Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Busy, Busy

Since school started for Jack and Avery last Thursday, I feel like we have been busier than we were all summer long! Maybe it's because Jay's at work and I have the three to myself, but it's been busy!

Of course Jack and Avery say hillarious things everyday, but yesterday they were on a roll! I wanted to get these written down so I wouldn't forget! I'm giving you a little bit of background for each of these stories, because they don't really make sense without it, so bear with me. :)

Jack goes to school on Mondays, and I kept Avery out this year just to have some special time with her. I was worried that she was going to get upset that Jack got to go and she didn't, so I made sure to plan something fun so that she'd have something to look forward to. While we were in the car line at school, I heard this:
A: "Jack, I'm really gonna miss you when you at (s)chool."
J: "I'm gonna miss you too, Avery."
A: "But I'm so EXCITING about going to the pawk with just Mama!"
That just made my day, and confirmed the fact that I need to spend some time with her when Jack's not around. We had a lot of fun!

Avery LOVES to color. Jack pretty much hates it. He sits down to color with Avery (just to be doing the same thing that she is) but ends up scribbling on about 5 pages while Avery colors in the lines (as good as a 3 year old can). So the other day, I really praised Avery for how well she colored, using different colors and stayed in the lines. Jack asked if his picture was good, which was a dinosaur covered in blue scribble, and I told him that I wished that he would be more careful and take his time. ANYWAY, yesterday he came home with a picture from school that he had colored SO well! He stayed in the lines pretty well, AND used appropriate colors for everything! I praised and praised him for what a good job he did, and put it on the refrigerator.
**Fast forward about 3 hours...
A: (holding the picture on the fridge, and in a very excited voice) "Jack, this picture is just AWESOME! You did SUCH an AWESOME job staying in the lines!!! I am SO proud of you!"
J: "Thanks, Ave! That's why Mama put it on the frigrata!"

After naptime yesterday, Jack came in the living room very quietly and sat on the couch. He didn't say anything for about 5 minutes and then this:
J: "Mommy, when I grow up, I'm gonna ma(rr)wy Brooke from my class."
Me: "Oh really? Why?"
J: "Cause she's my fwiend."
Me: "Did you tell her about this?"
J: "Yeah, she said ok."
Me: "What does it mean to get married?"
J: "Well, you live togetta, get a ma(rr)wied wing, get a lot of money, and have cheeldwen (children)."
Me: "Oh, well you have a few years."
J: "Yeah, when I'm 18."

That's all for now...gotta run these sweeties to school!

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

$50 Grocery Challenge Take 2

***Disclaimer...If you have absolutely NO interest in couponing, stop reading now. This is lengthy! ;)

I DID IT! I went to both CVS and Kroger this week, got everything that we needed, plus some, and spent under $50! I am so proud...it's the little things in life! :) Last week, I was pretty close after going to Kroger, but the fact that I went a little bit over really kinda bothered me, even though I said that I was happy with it. Since I went over, I decided not to attempt CVS last week. It was nothing that we really needed, just stocking up.

That being said, here was my CVS trip:

1st Transaction
Blink eyedrops ($7.99, coupons for $2.50, get $7.99ECB)
Shout spray x3, Fantastic ($10, coupons for $3.10, then she took 2 of the instant $0.55 Shout coupons off and scanned them, so it ended up being $4.20 off), get $3.00ECB)
Vitamin Water x10 ($10, coupon for $1.00, get $5.00ECB)

I also had a $5 off $25 purchase...perfect!

So, with all of that, I would have spent
$7.99 + $10 + $10 = $27.99

Minus coupons
$27.99-$12.70 = $15.29

Then I had $3ECB from last week
$15.29 - $3 = $12.29, plus tax = $13.85 out of pocket

But don't forget those ECB that I got back! $15.99 to be exact. :)

2nd Transaction
Colgate ProClincal toothpaste x2, Colgate Wisp ($10, coupons for $1.00, get $2.00ECB)
Crest Floss ($3.49, coupon for $0.75, get $2.50ECB)
Mentos gum x2 (BOGO @ $1.79)

I also had a $5 off $15 purchase...yes!!

So, I would have spent
$10 + $3.49 + $1.79 = $15.28

Minus coupons
$15.28 - $6.75 = $8.53

I had that $15.99 in ECB from the 1st transaction, so I used $7.99 of those and paid out of pocket $1.22 after tax.

Again, I still have $8 in ECB from the 1st transaction, and earned another $4.50, for a total of $12.50ECB to start next week.

CVS Out of pocket: $15.07, earned $12.50 back for next week. Not too bad!

Then I went to Kroger (thanks, Katie, for babysitting so that I could have a peaceful trip! :) I had it all planned out, but as it happens sometimes, the deals weren't all the same as what I planned. Bummer. But, since I was shopping ALONE on a Monday morning, I had time to refigure some numbers to spend a total of $33.14.

Work it...$33.14 + $15.07 = $48.21 YES!!!

Everyone was up from their naps when I got home, so instead of staging my Kroger purchase for a picture, I put the cold stuff away and played with the babies. So no picture, but know that I got a lot of fresh stuff, 2 Tombstone pizzas, 2 gallons of milk, and chicken breasts.

FYI: If you need toothbrushes or floss right now, go to the Reach website and print some coupons for $1.00 off. I'm not sure how many they'll let you print, but I printed 2 since I already had 2. Certain types of Reach toothbrushes and floss are on sale for $10/10, so you get them for free with the coupons!

Monday, August 16, 2010

$50 weekly grocery challenge

I've been clipping coupons and combining deals for a while now, but this year, I've got to be harder on myself when it comes to groceries. Every time I go to the store, I don't buy anything without a coupon (some exceptions, like milk, fruits, and veggies). While I've done really well this summer, I found that I was really buying more than we needed, while still spending our normal $85ish per week. I realized that method wasn't really saving us any money, I was just getting more for that same amount.

That's when I decided that this week would be my first week on a $50/week grocery budget. And when I say groceries, I'm including household items and toiletries. I spent probably 2 hours this morning getting my Kroger and CVS lists ready, and I think I did pretty good for the first week! The total before my Kroger card and coupons was $118.66, and I spent $51.46 after tax! That was 39 items, so that averages to just over $1 per item! I went over my goal of $50, and I still haven't gotten to CVS, but I'm pretty sure that my CVS bill will be less than $5 when I'm done.

So, first week and I'm about $5.00 over my goal...I'm happy with that!

Some things I didn't get on major sale or with a coupon:
2 gallons of milk
2 lb. chicken
fresh broccoli
sour cream
frozen pancakes
salad mix

I'm hoping I can do better next week, but fairly proud of my first attempt!

I need to get to CVS, but I hate to take all 3 kids out for a 10 minute trip...too much trouble to load and unload. This is my first time attempting CVS in multiple transactions...usually I just use my ECB the next week. But with this challenge, I need to spend as little as possible at the moment!

If you're interested, here are my plans for CVS:

1st transaction:
Blink Tears (7.99); Coupons for $1.50 and $1.00, 3ECB from last week;
SO, I'll pay $2.49 and get $7.99 ECB back

2nd transaction:
Zegerid OTC (9.99); Coupon for $3.00 = $6.99 ***Get $7.99
Crest floss (3.49); Coupon for $0.75 = $2.74 ***Get $2.50
Total: $9.73-$7.99 ECB from 1st transaction = I pay $1.74, and get $10.49 ECB back

3rd transaction:
Covergirl face/lip products (Spend $15, get $5ECB); Coupons for $4.00 off =$11.00
$11.00-$10.49ECB from 2nd transaction = I pay $0.55, and get $5.00 ECB back

Grand total paid: $4.78, and I'll have $5.00 to start next week's deals!