Monday, June 30, 2008

20 days of giveaways!

The Tip Junkie is hosting 20 days of giveaways to celebrate her 1 year anniversary!

I love a giveaway and one that lasts for 20 days is my favorite kind!

It starts today so go check out the great giveaway for today!

Sunday, June 29, 2008

His special hiding place

The way our television sits on the entertainment center there are small 2 inch areas in which little hands can reach underneath the television. I have recently noticed that Hoss likes to hide items in these spaces. I have found different items like puzzle pieces, a toy car, dinosaurs, and pens pushed under the television. It is obvious this is a place that Hoss likes to put things he cherishes. This past week I noticed the best items yet.


My heart swelled with pride.

I've taught him well! He loves going to "CBS" with Mommy and now he is hoarding coupons. What more can I ask for?

Hmmm, a coupon organizer would fit great in his Christmas stocking this year.

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Super Savings Saturday -- Target

Can you believe it? I am NOT going to post about CVS! It may be a miracle. Without the $ off $$, my CVS deals have been few and far between lately.

However, I was able to get some great deal at Target this week!

Recently I discovered that Target has Ziploc "trial" size packages of 25 sandwich bags for $1. The $1 off 2 and $1.50 off 2 coupons work for these. Thus I purchased 8 packages = 200 bags for $3. (I used 2 $1.50 off 2 Ziploc and 2 $1 off 2 Ziploc).

I was also able to use a Target coupon for $5 off any 3 of the following items:
BAND AID Brand adh. bandages, NEUTROGENA sun care products, CAREFREE products
STAYFREE products, JOHNSONS baby products, TYLENOL products, or NEOSPORIN products. I purchased 3 Johnsons baby items totaling $7.47.
I used the $5 Target coupon = $2.47 (it beeped, but the coupon has no restrictions except no trial sizes, which I did not buy, so the cashier over rode and let it go through). I also used a $1.50 off Johnsons Shampoo =.97, $1 off Johnsons baby product = -.03 and $1 off Johnsons baby product = -1.03. I actually earned money on these coupons.

I also purchased the trial size bandaids for 99 cents and used the $1 off coupon, gaining a penny.

In addition to these items I purchased Hoss a hat for $1 and an Iron Man figure for $9.99.

Without coupons I would have paid $27.45 before tax. After coupons I paid $14.30. If you subtract the Iron Man figure and the hat (which were frivilous purchases), I paid only $3.31 for the items pictured above.

For more Super Savings Saturday purchases check out Money Saving Mom!

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Come check out the new design

A few of you have noticed the change on my blog design. It is a brand spankin' new change, made just this Tuesday.

The beautiful design was done by Liz of LizzyBee design.

If you need an update for your blog I highly recommend Liz's talent.

Thanks so much Liz! I really appreciate all your work.


Mash Up-alloza, Week 5

This one is a favorite!

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Works for Me Wednesday -- Stockpiling

Within the past year I have learned a lot about being frugal. I especially have learned about stockpiling items I can get for extremely cheap by using my coupons and playing the grocery and drugstore games. It's a new passion of mine and I want to show you what you can do too!

First, let's start in the laundry room! Here is my stockpile of detergent and fabric softner.

While we are there, here is my stockpile of batteries. Having a kiddo, we are always needing batteries. It seems like every toys uses a million batteries and quickly!

Now let's travel on to the kiddo's bedroom. Here is the stockpile of Pull-ups and wipes in his closet.

The biggest stockpile I have is stored under the sink in our bathroom. We don't have much storage space so I have organized the cabinets as best I can.

And of course, my make-up drawer!

I purposefully omitted the cabinet under my kitchen sink. It is very disorganized, but know that I also have stockpiles of dish detergent, dishwasher tabs, hand soap, and lots of air freshner!

Stockpiling works for me! For more Works for Me Wednesday items visit Shannon!

Monday, June 23, 2008

"Back to life, back to reality"

Wow! It's been awhile since I've really been here. It's been so long that my blog address is not in the last 20 visited sites on my pull down list. I had to actually type the address in to get over here to blog again.

But I'm here and now I'm blogging. Aren't you so excited?

Well, too bad! I'm here anyway.

The past week has been a busy one. I worked for two looooooong days and then I was off work the remainder of the week. Wednesday Hoss was sick. Thursday we headed to Charlotte, NC for my cousin's wedding and I was away from the computer for nearly 4 entire days.

I had little withdrawal. It was amazingly freeing (that does not look like the correct word at all, but spell check didn't correct it!). However, when I got back I had about 200 unread posts in my blog reader and lots of comments on the diaper cake I posted about on Wednesday. I was amazed that a diaper cake would get so many comments. But it was quite cute, I do admit! Thanks to everyone who commented!

Now I'm trying to get back to normal life. I don't have pictures of the wedding festivities because I did not take the charger for my camera and it was totally dead by the time we got to NC.

Oh, guess what I did do. I stopped at a CVS in Tennessee on the way to NC and got some good deals! I had stopped at my local CVS Wednesday admist the child's sickness, but I did not get all my "deals" in, so when the opportunity arose to stop at a CVS I've never been to I jumped at it. It was a nice store. I did a quick run through and every time we passed a CVS in NC I had left my coupons in the hotel room. What? You don't travel with your coupons? Well, you sure are missing out!

Hopefully I'll have some good stuff to post about this week. My brain is a bit fried right now as I'm recovering from the time away from home and work so I don't have any promises, but I do plan to post about my stockpiling on Wednesday so come back and check it out!

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Works for Me Wednesday -- Diaper Cakes

I made a diaper cake. It's the second one I've ever made and I made this one completely different than the first. It was so, dare I say it, simple!

I made this cake for my sister-in-law's baby shower this past weekend. I hosted the shower and I wanted to use the cake as a decoration/gift so I decorated it differently than most diaper cakes.

Not only is the cake adorable, but it's also frugal! I purchased the diapers at a CVS sale, for pennies, got the ribbon for 53 cents a yard at Wal-Mart, and purchased the daisies and rubber bands needed at the Dollar Tree. The total for the cake was less than $5. I would suggest that you try to get diapers without much design on them. I used Pampers and I was not planning on all the colors and designs showing on the cake, but there was no way around it.

When I was researching how to make such a cake I found this video. The video is what made my cake-making process so simple. I learn by seeing so it was the best teaching tool for me. If you want to make a diaper cake, watch the video, and then do it. Trust me, if this left-handed, un-crafty person can make one, so can you!

Diaper Cake Instructional Videos works for me. For more Works for Me Wednesday ideas visit Shannon!

Saturday, June 14, 2008

What a week!

I haven't been blogging much this week. Mostly because my brain has not been in blogging mode.

My sinus infection/cold continued to get worse so I finally ventured to the doctor on Monday where I was diagnosed with a respiratory infection and prescribed Z-pak. Tuesday I sill was not 100% so I stayed home from work to recover.

I ventured back to work on Wednesday and now I am feeling much better.

I am hosting a baby shower for my sister-in-law today so I have been busy running around completing the final touches this week.

Hoss decided to throw up Thursday morning. I thought he was fine until he threw up again this morning as well and had a gross #2 last night. I am hoping the throwing up is just from coughing, which both would be an appropriate explanation for both instances. He doesn't appear sick so I am hoping he's not. I'm tired of illnesses!

Now I'm off to get ready for my busy day.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Mash Up-alloza, Week 3

Week 3 -- Michael Jackson vs. Nirvana

Oh how I love these Mash-Ups!

Sunday, June 8, 2008

Summer Fun!

Holy Mackarel, it's HOT!

To beat the heat we enjoyed some time at the pool yesterday.

Being Cute!


Climbing out of the pool.

Sliding, really fast!

Hitting the water with a stick, what else would you use?

Cheesing for the camera. Ain't he cute?

Saturday, June 7, 2008

Super Savings Saturday -- CVS, of course

If you haven’t seen my post this week on “How to CVS” then check it out here, if you’re interested that is!

Here are my weekly CVS purchases:

Purchase #1:
9 pack of Charmin -- $4.99
8pack of Bounty -- $5.99
4 Duracell batteries -- $11.96
Total: $22.94
Coupons used:
$3/$15 CVS coupons -- $19.94
25 cent Bounty coupon -- $19.69
25 cent Charmin Coupon -- $19.44
75 cent Duracell batteries -- $18.69
In ECBs – $9.58
Total -- $9.11
Earned $10 in ECBs!

Purchase #2:
2 Pampers Easy Ups (still not potty trained) -- $15.98
2 Pampers Wipes -- $5.98
Total: $21.96
Coupons used:
$2 off 2 Pampers items -- $19.96
2 -- $1 off Pampers Easy Ups -- $17.96
$3/$15 CVS coupon -- $14.96
$10 in ECBs -- $4.96
Tax .54
Total: 5.50
Earned $5 in ECBs.

Purchase #3:
Gillette Fusion Razor -- $9.99
2 Dawn dish soaps -- $2
2 CVS brand bandages -- $3.98
Total: $15.97
Coupons used:
$3/$15 CVS coupon -- $12.97
$4 off Gillete Fusion Razor – $8.97
.25 cents off Dawn -- $8.72
$5 in ECBs -- $3.72
Tax: .48
Total out of pocket: $4.20
Earned $8.98 in ECBs

For more Super Savings Saturday deals visit Money Saving Mom.

Friday, June 6, 2008

The benefits of taking a lunch break

Yesterday I came home on my lunch break to check on my ill husband (he had an official diagnosis of bronchitis now). As I pulled up to my house I noticed that my neighbor had a Krispy Kreme truck parked in front of their house. I was immediately envious. My first thought was, I didn't know Krispy Kreme delivers to houses, but I sure wish they did.

As I was walking up to my front door my neighbor yelled over to me and said, "Hey! You want some doughnuts." Not being one to pass up any type of free sugary dessert I said, "Sure." He proceeded to climb into the truck and I walked over to grab a couple doughnuts.

I was surprised when he came out of the truck with a huge tray full of different types of packaged doughnuts. He said, "Is this enough?"

Um, yeah. I may be overweight, but 12 packages of doughnuts is definitely enough!

So I walked into my house with a huge tray of doughnuts and the hubby immediately was healed!

Ok, not really, but the sight of all the free doughnuts brightened his day. He immediately enjoyed some doughnut holes while I separated some doughnuts to take to work and to my in-laws.

I had no idea my neighbor worked for Krispy Kreme. I really do need to talk to people more.

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Giveaways rock!

Shannon is giving away a great CD collection of WOW Hits, 18 CDs total! Check out the WOW online to see the new Wow Hits 1 cd. Don't go register to win though, cause I'm gonna win! :)

Mash Up-alloza, Week 2

Today's Mash Up ROCKS! Tag Team vs. Guns-n-Roses. Enjoy!

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

It was a sad day

Well, the life expectancy of a goldfish "won" at a carnival is 3 days at our house.

Monday evening, as I laid coughing/suffering on the couch I watched "SURPRISE" slowly die a long, painful death. Ok, I don't know if his death was painful and I'm not sure the exact length, but I did watch the fish slowly rise to the top, rest for a few minutes and just when I thought it was finally over it would swim around the small bowl for a few seconds and then begin the floating process again.

After repeating this at least 3 times, SURPRISE finally left this world.

At least he wasn't alone. I sat in the same room and watched the sad process. If I was not suffering with a fever and the WORST COUGH EVER, then I may have comforted SURPRISE a little more. But I didn't and now SURPRISE has been flushed down the toilet with no ceremony.

Hoss has not even noticed that SURPRISE is gone, at least not that I am aware of. Explaining the death of a goldfish to a 2 year old is not something I'm looking forward to. I'll blame it on the red water!

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

How to CVS, Vol. 1

Thanks for being patient. I am not healed, but I currently am not afflicted with a fever, which is an improvement from yesterday.

I have had a few requests to do a "How To" post about CVS, so today's post is just that, the How to CVS, Volume 1. I don't expect any other volumes, but you never know. I'm all about keeping my options open.

First, let me give the disclaimer that neither I nor anyone I am related to nor anyone I am an acquaintance with (outside of the local CVS stores) work for or are receiving any type of compensation (other than Extracare Bucks) for this post.

Second, to all the CVS personel who may stumble upon this blog, please feel free to contact me and send me lots and lots of CVS coupons. Because I do believe I have single-handedly given you free publicity to 100s, perhaps THOUSANDS (and I have converted a colleague whose husband is employed by a competitor (the W one) *GASP*).

Third, I apologize about the previous mumbo jumbo, let's get down to business.

CVS is a drugstore/pharmacy located in several areas of the United States. If there is not a CVS in your town/city/principality, I suggest you move NOW to a town/city/principality which does have a CVS store.

The first step in CVSing is to get an Extracare Card. Without the card, shopping there is pointless. You can do this by going to the store and getting one from the friendly cashier or you can register to have one mailed to you at your home through the CVS website. You will need to use this card each time you make a purchase in order to get the rewards.

After you have received a card you must then begin to think like a CVS shopper. This is the hard part. If you do not clip coupons, begin immediately. You will save a lot more money doing so, not just at CVS either.

The main point at shopping at CVS is to earn "Extracare Bucks." These are rewards which print at the bottom of your receipt when you purchase specific items. There are weekly and monthly deals. Each week CVS will have specific extra care items which will give you "Extracare Bucks" when you purchase these items. These rewards are only good with the card you used to earn them so hold on to that CVS card!

For example, this week, when you purchase $20 in Pampers items you receive $5 extracare bucks to use on your next purchase. You can also use Pampers manufacturer coupons as well as CVS coupons, which are often emailed to you or you can register your extracare card on the CVS website and you will get a $4 off $20 purchase emailed to you. You can also find these coupons around the internet or they may print on the bottom of your receipt.

I completed this deal and here was my purchase:

2 Pampers Easy Ups -- $15.98
2 Pampers Wipes -- $5.98
Total: $21.96
Coupons used:
$2 off 2 Pampers items -- $19.96
2 -- $1 off Pampers Easy Ups -- $17.96
$3/$15 CVS coupon -- $14.96
$10 in ECBs -- $4.96
Tax .54
Total: 5.50
Earned $5 in ECBs.

Convinced yet? Great! Keep reading.

I gave out links yesterday to Money Saving Mom's CVS 101. She is able to articulate the how's and why's of CVSing, so feel free to check her site often, but here are the tips which help me.

I clip coupons each Sunday from the newspaper. I save all coupons, even ones I think I won't use. I also ask friends, colleagues and family members who get coupons to save me their coupons they aren't in need of so I can get ones I use. I will also give them ones I don't use as a "trade."

Several websites will post CVS deals each week with purchasing scenarios using coupons. One of these sites is Money Saving Mom (my favorite), but so does this one and this one.

To get started I suggest you purchase small items initially until you are able to get the "hang of it." For example, the Gillette Fusion razor is on sale this week for $9.99 and will give you $4 in ECBs. There is a $4 coupon from this past week's newspaper for this razor. You would pay $5.99 plus tax out of pocket and receive $4 in ECBs to use on your next purchase.

If you want to venture beyond the $9.99 range and head toward the $15 range, here is a great way to get a $3 off $15 CVS coupon to use toward that purchase.

I have specific CVS stores locally which I prefer. If you are a local reader I can give you recommendations based on my experiences, if you are interested. And I'm more than willing to meet up for a in person tutorial. CVS employees LOVE when I do that!

I am sure you all have unanswered questions that I did not touch upon so please feel free to leave me a comment and I'll post Volume 2 to answer those. The cold medicine is kicking in and my thought process is slowing down.

Good Luck CVSing!

Monday, June 2, 2008

A postponement

I have been planning on doing a "How to CVS" post for tomorrow, but currently I am fighting off a fever that is quickly approaching the 100 degree mark. I think I'm going to go to bed. If I am feeling better tomorrow I will finish the post and share the secrets of CVSing.

Until the fever is gone and the coughing is reduced to once every 5 minutes, read this CVS 101 post and this one.

You may not need me after all!

We made it through 3 innings!

Saturday evening we ventured to the local minor league baseball team's game (we finally made it!). A co-worker gave me his season tickets for this game as he and his family were not able to attend so we had great seats!

This was Hoss' perspective for the game. He took the picture.

We only made it through 3 innings. Donnie was feeling sick all day on Saturday, but I didn't realize how sick he was until we got to the game (he may not have realized it until then either). Hoss was also getting pretty restless and it was nearing bedtime so we decided to head home.

Hoss enjoyed watching the other kids around us more than the game, but he was relatively good considering he is 2! He always clapped when everyone else did, so he was somewhat attentive to the game or, at least to the clapping.

We had fun even though we left early. The team was leading when we left and they played well while we were there. I think we may try to make it to another game this season when everyone is feeling better.

Sunday, June 1, 2008


Friday night Donnie was helping his dad with some tasks, so Hoss and I stopped by a local fair for entertainment.

We only played the games, those rides scare me.

We were somewhat successful, a little too successful if you ask me. Look at our awesome prizes.

What is that in the bag with the red water? Well, by golly, it's a goldfish! See it on the right hand side?

As we were preparing to leave the fair I decided we should try our hand at the goldfish game. It was only $1 for 6 balls which you tried to throw into one of several small fish bowls. I got a ball in on the 2nd try.

I couldn't believe it. As soon as they handed me the fish in the bag I immediately regretted my decision to play that game.

So now we are the proud owners of a goldfish named "SURPRISE!" (You have to yell it with enthusiasm). We asked Hoss last night what he wanted to name the fish, but he never responded. This morning, the fish was still alive so we decided to go ahead and get the needed supplies to keep it alive.

After Donnie went out to get the fish bowl, food, net, and distilled water we asked Hoss again what he wanted to name the fish. He immediately said, "SURPRISE." I thought it might have been a fluke so a few minutes later I asked him what the name of the fish was and he said, "SURPRISE!"

Thus, Hoss' first pet's name is "SURPRISE!"

Which is a rather appropriate name.

Friday night I was surprised I won the stinkin' fish.

I was surprised the next morning that the fish was still alive.

And I was mostly surprised that my husband took such an affection to the fish. Anytime Hoss would pick up the fish last night, while it was still in the original bag from the carnival, Donnie kept reminding him to be careful and not to hurt the fish. He was also the one to check on the fish this morning and to make sure we got all the supplies needed for it. He also cleaned up the water after Hoss grabbed the fish bowl (with the fish in it) this afternoon and dumped half the water out of it on the kitchen floor.

The fish now resides on the fireplace mantle, one of the only things in the house which Hoss can't reach yet.

Welcome, SURPRISE!