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Got Wii?

Grandpa Playing isn't just for the kids!

If you are in need of a Wii, check out this giveaway. If you aren't, check out her website. She posts great deals on natural items.

6 boxes Green Giant Chopped Spinach
1 pkg Betty Crocker Warm Delights mini
2 pouches Idahoan Potatoes
2 cans Dole Pineapple Tidbits

Total Before Sales and Coupons: 22.94
Savings: 17.38
Total After Sales and Coupons: 5.56 (78% Savings)
I had coupons for everything I bought. I had printable coupons for everything. (I also used one e-coupon that had previously been saved to my KrogerPlus card.)

I have a confession to make. I have been adding a new store to my docket for that last three weeks. I started off slow with just a few items that were on sale to see how it works. You know what - I love this store. It is a near perfect experience every time I walk into the doors. The sales clerks are nice and never bat an eye at my coupons. The stockers are TREMENDOUSLY helpful. Each week, there has been something on my list not out on the shelves. Each time I inquired with an employee about the item. You know what happened - they were friendly, apologetic, and super nice. But the real kicker is this...they went to FIND the item for me. Gasp! This almost never happens at the SuperCenter that I shopped at before I started couponing. The store? Publix.

Here's another reason to love Publix.

8 boxes of Celestial Seasonings Green Tea (decaf)
3 boxes of Lipton tea
4 bags of Green Giant Steamers Broccoli/Cheese
2 bags of Green Giant Steamers Corn
2 boxes of Chungs Egg Rolls
1 box of Chungs Mini-Egg Rolls
3 pkgs of Musselman's Natural Apple Sauce

Total Before Sales and Coupons: 70.62
Savings (Sales and Coupons): 54.98
Total after Sales/Coupons: 15.64 ( 78% Savings)

I had coupons for all but one item in my cart. Some were printable. Some were from the Sunday paper. I am looking forward to learning more about how to get the best deals at Publix.

Here are a couple of cute videos of my boys singing from Summer 2008. We were on our way home from Huntsville Int'l Airport's Airshow. We are actually watching the Blue Angels perform as we are driving out of the airport. The boys thought we needed music to go with the planes. I love how they try to harmonize.

(In these videos, Bitty is just over 2 years old. The Boy is just a tad over 5 years old.)


PS. If you are not related to them, these might not be as good. :) But I am, and I crack up every time I watch them.

(Sorry for the spacing issues. I am having trouble getting Blogger to do what I command.)

Have you joined yet?

You can collect points on different Coke products. A 20 oz bottle of Diet Coke is worth 3 points. A 12 pack of Sprite is worth 10 points. You get the drift.

Well, we have been collecting points for awhile. This week, I cashed in most of our points on two purchases. I never had to leave my house! Both will be delivered to my door in a week or less.

Here are the deals:

1) Free 8X11 Photobooks with leather cover from Snapfish.

Photobook Credit = 285 pts

4 Photobook Credits = 1140 pts

Snapfish was having a free shipping sale during the week of Labor Day. I began working on my photobooks. I did not finish even one by the end of the original sale. Luckily, Snapfish extended the offer for three days. I was able to complete two photobooks. My credits were for 20-page books. My books were 30-pages each. Here are the totals.

2 20-page photobooks


2 Extra 10-pages



$ 9.98

Free Shipping

-$ 9.98

Photobook Credits





I will keep the other two credits in my account for the next free shipping offer. Although, I think I will go ahead and make the other two photobooks now, so all I have to do is order them when the next free shipping code is released. I predict one will be released before Thanksgiving in preparation for Holiday shopping.

2) Nike Gift Codes

$50 Gift Code = 2000 pts

$25 Gift Code = 1000 pts


$75 Gift Codes = 3000 pts

I love my Nikes. I needed new running shoes. This seemed like a no-brainer for me.

Nike+ running shoes


Nike socks (1 pair)

$ 6.99



Free Shipping*


Gift Codes




Total l


Nine bucks. For a great pair of Nike running shoes and socks! (Note: The shoes were $1.15, but I decided I saved enough on the shoes that I could afford to splurge on my favorite socks.)

*As with many other sites, you can register with to have them remember your information or you can complete guest checkout. I registered mainly because I wanted my shopping cart saved just in case something prevented me from completing the process. Afterwards, I was thanked for my registering by an offer of free shipping on my next purchase.

This afternoon I decided to do a quick trip to CVS because one of my coupons was expiring on Monday and I wanted to take advantage of the deal before it expired. Also, I should point out that I have a CVS card and so does my husband. We got two cards accidentally, but I have consulted several respectable bloggers and they say that the rule is one per person. So, I shop on both cards. The ECBs that print are specific to the card that earned them. Meaning...if my card earns an ECB, my card has to be the one to redeem the ECB.

Here are the Deals:
* Buy Renu Multipurpose Contact Solution Get $3 ECB. (Or you can buy a twin pack of the rewetting drops.)
* Buy Clairol Loving Care Hair Color Get $2 ECB Limit 1
* Buy Glade Fragrance Collection candles or reed diffusers Get $6.99 ECB (These are free after ECB) Limit 1

Here are the Transactions:
Transaction 1: My Card

1 Clairol Loving Care Natural Instincts hair color $4.99
1 Renu Multipurpose Contact Solution $7.99
1 Glade Fragrance Collection reed diffuser $6.99

Total: 19.97

- $4.00 off Clairol Natural Instincts hair color (found in the P&G newspaper insert on 8/2 EXPIRES 8/31)
-$2.00 Glade Fragrance Collection candles or reed diffusers
Total After Coupons: 13.97
- $10 ECB from Aveeno Deal I did on Friday
-$4 ECB (The cashier adjusted the ECB down to $3.97 because I forgot to put a filler item in my cart to make up the difference. Some cashiers do this and some do not.)

Total OOP: $0.00 plus tax. (I put the $1.28 in tax on the gift card that I have from transferring a prescription.)
Got $11.99 ECB ($6.99 ECB, $3 ECB, $2 ECB)

Transaction #2: My Husband's Card

1 Clairol Loving Care Natural Instincts hair color $4.99
1 Glade Fragrance Collection soy candle (10 oz) $6.99
1 Warhead Sour Spray candy $1.19 (The Boy has been begging to try this spray candy.)
Total: $13.17
-$4 Clairol Natural Instincts coupon from above
-$2 Glade Fragrance Collection coupon from above
Total After coupons: $7.17
-$6.99 ECB
Total OOP: $0.18 plus tax ( I put the $1.23 on the gift card. I still have $7.54 left on the gift card and I have had it since the beginning of the summer.)
Got $8.99 ECB ($6.99 ECB, $2 ECB)

Grand Totals for the Trip:

OOP: $2.51 on a gift card
ECB Spent: $20.99
ECB Received: $20.98

Lost a penny in ECBs. I don't think I am going to cry over it.

I admit when I started reading all the blogs about drug store shopping I was very confused. I read that people were getting free stuff. I wanted the free stuff, but I just didn't understand it. I have come to realize that I need to add stores slowly. I need to jump into one store at a time and learn their systems and their couponing rules. Then after I have a solid foothold into that store's way of shopping, only then can I move onto a different store. My first drug store was CVS. I love CVS. I love my cashier at CVS. She likes me. We get along. She knows that I will be using coupons & ECBs and doesn't look at me with disdain when my OOP is low.

My advice to people who don't shop CVS. Jump in. The only way to get the free stuff is to learn to roll those ECBs. [Extra Care Bucks (ECBs) are printed at the bottom of your receipt. They work just like cash except you don't get change back.] Here is how I get free stuff by rolling my ECBs.

Here is the deal: Get $10 ECB when you buy $25 worth of Aveeno products.

Here is the transaction:

2 Aveeno Positively Ageless Deep Cleansing Pads $8.99/each
1 Aveeno Positively Ageless Firming Lotion $8.99

Total: $26.97

- $5 off a $25 transaction (CVS coupon for taking ReadyFill survey)
-$9.99 ECB from awhile ago not sure what from
-$1.98 ECB expiring on Tuesday

Total After coupons: $0.00
Get Back: $10 ECB

I spent $11.97 in ECB and got $10 back. I will still have enough ECBs that I won't have to pay for my deals next week or the next. Right now, I am carrying about $28 in ECBs, so losing the $1.97 in the rollover doesn't make me cry.

Do you shop at CVS? Do you love it? Do you hate it? Or does it just make your head hurt to think about?

Only the cereal is from Kroger. I guess I forgot to take a picture of the waffles, milk, and Bounce bar. The rest is from a trip to Walgreens.
This shopping trip was several weeks ago; however, I still wanted to show you why I love Kroger. This particular event was the Buy 4 Save $4. Most of the items were Kelloggs products.

Here's what I got:

2 boxes Kellogg's Fruit Loops
5 boxes Kellogg's Rice Krispies and Cocoa Krispies
1 box Kellogg's Rice Krispies (largest box available on the Buy 4, Save$4 event)
4 boxes of Eggo Nutragrain Low Fat waffles
1 gallon of milk
1 small bag of Purina Dog Food (on sale $2.99)
1 bar Bounce 4month Fabric Softener bar

Now for the totals:
Total Before Sales and Coupons: 56.25

Total After Sales and Coupons: 17.16

Total Saved: 39.09 (69%)

How I did it? I had a Free Box of Rice Krispies coupon, so I wanted to get the most bang for my coupon and chose to get one of the big boxes. I had some other cereal coupons so I used those on the smaller boxes. I had a coupon for Purina dog food for $3.50. Kroger gives overage so that gave me $.51 to help pay for my milk.

I don't use the Rice Krispies for cereal. I use them to make Rice Krispies Treats for when I have to take a quick snack to Sunday School, a playdate, or other social activity. I like to use half Cocoa Krispies and half regular Rice Krispies. They look pretty and taste super yummy.
Edited to Add: I forgot to say that these purchases qualify for the Kellogg's Fuel for School rebate. So, I will be getting $10 back in the mail.

Last week and this week, Kroger is having their Mega Event. Kroger's Mega Event is simple. For every 10 participating items you buy $5 is deducted from your total at the end of the transaction. I love this event. This is the time I buy most of my cereal. This time I was also able to stock up on some other yummy staples of our house like GoGurt. My boys love that stuff. I also bought extra food that we don't eat often (like the Hamburger Helper and boxed potatoes). These will make great donations to the food drives that are sure to come up this fall.

Here is what I got.

8 boxes of YoPlait Go-Gurt
2 cans of Pillsbury Cinnamon Rolls
2 cans of Pillsbury Grands Biscuits
2 pkgs of Betty Crocker Cookie Mix
2 bags of Nature Valley Granola Nut Clusters
5 boxes of Cheerios
5 boxes of Cinnamon Toast Crunch
2 boxes of Golden Grahams
3 boxes of Hamburger Helper
7 boxes of Betty Crocker Boxed Potatoes (i.e. AuGratin)
2 cans of Old ElPaso refried beans

Now for the totals.

Total Before Sales and Coupons: $98.70

Total After Sales and Coupons: $26.12

Total Savings: 72.58 (74%)

I spent less than $30 (including tax) and am well set with my cereal and yogurt needs for the foreseeable future. Plus, every item that I bought carries at least one Box Tops for Education on it. I counted my box tops and from just this one shopping trip my son's school will earn over $5.00 from the Box Tops program.

How did I do it? I used coupons for the items on the Mega Event sale. I did not buy a single item that did not have a coupon for it. I also did not buy anything that was not on the Mega Event. I bought 40 items, so $20 was taken off of my total at the end of the transaction. Kroger allows you to use paper coupons, internet printable coupons, and e-coupons. My Kroger also doubles all coupons $.50 and less. (Some areas double up to $.99. So check your local store!)

Last November, I started couponing. I saved our family about $40 - 50/month with just coupons. I thought I was something. :) Then I found many sites and blogs that helped me and that frankly made me nervous. Could I ever reach the point where I was paying nearly nothing for items my family needed? Beginning in January, I decided to really focus on figuring out how to manage all the different stores programs and reward systems. I started with CVS. After a few months, I is true, I may never pay for shampoo again.

Right now, I regularly shop at CVS, Walgreens, Kroger, and at times Target. I love shopping for the best deal. It takes time and space (to put everything until you need it), but it has saved us so much money.

I am going to post the best of my deals here so you can see how they work and how you too can never have to pay for shampoo again.

From The Boy's student teacher. The class decorated their white lunch bags for Valentine's Day yesterday.

Ms. Teacher to Be: What are you drawing?

The Boy: A machine.

Ms. Teacher to Be: What does the machine do?

The Boy: It sucks all the bad up. So everything is good. This is a robot. But he is a good robot cause everything is good now.

My son, the inventor. I pray that this will be his addition to our world. To suck all the bad away, so everything will be good. Out of the mouths of babes.

Jason takes The Boy to school each morning. The ride takes 7 minutes max. Their conversations are often hilarious. Here are two from Monday morning.

(Upon seeing something puddled on the side of the road.)
The Boy: "Hey, Daddy, somebody left their shirt on the side of the road. That's weird."
Daddy: "That wasn't a shirt. It was a dead cat."
The Boy: "I don't think so."
Daddy: "Buddy, I am positive. It was a dead cat."
The Boy: "Oh. That's too bad. It would have made a pretty shirt."

Moments Pass.

The Boy: "Is today my soccer day?"
Daddy: "Nope. Remember soccer starts on March 9. You still have a few weeks before you start playing again."
The Boy: "Whew. That's good. I need to start exercising."

Once upon a time, a group of friends and I went to Six Flags of Georgia. I bought this Sylvester mug as a souvenir --now it is filled with this morning's yummy coffee. I remember parts of the day as vividly as if they were happening now. I am sure that there are parts that I do not remember at all. Still, I love remembering, so this is one of my favorite mugs in my cupboard.

I wanted to share some memories of carefree days long past. Mostly so I can always remember that I had a great time that day. I had my first and last real roller coaster ride. Thanks Lisa for not letting me die. :) I enjoyed the Mine Train which seems to no longer be in operation. It was a mini-coaster that was really rickety as you would expect an old mine train to be. I loved it. I would have ridden it all day long, but my companions wanted to ride real rides. Did I ride the Mine Train with Laurie? I don't remember. I do remember I rode the Scream Machine with Lisa. She was gracious enough to sense real fear and not make too much fun of my fear at the moment. Suffice to say no one really wants me to be that scared. It is not pretty.

I don't remember the exact date. It was my freshman year at Auburn University. Laurie was a freshman at Oglethorpe University that year and we met her in Atlanta. It was one of the few road trips that we made in college. I hope to be able to teach my children that not only is college a time for study and learning, but is also a time have fun and enjoy carefree days with good friends. Those friends are still with me today even though we are miles apart.

Thank you Lisa-Laurie-John-Chris for making me go on my first roller coaster.

(and thank you for not making me go on another.)

Today is my birthday. I am 33 years old. I love it. I had trouble turning 30, but every year after that hasn't been hard at all. I love the way my boys get excited when my birthday comes along. I may even make myself cupcakes to have at dinner. The Boy never understands not having cake on your birthday.

This morning the boys greeted me with the own versions of birthday greetings.

The Boy: After his daddy reminded him that it was my birthday, he said, "Oh, Mommy! Do you want to go to Jack's for your birthday? It is your birthday so they are open." (We live in a small town without a great variety of restaurants. Jack's has been the only thing on The Boy's brain since it began construction. He loves their chicken tenders and fries. Last week, the marquee informed us of the opening date--my birthday. He continued, "It is your birthday. So, you can choose where you want to eat. McDonald's. Burger King. JACK'S. Pick one. Anywhere you want."

Will it crush him if I tell him that I want to go to the equally new, but much more exciting Japanese restaurant that has opened its doors for us this month?

Bitty: I told him that today was my birthday. I said, "Give Mommy a birthday kiss." He did. "Give Mommy a Birthday Hug." He did. "Now say, 'Happy Birthday Mommy'" He said, "Now it is my Blue Power Ranger party!" His birthday is the next birthday in our family...but it isn't until April.

I love my life. I have the greatest husband ever. I have the best boys. They keep me on my toes all the time, but they also keep me laughing. Those two are the funniest children ever. I thank God that I have been blessed with so much.

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