Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Shopping Trip

I love coupons. I only use coupons for items I would normally buy unless it will make the product free or practically free. It does take time to organize a shopping trip to best utilize the coupons. The savings helps me to be able to remain a housewife. Here is a recently shopping trip with my totals and savings!

First store was CVS I had a $1 coupon and got back $2 in extra bucks on this purchase so my out of pocket (OOP) cost was $0.20.

Next was Walgreen's I saved $3 with coupons. I spent $20.69 but will get back $14.83 through the rebate program so my OOP cost will be $5.86. That made the two bottles of honey a very good deal.

This was a regional grocery store purchase. I spent $2.18 and saved $6.98. We use these items regularly. I try to stock up when I have coupons so I do not have to pay full price.

Last was Walmart. I had some free items on this trip. The Johnson's Buddies were free and are great to include in the Operaton Christmas Child shoeboxes. The Air Wick Lumin Air was free as were the two packages of Green Giant Steamers. Dh wanted to try the Pillsbury Savorings and $1 coupons made them more affordable. I also had coupons on the Coffeemate, cream cheese, Kashi bars, and popcorn (for dh's lunch). My total was $29.12, but I saved $18.

My total savings for the trip was $28.98, which is roughly 36%. I am hoping to be able to continue to seriously use coupons to cut my shopping bills over the coming year. I really want to focus on saving and spending smarter in the coming year. I have a goal in mind which I will share tomorrow.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Another Contest Win

I would take a picture of the latest prize, but it is all rolled up just like it was when the UPS man delivered it. I won an area rug from Shaw Floors! You can see the rug here. The style is Diva - how fitting. I won the 5'5" x 7'8" rug and almost fell out of my chair when I saw the price. I have never had a rug that expensive. DH and I joked that we should not put it on the floor but hang it on the wall. It will be safely stored until we get our new house where it will find a home in the library.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Gift Swap

I took part in a holiday gift swap. I received my package last week. I got three cookbooks, Bath & Body products (Moonlight Path - hmmm), a beautiful Mikasa snowflake candy dish, and soft peppermint, most of which my dh promptly ate. It is his favorite and it is Christmas so I shared.

I adore Mikasa, and this candy dish is the perfect size. I also like that it is a snowflake pattern which makes it winter not Christmas so I can use it until spring! I like having winter decorations.

I should have taken pictures of what I sent, but I did not think of it until everything was packed up. My items were a bath set, Hershey's Bliss chocolates, Johnson's stress free lotion, a Glade candle (It's French -- from France), and coloring books with crayons and stickers for my swap partner's children. It was as much fun to pack the stuff to send as it was to receive a package in the mail. That proves it is better to give than receive.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Shopping Trip

This morning I headed out to CVS to take advantage of their two day sale. I bought five bottles of mouthwash, two eye shadows, two nail polishes, two heat wraps, two deodorants, two toothpaste (cinnamon flavored Pro-Health, which is my favorite), cough drops, Zantac, and hand sanitizer.

My total out of pocket was $1.33! I used extra bucks and coupons. The best part is that I got all of my extra bucks back plus $2.17 more. It was a bit time consuming but well worth it. I am always excited to have a shopping trip work out so well. These are all items that we use and at this price were irresistible!

Monday, December 15, 2008


I love to play online instant win games, and "Congratulations!" is my favorite thing to see on my screen. It means I am a winner of something. Honestly I get excited no matter what the prize is. While I have yet to win the big one, I have won quite a few prizes. The most common question I get is "do you actually get the prizes?". The answer is "Yes!". The prizes really do arrive.

This is one of my recent wins. The smaller ones tend to be shipped faster. Totino's was giving away movie tickets to see The Dark Knight or any Warner Brother movie. I played faithfully every day and was rewarded with the much sought after "congratulations". For your chance to win, visit Totino's.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Latest Cakes

I have not done any cake decorating since the pumpkin cake in October. It was time for my church's quarterly birthday party so I had to break out the cake pans and the decorating supplies. I decided to make two cakes this time and stuck with a holiday theme.

I did a simple icing job on the Christmas tree since I did not think my wrist would hold out for doing elaborate designs on two cakes. I did a squiggle border at the base of the tree and rope decoration and red ornaments on the tree.

The second cake was a Santa bear. I have to say that when I started outlining the details it was really ugly. I mean scary, should not be taken around young children ugly. In the end it turned out okay. I will give this another go next time and omit the hat and write "Happy Birthday" inside the gift. I also want to try using black to outline rather than the dark brown, which was not dramatic enough for my liking.

It was good that I made two cakes since only a sliver of the gift and about half of the tree were left. I attribute that more to my baking skills than the decorating. The icing I use is yummy. The best part is the cake thanks to the real butter and farm eggs.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

My New Pantry

Rhonda of A Home with a Smile has been gently reminding me to post some pictures of the finished home remodeling project. The problem with that is my DH is notorious for starting a project, almost completing it, and then getting bored and quitting. Sadly the remodeling project fits right in with that. I hate to post pictures of half-completed rooms. One room is done and that is the walk-in pantry.
My pantry has some food items but mainly stockpile items from couponing. Pre-pantry all of this stuff was completely unorganized. I did not have a problem with buying things I already had since obviously I already had most of this stuff. If it is free I have a very hard time saying "no". It is not a finished pantry. My main concern was getting as many shelves on the walls as possible.

One wall with candles/air fresheners, cleaners, toilet paper, paper towels

Health and beauty items

I love, love, love this setup. It is so convenient to put everything away and very easy to "shop". It was worth all of the trouble, chaos, and mess of the remodel. The majority of these items were free or almost free. For anyone who says there are no coupons on items they use (a common excuse I hear), this is proof that is not true. That is unless these people are not using deodorant, shampoo, soap, or toothpaste at least.

Coupons have been a true blessing and have helped us to afford for me to be a housewife. I will admit that it takes time and a bit of work to get everything organized before a shopping trip. It is a thrill to see how low I can get the total. It is worth all of the effort!

Friday, December 5, 2008

Is There a Worst Blogger Award?

If there is a worst blogger award, I would like to nominate myself. I cannot seem to get my act together to write about what is going on in my life and home. The main reason is that I have too much going on in my life. I suppose this is a start in the right direction.
So what have I been doing? Taking pictures of cotton fields for a literature project. It is not my project but my cousin's. He is going to pass that class if it kills us both.

I will leave everyone with this peaceful picture and promises to be back again very soon. I also promise that the next posting will be more interesting than a high school literature project.