luck - I'll blow the budget.  Again.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Shout out for Mommy's Piggy Tales!

So, if you visit me regularly you've seen my posts on Thursdays recording my life with Mommy's Piggy Tales.  Well, each week she also features some of us who link up to her and this week - I was included!  What a rush. 

So what is this Record your Youth thing that Janna's got going on?  Check out this info here and if you're interested, get started on the next session which begins on October 7th.

For now though, you can keep checking back here to see how the last four weeks of my life unfold as I remember it.  For me it is getting easier and easier to remember things to share!  Remembering things from pre-school and kindergarten was a little difficult! 

Thanks again Janna for the shout out!

Monday, August 23, 2010

Weekly Marsh shopping was bad.

We completely blew the budget.  Completely!  And I thought for sure that we were going to be under budget.  Ugh.  We bought several items that weren't on sale (but we bought Food Club brand - we needed things like butter, sour cream, cheese slices, OJ, yogurt, cream cheese, and eggs).  We bought one item that had the tag listed as $1.77 but rang $2.99 (and I didn't go back because I was too tired to fight over $1.22).  And then I only had three coupons...

1 each Charmin and Bounty - $5.49 for each (used two coupons for these two items)
1 Aunt Millie's Slimwiches was $2.99 for $1.34 (this was the other item I had a coupon for)

And along with other items like cottage cheese, Pillsbury dough items (for two different meals this week), milk, western ribs, black beans, fresh fruits and veggies, lunch meat from the deli, some pasta salad and some Lipton soup onion mix (for meatloaf this week) and we spent $84.14 - almost $10 over budget!  Our savings were $23.00 or a measly 22% - sad, huh?

Here's hoping for a better week next week!

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Record your life - ninth grade was all about a boy...

Who at the time I thought I was gonna marry.

I know, right!?

Oddly enough - I saw that boy tonight, at a viewing for his aunt who had passed away this past Monday.  I hadn't actually seen him in at least five years.  It's probably even been more - I just know the last time I saw him I was at my previous job and I've been where I'm at now almost five years.

Anyways, this boy in ninth grade actually happened in the summer between eighth and ninth grade.  I was a band nerd (yep!) and started playing trumpet in sixth grade.  Every four years our high school band group went to Disney World at Christmas break to march in the New Years Day Parade (it was amazing!).  In order to save money up for that trip, we worked at our local newspaper stuffing the "guts" of the paper in (the ads and inserts).  We never actually received any money - we just tracked our time and the newspaper paid the money directly to the band director (well, probably a secretary but we never saw the cash).  We did this starting June that summer...because my class was going to get to go that Christmas!  So my freshman year of high school, I was able to go to Disney World with my fellow band mates (mostly my best friends!) and had an absolute blast.

So while working at the newspaper, I got to know some of the upperclassmen (they had to work too - I'm sure there was a certain requirement but then I think you could also go above and beyond to not have to pay any out of pocket).  One of the upperclassmen was a guy - C.  He was going to be a SENIOR.  Yeah, I thought I was hot stuff.

We got to know each other pretty well and by August that year (my freshman year, his senior) he asked me to be his girlfriend and gave me his class ring (which I think I wore more than he ever did!).  My parents weren't SUPER excited about it...he was 2 1/2 years older than me (I was an old one in my class and he was a young one) and he d.r.o.v.e.  A car.  Mmmhmmm.  It wasn't until I turned 15-years-old in November that they would let me ride with him...and then it wasn't to be outside of the town limits (which isn't very far).

We spent a lot of time together that year.  Because we were so involved with band - we spent the whole summer together (band camp you six hours a day - preparing for State Fair competition) and then into the fall was football games and then pep band through the winter for basketball.  Then spring rolled around and it was time for him to graduate. 

I'm sure at the time I was devastated.  I loved him (as much as a 15-year-old can love someone) and didn't want him to go away.  I don't remember now when we broke up for sure...  I know we dated through is first semester at ISU and maybe even that whole year and maybe even after that.  I think I'd have to go find my old diary to remember for sure.

Anyways - he was a great guy and today when I saw him...I didn't say a word to him.  See, he married this girl (sometime in the spring of 1995, which I only remember because when I went to his sister's graduation open house he "wasn't allowed" to talk to me) and well, she doesn't like me.  Not sure why but she doesn't.  So today at the funeral home I gave hugs to his sister (who was like a sister to me!) and his parents (whom I still love to pieces and even told them so) and kinda walked right past him.  It pretty much sucked.  We spent the better part of two years...probably even closer to three together. 

So ninth grade was all about C.  He meant the world to me!

This is my eleventh post with Mommy's Piggy Tales recording my memories in just 15 weeks. If you're interested in doing the same for yourself, swing by her place to check it out!

Click here to read my post from last week, where my eighth grade memories are about nothing!  Okay, so maybe nothing but it certainly wasn't much in the memory department!

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Marsh ad highlights - 8/19 to 8/25

Need some frozen stuff?  Check out Marsh's Frozen Food Sale!  Three days only...Thursday, Friday and Saturday you can get some great deals on frozen items like:

Marsh ice cream - $1.59
Food Club veggies - $.89
Tony's Original pizzas - $1.69 (use the in-ad coupon to get these for only $.99!) - read the details for more info!
Healthy Choice entrees - $1.79 (use the in-ad coupon to get these for only $.99!) - read the details for more info!
Ocean Eclipse seafood portions - $.89
Food Club garlic bread - $1.39
Hot or Lean Pockets - $1.69
Toaster Strudels - $1.49

Now - I'll admit I'm not sure if some of these prices are decent or not.  And there is a Limit 10 on each of the above items!
For the rest of the ad you can find things like:

Boneless English roast - $1.98/lb (save $2.51/lb)
5lb box Michigan Red Haven peaches - $3.99 (save $3.00)
Perdue whole chicken - $.87/lb (save $1.12/lb)
Libby's canned veggies - 2/$1
Nabisco Chips Ahoy! cookies - 2/$4
Bounty or Charmin - $5.99 (match with recent $.25 coupons from the August P&G insert for $5.49 final price)
Hershey's or Nesquik milk (look for Shamrock Farms too!) - 5/$5 (if you find the Shamrock Farms, match with recent $.50 coupons for FREE milk!)
Get a $10 Rebate Check by mail when you purchase any 10 Kelloggs, Keebler, Sunshine, Morningstar or Eggo products - see the ad for details.
Aunt Millie's bread or buns - $1.29
Aunt Millie's Slimwiches - $1.89 (yay!  LOVE these - match with recent $.55 coupons for $1.34 final price)
Orville Redenbacher popcorn - B1G1 FREE
Hostess Donettes - B1G1 FREE
Uncle Ben's Ready Rice - $1.99
Creamette pasta - 10/$10

Did I miss anything good!?

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

I was looking for a blog topic tonight...

and so I asked LeeAnn about money (and saving it).  Here's what she had to say:

What is money?
I don't know.
How do Mommy and Daddy spend money?
By saving.
What is a coupon?
Well, a coupon is some stuff that we cut that we buy stuff that we show on the list that is on sale.
Where is Mommy's favorite store to shop?
Grocery store.
What do you do when you get money?
Do you ever spend your money?
To buy toys and candy.
What else should I know about money?
Money is great to save. 
Because so we can save them so we can buy groceries and cars and trucks and toys and games and movies and coloring books and back packs and markers and crayons and pencils and paper doll toys.  That was a lot I said!Anything else I should know?
Um.  If something, or your house gets on fire - you just buy a new one. 
Anything else?
I want you to think about some stuff.

Ahhhhh - the brain workings of a four-and-a-half-year old!  I'd like to think that Brian and I do a pretty good job of talking about money with LeeAnn, but maybe there are some things we need to change. 

She is right that a coupon is something we cut and then use to make a list...sometimes, in order to get her excited about shopping (although she normally does just fine), I will take pictures (from an ad or from the coupon) and tape them to a paper and then list how many we need of each (she's been working on learning her numbers) and then she is in charge of those items at the store.  It does take us a little bit longer (she thinks she has to get EXACTLY what is on the pictures) but she thoroughly enjoys being in charge of the shopping for those items!

And she does save her money - every penny she gets goes into her piggy bank.  We do take some out on occasion to hit up the store with (or the garage sales).  And she's right - she usually buys a toy (but rarely candy...not sure where that came from!).  And she is certainly right that money is great to save!  As you can see - she is also on a school supply kick (although she got no new school supplies this year - she's just going to preschool).

As for the buy a new house after a fire...  We were just discussing this evening that we need to go through her toy room and weed out what she doesn't use.  Last fall - there was a fire at the home of a young girl we do Girl Scouts with and so we went through LeeAnn's clothes to give them some.  So now - whenever we discuss giving to someone in need, she correlates that to giving to someone who has had a fire.  I don't know exactly where she came up with buying a new house though.

So - I think for being 4 1/2 it's a good thing she doesn't think money grows on trees.  And saving money is good!

Monday, August 16, 2010

And we can't forget about Marsh - a quick trip and regular weekly shopping!

Saturday after work I swung by Marsh to see what meat was on sale, but after Brian working until 5am (Friday night shift...ended Saturday morning) and getting next to no sleep, he decided fried chicken from the deli was just as good.  I got fried chicken, pasta salad and a chef salad from the deli and a gallon of milk for $14.48, saving $1.89 or 12%.  This is just another reason to make me really want to try out e-mealz!

Our regular weekly shopping on Sunday went pretty well.

6 Mentos gum was $9.54 for $2.94
3 Barilla pastas was $4.29 for $3.00
9 Kellogg's cereal (Frosted Mini Wheats and Frosted Flakes) was $35.37 for $13.41 (plus am getting a $10 mail in rebate for purchasing 10 Kellogg's items)
2 Kellogg's Eggo waffles was $5.10 for $2.55 (B1G1 FREE)
2 Frank's hot sauce was $2.50 for -$1.00 (yep, got paid $.50 for each bottle)

And of course we got things like canned tuna, canned tomatoes (Red Gold 10/$10), yogurt, lunch meat, frozen corn, mac 'n' cheese, black beans, jelly, Food Club jalapeno dressing, taco seasoning, fresh fruits and veggies and more milk too. 

Of course, after so many trips to Walmart and Marsh already (and having had extra money from the last two weeks) we were down to just $62 in the grocery envelope.  I was actually kinda sweatin' it when we were checking out.  Our total? 


Yep, we had to dig a quarter out of Brian's pocket to finish out trip.

We saved:  $40.72 or 40% - not the best but honestly, better than I was expecting.

So I'm planning on setting back $15 from the next budget and getting a three-month subscription to e-mealz.  I'll let you know how it goes!

When there is pricing matching involved we head to Walmart

or Brian does for me.  Meijer had Post cereals - Cocoa Pebbles (and probably the other Pebbles cereals as well) for only $.99 for the 11oz boxes Saturday only this past weekend.  So Brian (being the awesome husband he is) hit up Walmart at 5:43am on Saturday morning (after working Friday night/Saturday morning) and got:

krab salad (?) for $2.98
4 Cocoa Pebbles was $10.00 (at Walmart price) for $3.96

Total spent:  6.94
Total saved (price matching):  $6.04
Percentage:  almost 50%

Second trip was me and three kids (I know...not my brightest moment) to get some more cereal, sadly they were out.  So we picked up dinner and dessert instead - popcorn chicken, General Tso's chicken, chicken strips and some mozzarella sticks from the deli and Edy's (price matched for $1.99 from Mejier) all for $12.36 - not our cheapest meal ever that's for sure but it saved me time and effort in the kitchen.

Usually I hate Walmart but sometimes it just fill the spot.

So many trips to the store this weekend!

Meijer had a one-day sale that I wanted to price match a few items on and we had regularly weekly shopping too...  Here come two posts (that include four trips) from just Saturday and Sunday!

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Record your life...eighth grade - must have been boring

because I've got NOTHING exciting.  There are a bunch of small things but nothing that really stands out.  The one memory that does stick actually happened the summer prior to eighth grade.

I was still very involved in Girl Scouts and that summer was able to take my first bus trip.  Juliette Low founded Girl Scouts in 1912 in Savannah, GA so as a Girl Scout the best place to go visit is where it all started.  When you fill a travel bus with a bunch of pre-teen and teen get a lot of noise and a lot of fun.

On this trip, we actually went to Space Camp in Alabama first (well, a shortened version of Space Camp) and then went over to Savannah. 

We were able to see the home where Juliette Low lived (and is now a museum) and visit places like Tybee Island and all the parks/cemeteries in Savannah that are just beautiful.

I made this trip a few more times and one of those trips sticks in my mind even more than this one does...but for eighth grade (or almost eighth grade) this is my big memory of that time.  Now...I've got some stories of the summer after my eighth grade year but I think I'll save those for next week!

This is my tenth post with Mommy's Piggy Tales recording my memories in just 15 weeks. If you're interested in doing the same for yourself, swing by her place to check it out!

Click here to read my post from last week, where my seventh grade memories are about becoming a teenager, being asthmatic and losing my grandpa to lung cancer.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Marsh ad highlights - 8/12 through 8/18

I'm looking forward to a few things at Marsh this week!
Whole seedless watermelons - $2.99
In-husk bi-color corn - 8/$2
Vine ripe or red roma tomatoes - $.99/lb (save up to $1.50/lb) - yay for pico!
Jumbo green bell peppers - $.69
Green beans - $.99/lb
Purple eggplant - $.99/lb

Center cut pork chops - $1.98/lb (save $2.01/lb)
Perdue split breasts - $.98/lb (save $2.31/lb) - limit three
Boneless chuck steak - $1.98/lb (save $2.41/lb)
Green or black seedless grapes - $.99/lb
Marsh 18ct large eggs - $1.48
Marsh gallon milk - 2/$4
Hostess snacks - $1.99 (save $2.00)
Sara Lee deli lunch meat - $5.99/lb (save $1.70/lb)
Sargento shredded cheese - 50% off
Red Gold tomatoes - 10/$10
Barilla pasta - 10/$10
Manwich - 10/$10
Betty Crocker cake mixes - 10/$10
Chef Boyardee pasta - 10/$10
Hunt's Snack Pack - 10/$10
Quaker rice cakes - 10/$10

Kelloggs, Keebler, Sunshine, MorningStar and Eggo products are ON SALE and you can get a $10 rebate check by mail when you purchase any ten items.  This usually nets me FREE Kellogg's cereals so make sure you read the details and purchase all 10 items in one transaction.

Peter Pan peanut butter - $1.49
Home Pride wheat bread - B1G1 FREE
Pampers baby wipes - $1.99 (and if there are any $2.00 coupons left out there - this would mean more FREE wipes!)
Del Monte Gold pineapple - $2.99

And that's it for me.  Happy shopping!

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

So the blog world is buzzing about Swagbucks right now...

Or at least the blog world I'm in is!  Money Saving Mom, Life as Mom and Bargain Briana have all blogged in the last few days about the Back to School promo Swag Bucks is pushing right now. 

Right now if you join Swag Bucks you'll earn 70 Swag Bucks right off the bat (instead of the normal 30).  What is Swag Bucks?  It is a search engine that "pays" you in Swag Bucks for doing searches, taking surveys, answering daily polls and sometimes just because.  These bucks can be saved to purchase things like gift cards or an iTunes gift card (along with a WHOLE LOTTA other stuff).

Just over the weekend I replaced the search bar on our Internet Explorer window with the Swag Bucks search bar and have earned 100 Swag Bucks just like that!

C'mon - what are you waiting for!?  Click here to get in on a great thing!  Any questions about it?  Let me know and I'll try to answer them for you.  The best way to find out about it is to just go and look it over.  Good luck!

Monday, August 9, 2010

I have NOT been feeling Marsh here lately.

Heck.  Who am I kidding?  I haven't been feeling any deals here lately.  No CVS, no Kroger (well on occasion).  I did hit up Walgreens last week but that's been about it.  We've got to Marsh with no plan, no coupons pulled, no nothing.  And it shows...

I didn't even get anything to really "brag" about.  Ugh.  We bought Marsh shredded cheese, fresh fruit and veggies, deli lunch meat, Cheddar Pasta salad (for the girl!), Mentos, pizza crust (and then remembered when we got home that our oven DOESN'T work), yogurt, baking potatoes, Kellogg's cereals, eggs, sour cream, milk and pork loin.

All said we spent $50.13 and saved $14.80 - a measly 23%.  See - there is something wrong with me!  e-mealz is looking better and better all the time - a menu plan already made up with the shopping list included?  Yeah - sounds like my kinda plan right now.

Quick trip to Walmart...

I had to get Brian some socks and weed killer (which came from different envelopes and there was no savings there, so no sharing on them).

I went for one other specific thing though - Crystal Light Pure Fitness flavored-water packets.  I had some $2.00 coupons from VocalPoint (thanks Jillian!!!) and wanted to use them before they expired on the 15th.

3 Pure Fit lemonade was $7.41 for $1.41

I also found some Take A Longs from Rubbermaid in the clearance section - five count bowls (and lids) for only $.50 - I think the original price was $2.24 (I don't remember).  But $.10 each for both that could be pitched at work (if needed) is a great deal.  I usually buy the cheapies at the $1 store and am happy to get them for $.25 each. 

So my total spent was $7.49 (also got buns and Kraft cheese - no coupons or match ups) and I saved $6.00 in coupons, plus the discount on the bowls (I'm guessing $1.75 each or $5.25).

Got a quick deal to share from Walgreens...

So I read this post about these awesome ideas for index card cases at Money Saving Mom last week and immediately ran to Walgreens to scoop up some of them!

10 index card cases @ $.39 = $3.90

I saved $8.00 and so far have only used three of them.  I turned one into my cash envelope for my purse.  I was going through a standard paper envelope in just a few weeks.  This thing is way better and I can separate my store cards and receipts and cash out!  Love it.

The other two I've started on some back-to-school emergency kits for LeeAnn's preschool teachers.  So far I have mini hand sanitizers (free from Bath and Body Works), some floss and a Blistex raspberry lemonade.  I plan on adding a small pack of gum, container of TicTacs, a finger nail file, some coins (for the Coke machine) and a flavored-water packet. 

I think I'm going to turn another into a mini first aid kit for my car (and one for Brian's truck) and the rest (for now) are going to hang until a brilliant idea strikes! 

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Record your life - seventh grade...I was a teenager!

Seventh grade. When I first started thinking about what I was going to share about seventh grade my mind was blank. I couldn't think of anything worth sharing. Then I remembered that was the year I turned 13 and the year I lost my grandpa to lung cancer and the year that I hyperventilated at a church camp outing. What a year!

The year started like any other. I was 12-years-old and liked a boy (which just so happened to be the boy from the prior best friend and the boy I "dated" off and on for the next eight years). I don't remember who asked who but we finally ended up being boyfriend and girlfriend again. And of much can you really be boyfriend and girlfriend in 7th grade? We held hands at football games and smooched behind closed doors (shhhh - don't tell my mom!). When I turned 13 on November 15th I didn't expect anything from my boyfriend. But when I unwrapped a gold bracelet with 13 C's and 13 hearts on it - I was so surprised! I still have that bracelet. It hangs in my jewelry box with the necklace he got me the next year (after we'd broken up and gotten back together).

He is one of those guys that will always have a little special place in my heart...when we went out for dinner last week we even reminisced some about things like meeting at the park between our two houses and going to the waterfall - we'd sit for hours on a stone wall and talk about school and our parents and our siblings (his older sister and my younger brother). The fact that I have known him all of his life (he's a month and four days younger than me) has created a very special bond between us.

In January of that year our youth group went on weekend camping trip. I wanted to go but then again I didn't. My mom and brother and I had been spending every weekend with my grandparents. My grandpa was battling lung cancer and we went every weekend to see him and to stay the night. I didn't want to miss a weekend with my grandpa but then again I didn't want to miss the camping trip either.

So I'm at this camping trip... I don't remember many details really - other than the fact that I thought I was going to die. As an asthmatic, I could come up tight-chested and wheezing just because. I could be watching TV and suddenly, I couldn't breathe. I remember the youth group leader (or maybe he was just a parent along for the trip) giving me a paper bag and breathing into it. I'm sure I had my inhaler with me (I still don't leave the house without it) but it just wasn't cutting it that night. I finally was able to get calmed down and breathe again. It was a bit scary there for a while though.

Shortly after that camping trip, we lost my grandpa to lung cancer. It was February 15, 1991 and it is a day I'll never forget. There at the end, my mom wouldn't allow my brother or I to go to the hospital. She wouldn't let us go into the funeral parlor for the family open casket time either. She wanted us to remember him how he was before he got sick. Sometimes now I forget how he looks...I have to find a picture to see him better. I don't remember how he smelled anymore either. He is one of the reasons I'm so involved with Relay for Life.

And the afternoon of the burial service...I just about had a heart attack. My grandpa was one of 14 kids - a huge family and the boys all looked the same. There were no twins, but they could all pass for each other. Actually, one of the stories goes that my grandpa and family went "home" to Kentucky (they moved to northern Indiana when my mom was in elementary school) and one of the brothers had moved and my grandpa didn't know the new address. So he stopped at the old neighbor's house, asking for his brother's new house. The people in the house gave him the information and as he turned to walk away, he could hear through the screen door, "Well that Belt is so drunk he doesn't even know where his new house is." My grandpa said it was the funniest thing ever...he didn't even go back to set them straight either.

Anyways, after the burial service and family dinner, all of the family went back to the house and were just spending time together. I walked into my grandparent's bedroom and there my grandpa sat at the end of the bed. I gasped out loud, turned white as a sheet and slowly turned to walk out (my brain was all fuzzy I couldn't think to even move my feet hardly). He said, "Casie, it's's me, Alton."

Whoa. Relief. It was my great-uncle Alton, one of my grandpa's "twin" brothers. That was one ghost-like experience I'll never forget.

This is my ninth post with Mommy's Piggy Tales recording my memories in just 15 weeks. If you're interested in doing the same for yourself, swing by her place to check it out!

Click here to read my post from last week, where my sixth grade memories are about growing up, Girl Scouts and puppy love.

Kroger ad highlights - 8/5 through 8/9

Well, I'm thinking the four-day sale at Kroger is going to be a GOOD one when coupon match-ups are figured out. Thursday, August 5th through Sunday, August 8th select General Mills and Quaker products are on sale for 50% off. That's my goal price a lot of times...matched up with coupons - this could be a real nice deal.

They also have some good Back to School savings.
Crayola crayons - $.25
Office Works pencils (10ct) - $.50
Top Flight filler paper (150ct) - $.75
Crayola Classic markers (10ct) - $1.00
Top Flight notebook (70 sheets) - $.15
Oxford Portfolio (two pocket) - $.15
Top Flight (80ct) - 10/$10
Bic Cristal pens - $.79
Crayola colored pencils (12ct) - $1.50

I'm not sure how it compares to other stores sales but Kerri over at Save at Home Mommy has a comparison chart to make it easier to find the best savings!
As for the rest of the ad (and the rest of the week):
California seedless grapes - $.88/lb
Pork spareribs - $1.47/lb
Lay's - $1.98
Kraft singles - $1.79
Kroger cheese - 2/$3
Kroger frozen veggies - 10/$10
P&G items - mix and match and four items and save $4.00 - you can get FREE Gillette body wash with this sale!
Boneless pork sirloin chops or roasts - $1.79/lb
Oscar Mayer wieners or franks - B1G1 FREE

If you get any good General Mills or Quaker deals - do share!

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Marsh ad highlights - 8/5 through 8/9

I was so excited to see pork loin on sale at Marsh I sent Brian a message as soon as I saw it!  He's just as pumped as I am.  What else can you look for this week?

Whole boneless center cut pork loin - $1.77/lb (save $2.22/lb)
Tyson frozen boneless/skinless chicken breasts - B1G1 FREE (save $8.99 on two)
5lb box peaches - $2.99 (save $4.00)
In-husk bi-color corn - $.25/ear (save $.25/ear)
Eckrich smoked sausage - $1.88 (save $2.01)Tennessee Pride roll sausage - $1.98 (save $2.01)
Red, yellow or orange bell peppers - 5/$5 (save $4.95 on five)
Boneless rump or round roast - $1.98/lb (save $2.21/lb)
T-bone steaks - $5.98/lb (save $6.01/lb)
2lb strawberries - $2.98 (save $2.91)
Aunt Millie's - 10/$10 (save $14.90 or more on ten)
Jumbo bunch broccoli - $1.48 (save $.71)
General Mills cereals - $1.99 (when you buy four)
Food Club cheese - $1.68
Oscar Mayer truckload sale - lots of Oscar Mayer products on sale
Land O' Frost lunch meats - B1G1 FREE
Kellogg's Mega Sale - buy six items, save $3 (Keebler Zesta saltines or Cheez-Its - $1.49 final price; Kellogg's or Keebler's treats - $1.99 final price)
Kraft salad dressing - $1.79
Taco Bell or Don Pancho - 25% off
Crystal Light - B1G1 FREE
Rice A Roni - 10/$10
Hunt's pasta sauce - 10/$10
Ken's marinades or salad dressings - B1G1 FREE
2-liter Pepsi - $.86 (buy four get two FREE)
Red seedless or globe grapes - $1.69/lb

LOTS of good stuff...lots of stuff that will match up with coupons.  This could be a really, really good week for some of us!

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Found another blog I like! I had to share...

As always, I will click through and click through and click through on blogs and then suddenly I land on one I really like and I have no idea how I got there.

Budgets are the New Black is another website just like that.  The blog says they are, "striving to live a debt-free, credit-free, clutter-free life.  (One day at a time.)

They have a great page that is quotes and verses about money.

They also have a great page that links to others on the debt-free journey through life.

All-in-all, Budgets are the New Black is a good blog I think!

Booking It update - my last couple of weeks...

So I put down The Stormchasers in a matter of days. Mmmm...maybe more like a few hours (spread over three days).  If I could have just sat down and read is one that would have gone down in just one day's time.  It was GOOD.

The Stormchasers was written by Jenna Blum.  The reviews of her other books were glowing and this book deserves just as many positive accolades!  A book about twins, the incredible bond between them and what happens when life separates them - this book was amazing.  I know some twins (well, went to school with some twins) but don't KNOW know any twins.  I've always imagined that the "twindar" that Karena experiences with Charles is a real knowledge and that having that built in best friend would lead to an amazing relationship between two siblings. 

If you're looking for a good read, I'd highly recommend this.  If you're interested in Mother Nature, storms and weather then this will be a definite treat for you.

Another book I picked up is Good Grief by Lolly Winston.  Part of my current job requires me to visit competitor's websites, gather some information and then send that information out to others I work with.  In the process of sending this info out, I like to include a quote or "didyaknow" fact or something and last week I shared a quote about reading, "Charlie "Tremendous" Jones said, "You are the same today as you'll be in five years except for two things: the books you read and the people you meet" (from Dave Ramsey's website).

So anyways, in this process one of my co-workers said, if you like reading then you need to read the book Good Grief.  So I picked it up that night.  It has been a very good read.  When thirty-six-year-old Sophie Stanton finds herself widowed, she realizes she is more losing it than being a graceful widow (like Jackie Kennedy was and like she wants to be).

Some of the scenes hurt my heart.  I sit and could I function if I lost Brian?  How could I get up and make it to work (which Sophie does one her robe!) or take care of myself (which Sophie does...eating ice cream for breakfast and over-medicating on tranquilizers) or any of that.  I think about my cousin who, with a one-week-old daughter, lost her husband while he was playing softball.  He was 32-years-old.  And she was alone...a widow at a young age with a newborn daughter too.  How does one function?  How does one get by?

Part funny and part solemn, this book has made me laugh and cry.  I haven't quite finished it yet but will probably do so tonight or tomorrow and I can't wait to see how Sophie gets herself pulled together (if she even does!).

And next on my list...the very personal Captivating by John and Stasi Edwards.  This will not be an easy read for me, I'm sure.  This one is going to involve some soul searching.  I hope to be back next week with a good report on it.

For now...happy reading!

Monday, August 2, 2010

And our regular weekly Marsh trip

was almost a bust.  Brian still isn't feeling well (going on day 11 now) and there just wasn't much that I even wanted sale wise.  I was going to buy some boneless, skinless chicken breasts, pound them thinner (because they are so thick) and then freeze in baggies with marinade but Brian thought that'd be a bad idea.  I didn't want to tell him, "the girls on the Internet do it" because then he'd just roll his eyes at me.  So we got some basics and few other things...

2 gallons Marsh milk was $5.38 for $4.00
4 Knorr rice products was $5.20 for $3.00
1 Vlasic dill pickle for $2.50
2 Ragu pasta sauces was $5.56 for $3.70
1 Aunt Millie bread was $2.99 for $1.70

Along with orange juice, sour cream, canned pineapple, bananas, canned veggies, 2ct Sharpie marker (1/2 price) and some Bounty paper towel (used rain check and coupon to get 8roll pack for only $4.99) and spent a total of $30.45.  We saved $13.03 or 30% all together - this does not include the savings on the paper towel though because Marsh rings rain checks funky).

And once again - it is times like these I am SO thankful for our stockpile.

A quick trip into Kroger on Saturday

saved me a bundle of money!
4 40ct Tampax was $29.36 for $15.96
4 Gillette body wash was $17.16 for $-.04 (yep, got paid $.04 to buy the Gillette)
1 Crest toothpaste was $2.39 for $.25

Total paid:  $18.47
Total saved:  $32.74
Percentage saved:  66%

And the body wash and toothpaste are going into the 'giveaway' box.  You can't beat giving away free things!

Sunday, August 1, 2010

The final budget update - 12 months of hard work!

A few days ago I posted about how far we'd come in getting our debt paid down.

So here is the final listing of balances for the last twelve months (and this is just consumer mortgage in these figures):
09/09: $22058.63
10/09: $26704.15
11/09: $25712.43
12/09: $24485.66
01/10: $24658.07
02/10: $23569.55
03/10: $22456.59
04/10: $21101.42
05/10: $19588.84
06/10: $18856.25
07/10: $17591.38
08/10: $17077.91
09/10: $16202.50

So from high point to low point, we've paid off $10501.65 - a LOT of debt (and a lot of worry and angst gone too).  BUT just one month prior to tracking all this - we still owned a motorcycle.  It was Brian's "other woman" and he loved that bike.  It was a Suzuki Boulevard M109R and we owed probably $10K on it.  In a matter of a few hours, Brian decided to put it on Craigslist, listed it, got some interested buyers and it was sold less than 24 hours later.  Brian has said that if he hadn't gone so quickly he might have never sold it.  But that huge step for him lopped $10K off our debt almost immediately.  So, let's look at that as more like $20K that's GONE forever.

Plus...we've paid CASH for things like:
Dr Johnson - $1000.00
St Vincent - $521.48
Arnett - $389.40
LeeAnn's dance lessons - $285.00
Clarian Arnett - $782.04
roof repair - $800 (appx)
Brian's short term disability (had to use some extra cash to "make up" his paychecks) - $200.00
Giving to someone who really needed it - $162.80
Witham Hospital - $212.77
Burgett Eye Care - $90.00
St Vincent Physicians - $50
St Vincent - $73.14
Anesthesia of Indy - $91.83
Johnson and Deitch - $247.39
Creekside OB/GYN - $25.60

Which totals up to $4931.85 - another LARGE chunk of cash.  Depending on how you look at it (I look at it without the motorcycle debt - it was gone before I started tracking), we've paid off and paid in cash $15433.50- plus we saved (and still have) the $1000 baby emergency fund when we first started. 

Now, there could be some miscalculations - I could have added one thing too many (although I tried very hard not too) or not added enough (which I don't think I've missed anything) but really?  Really!?  Just over $15K in 12 months?  That's like 1/4 of our income! 

It couldn't have been done without the knowledge we learned in our Financial Peace University class (if you haven't taken one - do it!), the committment that we made to each other and ourselves and a lot of hard work (both actually at work and at home). 

Want to know how we did it?  Let me know - I'd be glad to share our story!

Saturday, July 31, 2010

Week of 7/2 through week of 7/23 grocery budget

We had done really well early in the month when it comes to the budget!  And then right at the end any of the extra money I had - I blew it.  It's been 12 months we've been doing this and I think only twice have we not blown the monthly budget.  Ugh.  I've GOT to quit that or we're going to need to raise the monthly grocery budget to reflect the fact that we are spending more than what we say.  Here it is for this month:

7/3 Marsh - 1.59, saved 0.00
7/3 Marsh - 70.71, saved 63.34 (47%)
7/11 Marsh - 53.05, saved 36.18 (41%)
7/11 Walmart - 3.18, saved 0.00
7/13 Walmart - 13.31, saved 0.00
7/18 Walmart - 30.98, saved 13.30 (?)
7/18 Marsh - 50.91, saved 41.30(45%)
7/24 Kroger - 16.64, saved 44.79 (72%)
7/24 Marsh - 15.14, saved 12.59 (45%)
7/25 Marsh - 82.72, saved 46.16 (36%)

Our total spent was $338.23 and the total saved was $257.66, which is about 46% savings total for the month.  So yes, spending $338 is better than the $595 it could have been but really...if the budget is $300 for the month then I REALLY need to stick to it.  And it's me!  I know it's me.  There are some deals that I think I just can't pass up (like the $16.64 @ Kroger last Saturday - we could have gotten away with none of that).  Or the fact that I decided (on a whim) to host Christmas in July and spent an extra $19.22 - so just those two things together would have been enough to take it down to $300 (well almost...just $3 shy of that mark).  But the stuff I'm giving away from Kroger (which was actually the FREE stuff) and hosting Christmas dinner was very worth it to once again, we blew budget (by $38.23) and I'm okay with (well, mostly).

Friday, July 30, 2010

Overdraft (not so pretty) opinion.

As a bank employee I've heard a LOT about the opt-in/opt-out regulation change that is happening at banks and credit unions across the county. Now I don't claim to know it all and when I find an article online about the whole thing I like to read it.

So I was reading this article on MSNBC today and agreed with a lot of what the writer put. I do think some of the ads and notices are confusing but this is a confusing regulation. I also agree that people are paying CRAZY amounts of money (overdraft fees) for a small purchase (that $1.50 Coke might end up costing you $31.50 if you don't have the money).

All in all, the article (I thought) was a good article that had good points and made the issues a little more clearer than mud. The part that really got me was one of the comments.  Jei from Ohio posts,

"... Having linked savings accounts is probably the safest (less expensive) way to protect your debit account, but you have to have money in savings for it to be effective --- that means being responsible and actually saving a bit of money every so often. There is no easy or direct solution to this debacle...unless you're wealth or just simply have the funds to cover all your purchases. Hopefully, this mess will convince more people to be a lot more aware of their daily account balances and be more active in balancing their account based on the expenses they know they have."
Really? No easy solution? You don't have to be wealthy to avoid this issue. SIMPLY HAVE THE FUNDS TO COVER ALL YOUR PURCHASES. It's THAT easy. Seriously. If you don't have the money in your account, why spend it? And what if you don't know what is in your account? KEEP TRACK. I see so many people who spend hundreds of dollars each month in fees and then complain that they don't have any money. If they would just quit spending what they don't have - they would have that much more! I don't understand how that is so hard to see.

Maybe it's harder than I think to keep money in an account. But I've done it for YEARS and never had an issue. I do have my savings account linked to my checking (in case of an addition or subtraction error or an error on the part of the bank or a business) but that's for emergencies. I don't depend on that to keep me afloat - which is seems is what a lot of people seem to do with overdraft protection.  And I did this all before I learned everything I know now from Dave Ramsey.

So what's my suggestion? Don't spend more than you've got. And if you do (accidentally or intentionally) - use a savings tied to your checking (and keep money in the savings!) to keep yourself from being hit with huge fees from the bank.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Kroger ad highlights - well, a couple things at least - 7/29 to 8/4

You can get free Crest and Suave deodorant at Kroger again this week!

Crest toothpaste (select varieties, 6.4oz) - 10/$10
Suave deodorant (select varieties, 1.4 - 2.45oz) - 10/$10

There were recent coupons out for both of these items which will make them free.  If I can find which inserts they were in, I'll edit to add that info.

And I *think* you might be able to get free Gillette body wash too. I think I saw a $4 off two coupon (I'll have to look through my coupons again) and if you have two of those coupons, buy four body wash - FREE body wash for you!

There were some other 10/$10 items and P&G items in the buy four items, save $4 sale but nothing that really jumped out and grabbed me as a great deal.  Oh wait - Kraft cheese slices are $1.79...not the best price ever but better than full price.

Happy shopping!

Record your life - sixth grade growing up

So in sixth grade I became a woman. HA! I still consider myself a kid sometimes. But lovely Mother Nature did bless me with monthly visits beginning in October of sixth grade. It was mortifying! I knew it was coming. My parents were very good about the whole birds and the bees thing so it wasn't the shock of it actually happening. It just so happened that my mom never needed feminine type products (she'd had a hysterectomy when I was in second grade) so there was nothing in the house for me to use. And on top of all that - my mom wasn't even home! So I sat crying in the bathroom, waiting for my dad to get me something from the store. Ahhhhh... Nice huh? Oh well. I suppose it could have been worse.

Sixth grade is also the first year that I got to go to the Mall Lock-In for Girl Scouts. I had joined Girl Scouts in first grade and was still going strong in sixth grade. Our troop was very active and our council hosted a lot of events to keep us busy as well. In the last two years we had dreamed about being able to go to the Mall Lock-In! It is exactly what is sounds like...we were locked in the mall - overnight! Several stores stayed open late (or opened very early) and food places like Luca Pizza di Roma and Burger King stayed open all night and Cinnabon opened extra early (mmmmm...cinnamon rolls!).

We did crazy things like a lip syncing contest (which in 80's was awesome!) and had makeovers at the make-up counters. There was music and games and shopping. We ran around all night in our socked feet visiting other troops (this was a council wide event...we're talking 500+ girls!) and meeting new people.

I don't remember any specifics of that first Mall Lock-In. I'm sure we had a great time and slept very little (if at all). I do know that for the next four years we went every October to be locked in the mall and one year I even had the winning design for the t-shirt (which if you were ever a Girl Scout - you know you get a t-shirt for every trip/event you attend). That t-shirt, well the front of it at least, is now on my Girl Scout T-shirt Quilt that my mom made for me when I graduated from high school.

And the best part of sixth grade - I got my first boyfriend. *swoon* Puppy love at its finest. We had been friends for many, many years and thought it sounded like a good idea (and it was). We decided though that we were better off friends...after just a few weeks...and my heart was broken. I think we were boyfriend and girlfriend at least once a year for the next six years though. We still talk today and I've often told people that I think when we're old and grayed and I'm widowed and he's a widower we'll find each other again and finally make it work out.

This is my eighth post with Mommy's Piggy Tales recording my memories in just 15 weeks. If you're interested in doing the same for yourself, swing by her place to check it out!

Click here to read my post from last week, where my fifth grade memories are about some drama.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Marsh ad highlights - 7/29 to 8/4

Marsh is getting on the Back to School bandwagon! They've got a few school supplies on sale as well as some lunchbox type food items. I don't think any of them are spectacular prices. They are also pushing their Fresh Ideas for Education though! If you don't know about FIE or don't participate - you should! All you have to do is use your Fresh Idea card and money goes to your school (you do have to sign-up at Marsh and click on the Fresh Ideas for Education link and follow the steps there). Once you've done that though - your school (or a local school of your choice) will start benefiting.

On sale this week:
Perdue boneless/skinless chicken breasts - $1.98/lb (save $2.51/lb)
Assorted pork chops - $.98/lb (save $1.51/lb)
Vine ripe tomatoes - $.98/lb (save $2.01/lb)
Seedless green or black grapes - $.98/lb (save $1.01/lb)
Marsh gallon milk - 2/$4
Marsh or Breyers ice cream - $2.48 (save $2.41 or more)
2-Liter Pepsi - $.86 (buy four, get 2 free)
Eckrich honey, olive, pickle & pimento or old-fashioned loaf - $.98 (save $2.01)
Oscar Mayer bologna - B1G1 FREE
Sara Lee chicken breast - $5.99/lb (save $1.70/lb)
Eckrich ham - $3.99/lb (save $2.00/lb)
Dean's chug - 10/$10
Aunt Millie's Hearth buns - B1G1 FREE
Brownberry wide pan bread - B1G1 FREE
General Mills cereals - $1.99 (when you buy two)
Powerade - 10/$10 and get five free when you buy 10
Wonder buns - 10/$10
Dole fruit - 10/$10
Wish-Bone dressing - $1.79 (match with recent $.40 coupons for $.99 final price)
Blistex Fruit Smoothies 3-ct lip balm - 10/$10 (save $1.99 each) - and these might be good for Operation Christmas Child boxes too

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Another Booking It 2010 update...

I went to my books read Excel spreadsheet last night (yes I keep a spreadsheet of books I read) to record The Contemplative Mom and realized I hadn't shared about the previous five books I read.  So here's an update on those books (which I read end of June'ish through mid-July'ish)...

Moment of Weakness by Karen Kingsbury and Halfway to Forever by Karen Kingsbury
These two books follow up the mini-series Forever Faithful.  The first of the three books was Waiting for Morning which I had read (and reviewed) just a few weeks prior.  These two books included the same characters that we saw in the first book, well the first book introduced new characters and then the third book tied the couple from Waiting for Morning and Moment of Weakness together as friends who are all working towards the same cause - religious freedom.  These three books were quick, easy and enjoyable reads.  If you're a Karen Kingsbury fan - be sure to pick these up!

Roses are Red by James Patterson
In the 6th book in the Alex Cross series, James Patterson does NOT let you down.  The Mastermind, a crazy intelligent fellow, is robbing banks around the East coast.  As always, edge of your seat is the best way to describe a Patterson novel.  I've read every one of these books before and still - I'm biting my nails and can't put the book down until the very last page.  And this one...this one made me want to curse at the end!  I was so frustrated with the very last sentence.  I can't wait to get into the next one...Violets are Blue.

The $5 Dinner Mom by Erin Chase
This is the book I was looking for when I found The Contemplative Mom by Ann Kroeker.  I knew that there was some "mom" cookbook out there and couldn't remember the full title so I just searched "mom" on the online card catalog.  I found it!  This book was an easy read and after couponing and bargain shopping for over two years now - this one didn't really teach me any new tricks.  Once I got to the recipes I just flipped through to read the frugal facts - still nothing shocking.  It was an okay read - if someone is just starting out...this would probably be a great book to check out!

Not My Daughter by Barbara Delinsky
At the suggestion of a co-worker, I picked this book up one day.  And I finished it that night.  Yeah - I tend to do that sometimes.  Once again - I stayed up WAY TOO LATE reading a good book.  It was well worth it.  This one is about a mom who is a principal at the local (small town, everyone knows everyone's business) high school who happened to have her daughter at 17-years-old.  And then a pregnancy pact happens.  Three girls (the principals daughter and her two best friends...who just happen to be daughters of the mom's best friends) get pregnant on purpose - not realizing the impact that choice will have on not only their lives but their mom's lives as well.  A very good read, it was quick and I didn't want to stop - I had to know how it ended.

And tonight I hit the library up and got Stormchasers by Jenna Blum, Captivating (both the book and workbook) by John and Stasi Eldridge (same guy who wrote Wild at Heart - from the Dave Ramsey recommended reading list) and Good Grief by Lolly Winston on the suggestion of another co-worker who said it was a good fluff summer read.

I'll be back soon to share these new books I've grabbed.  I'm sure I'll have something good to share!

Monday, July 26, 2010

Booking It 2010 update - The Contemplative Mom by Ann Kroeker

So, this book crossed my path when I was looking for the $5 Dinner Mom book on the public library's online card catalogue. I couldn't remember the name of the other book so I just searched "mom" and a whole list of books came up. I'm not sure where The Contemplative Mom was in the list but I decided to get it the next time I was in. This is written by Ann Kroeker and she's an Indiana girl too.

The first page that really struck me was page four! Kroeker is talking about how having a relationship with God is lacking - if it happens it isn't what you're looking for or maybe it gets passed by completely. "Or perhaps we want to be closer to God - we really want to - and just can't figure out how." Yeah - that's me. I WANT something more - I'm not sure how to get there. This book though has set me on a path to change that.

And then she listed my favorite verse...
"Be still, and know that I am God."  (Psalm 46:10)
A few weeks ago the leader of our praise team sang a song, "Still" by Hillsong and it struck a cord with me that was amazing.  The song brought me to tears (and does every time I hear it).  So with that song still in my heart, I read that verse and knew that this book was speaking to me!  I struggle daily, hourly to have the relationship that I want with God.  I want more than what I have and this book has set me on the path to make it better.

It took me two weeks to read this book.  I could only read a few pages at a time as I had to sit and let what Kroeker said soak in and really mean something to me. She gave me so many ideas though - I'm putting that verse into a frame to set beside my bed so every morning when I wake up, that is what I see.  I'm going to start a journal - that I can write it daily wherever I am to God to tell him what I'm thinking and feeling.  I'm going to create an Ebenezer jar as a memorial to God's work in my life and my family's life. 

And for now - that is all I'm doing.  These few things are what Kroeker suggested trying in just the first half of the book.  I can't do it all at once and if I try to, I know I'll fail.  This is another one of those books that I want to buy so I can mark it up and takes notes and refer back to it as often as I want.  This is going on my "list of books I want to buy" so when my birthday or Christmas rolls around, I can give a list to Brian so he has it easy. 

With a lot of determination and dedication I'm going to walk more closely with God throughout my life.

And just to keep what I track up to date...

Walmart (from a couple weeks ago - Brian had the receipt)

3 California Kitchen pizzas for $6.00
trashbags for $2.47
potatoes for $3.08
And two items that I'm not sure what they are... for $.82 and $.68 - nothing fancy that's for sure!

Total spent was $13.31

Weekly shopping at Marsh (plus a quick trip on Saturday too)

Saturday I stopped by Marsh on my way home to get some ground chuck.  We had some at home in the freezer but I was hungry, Brian wasn't feeling well and I didn't want to take the time to thaw what we had.  Since it was on sale (at my ideal price) I went ahead and stopped to get some fresh.  I also had to grab a few limes for our homemade pico de gallo (yum!).

4 pkgs ground chuck at $1.68/lb - $13.14
limes - $2.00

Total spent was $15.14 and I saved $12.59 or 45%.

And then on Sunday after church, I went with LeeAnn (Brian still wasn't feel well!) to get our regular groceries plus a few things we needed for our Christmas in July dinner. 

4 12pks Mt Dew Code Red was $20.36 for $10.00
2 Wavy Lays was $7.98 for $3.99
4 Creamette pastas was $6.76 for $4.00
6 pkgs ground chuck at $1.68/lb - $10.95
2 pkgs chuck steak at $1.98/lb - $5.56
1 Hormel pork roast was $5.99 for $2.99

sugar - $3.15
bag of ice - $1.89
rice - $ 2.19
minced onions - $4.29
french fried onions - $4.39
Jiffy corn mix - $.44
red bell pepper - $1.88
Marsh bread - $.99
(all for the Christmas dinner I prepared yesterday - $19.22)

Fresh fruits and veggies, bread, buns, milk, eggs, cheddar pasta salad (of course!) and lunch meat made up  the rest of the trip.  Total spent was $82.72 and I saved $46.16 or 36%. 

If you add up these two trips, plus my Kroger trip from Saturday - you'll see I went over budget.  Part of that was because I'd had leftover money from the last two weeks but then after yesterday's trip to Marsh - I still went over by about $10.  Not exactly what I wanted to do to myself but we had such a good dinner last night - I'm way okay with it.

I hadn't planned on hitting up Kroger this week...

and then I saw the vlog that Money Saving Mom shared about her trip to her Kroger affiliated store (Dillion's maybe?).  When I saw she got free toothpaste and deodorant I decided I'd better check my coupons!

So here is what I was able to get:
3 StarKist tuna pouches was $4.77 for $2.00
2 Suave deodorants was $4.12 for FREE (thanks to MoneySavingMom for the tip on this!)
4 Kraft mayo was $16.36 for $3.76
3 Crest toothpaste was $7.17 for $.50 (thanks to MSM for this tip too!)
1 Welch's juice was $4.99 for $1.74
1 Mentos gum was $1.59 for -$.05 (yep - got paid to buy the Mentos - yay!)
2 Pasta Roni was $3.24 for $1.58
3 Eckrich sausage was $14.97 for $3.39

And I grabbed a can of mushroom soup and pie crusts for our Christmas in July dinner. I spent $16.64 and saved $44.79 or 72% - not too shabby in my opinion! And I use neither Crest nor Suave so I'm taking those to church next week to be given to someone who needs it. Everything else has been put away in the pantry for another day.

Oh and I completely spaced the foil pans!  I was so mad at myself when I got home and realized I had missed them.  BUT I work in Lebanon on Wednesday (which is where the closest Kroger is) and I might just head over there to see what I can find in the foil pans.


So I mentioned earlier that Life as Mom is hosting Christmas in July over at her place...  She is sharing all sorts of great ideas on how to save for Christmas, gift ideas and is hosting daily giveaways.  I stopped in just a bit ago to see what she had up today - budgeting tools from Dave Ramsey.

We are die hard Dave fans at our house.  I read his Total Money Makeover book last summer and then together Brian and I went through Financial Peace University last fall.  Making a budget and paying cash has TOTALLY changed the way we work.  Brian and I have never been fighters...but talking about money was never easy.  I hated to pay bills - there was never enough money to get it done.  The money ran out way before the end of the month did.

Anyways, as I'm reading through the comments on this budget tools giveaway - so many people are commenting on the fact that they are struggling and want to get straight.  It makes me hurt to see so many people be where we were just 12 months ago.  I want to send every single one of these people a free copy of Total Money Makeover.  I actually tried to follow through to one girl's blog but the link wasn't right and it said it wasn't a valid blog.  I was really going to approach her about sending her a copy of the book.

I don't currently have any here...but have purchased some before to give away - to friends who I've heard mention of money struggles.  Some people are still struggling...some though have jumped on board just as gung-ho about it as we are.

If you're reading this and you're struggling to make ends meet...your money is never enough and you wish you had more - please read Dave Ramsey's Total Money Makeover.  It will seriously revolutionize your life and your finances.  It is a very easy read and very easy steps.  If you have questions, please ask me.  I don't claim to know it all but I sure don't mind sharing what I've learned along the way.  I'll even send you a copy of the Excel spreadsheet I use to plan my monthly budget.  I would love to help everyone get some peace when it comes to money.