Tuesday, July 19, 2011

couponing 5 months later

Just thought I would update everyone on how I am doing with the whole couponing thing I started looking into in february. It is great. With the help of websites and someone from church that has been doing it for years I have been able to figure things out. It is amazing what I can get for free or pennies on the dollar. I think back to all those years in school when we could barely afford ramen noodles and wish that I had thought of doing this back then. Things might have been a bit easier but since we (mike) are back in school this is a great time to start.

After a few months of shopping and clipping Mike started to get interested and was even more supportive he is even known to go shopping for some of my stuff for me. We work together to decide what we want and will clip and sort the coupons together (when I let him). Our kids even like to get the little blinkie coupons from the machines in the store or look through sale ads and pick out things they hope I have a coupon for. I am just glad that I am teaching my kids how to save money. Beau even goes so far as to do the math for me and remind me of stackable coupons I can use to make it better. My mom made the mistake of taking the kids to the store and when she would try to buy something they would tell her that she would get a better price if she bought a different brand and used such and such coupon. She listened to them and got some good deals.

We have built up a pretty stocked pantry from coupons. I have stored (in mylar lined 5 gal buckets) pasta that was free and rice that was only .25 a pound and have been able to add on to our food storage. I have also been able to stock up on canned veggies, soups, pasta sauce and lots of other things. The favorite thing of the kids is when I get cookies or chips for them (not something we usually keep around). Our stockpile grew so much that Mike and I had to start rethinking storage and get inventive. It helps that we have a big washroom/pantry with built in shelves but we quickly realized that we were not organized or utilizing it to its highest potential. Now it looks great and behind each of those cabinets is a ton of shelf stable food for us.

What I love about coupons is that you don't even have to use it for food but you can stock up on health and beauty, first aid and cleaning supplies. We have a large amount of TP and paper towels that I paid less than .10 per roll for and free toothpaste, toothbrushes and soap. My favorite is when I find make up for just a few dollars when it is normally 10 bucks! Lots of options for saving money.

As you can see my new hobby is helping our little family. We don't hoard anything and we only buy what we know we would use. We do get enough that I can store it properly for food storage but since we rotate our storage I know that it won't go bad. Added with our canned meat we are getting pretty good at being prepared.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Our summer in Bullets

As I warned at the beginning of summer we have been crazy busy. I mean there is busy and then there is just flat out, scare your mama crazy and that is where we are at the moment. Since I have missed so much I am going to sum it up in bullet form. Here I go.

  • We bought a hybrid camper and took it out for a really long weekend. It was great. We were tent campers before but once I entered my 3 decade of life I discovered that I am just too old for sleeping on the ground in the heat.

  • Beau placed in the district chess championship.

  • Princess is preparing for Kindergarten and is telling everyone that will listen that she is not in pre k anymore and that she will get to ride the big bus with her big brother next year.

  • Mike has taken a class each session this summer meaning he is not around mon-thur nights and he is not happy about missing summer. He thinks that the whole point of going to school is to enjoy summer vacation but that is not the case when you are working on a masters.

  • Beau turned 10. That's right..... double digits. He had a paint ball party and even covered in bruises he had a blast. He is quick to let me know that he is wanting to get back out there and cover his dad in paint. He had lots of friends and family show up to both the war and the cookout and you know that is what he wanted the most. He also enjoyed getting enough money to buy a new DS since his old one passed on to the arcade in the sky.

  • Princess is still doing great in Gymnastics and I am truly amazed at how that shy little girl can whip herself around a bar or skip down a beam. She really loves it and reminds us every Wednesday that it is nastics day. She has even been teaching Link how to tumble but he is taking things a bit to far by doing actual back handsprings. Scared the crap out of me the first couple of times.

  • Speaking of Link.... He will be starting the 3 year old pre K school here in town. We lucked out that the stars lined up for a split second and allowed him to slide into a spot. He is really excited about going to a real school and I am feeling old since all my kids will now be official school kids. Sigh.

  • I have been a hard working woman. I have helped Beau earn 18 of the 20 badges for webelows, been a taxi cab, cook, housekeeper, full time worker, nurse, YW president, understanding and loving wife and most of all mom all summer and I am about worn out. I might talk mike into a weekend get away as soon as we get a free moment...... might be in a few years if I wait for a free moment.

This is a rough sum up I know but I am still busy and will try to at least update once a week. Hope you are all having a great summer!