Friday, February 26, 2010

Frugal Friday: Deals of the Week

I must be in the minority but I actually look forward to grocery shopping. I did all of my shopping on Thursday (my day off) this week because of everything else going on earlier in the week.
Here are the highlights/best deals of my trip:
Seedless Grapes $.99/lb (at sale at both Martins and Shop & Save) (not pictured)
Kashi cereals 4/$8 - (2) $1.50 off coupons here = $5 for 4 boxes of Kashi cereal (Martins)
General Mills Cereal $1.99 each - $1 - $1 - $1 coupons (from online and newspaper)= <$9 for 6 boxes of Cheerios, Lucky Charms and Total (CVS)
Organix Shampoo/Organix Conditioner = both should be free after mail-in rebate that was attached to the bottle (CVS)
Renpure Organics Shampoo/Renpure Organics Conditioner = both should be free after mail-in rebate that was attached to the bottle(CVS)
Sally Hansen Protective Hand Creme = $1.57 on Clearance at Rite Aid (from about $6)

Thursday, February 25, 2010

The Last 7 Days...

I haven't had the chance to post any more this last week because of all that's been going on...
-Last Friday (through Saturday) we went to Pittsburgh and were able to spend some time with our friends Steve and Amy before we picked up Mike's sister and the kids at the airport (who were traveling back from visiting Mike's mom and dad in Myrtle Beach).
-On Sunday, Mike's grandmother was very unexpectedly admitted to the ICU in congestive heart failure. On Monday, they did a cardiac cath and placed a stent in one of the arteries in her heart (another artery in her leg they couldn't do anything with). She is doing much better and will probably be coming home today.
-Then on Tuesday, Mike's nephew (6 years old) had an emergency appendectomy for appendicitis. So, we've been staying at their house the last two nights with the other two kids. (Her husband is in Jamaica on a mission trip so she's been staying at the hospital with Zach. Mike's mom and dad travel back from their winter stay in Myrtle Beach today. I guess we were next on the list for babysitters :) Zach should be coming home today also.
Needless to say, we have been at our house very little the last 7 days. We are looking forward to everything calming down (hopefully) and catching up on things around the house this weekend...
Thank you to everyone who had heard about this before now and has been praying for Mike's family. God has been good and we have been blessed with all good news the last couple days. Finally, we would ask that you remember in prayer Mike's brother who is now in Afghanistan with the US Marines again for the next year (he just left a couple weeks ago).

Friday, February 19, 2010

Our Valentines

Mike has had a couple magic shows in Southeast PA these last couple months so we kind of invited ourselves to stay with my sister. (I guess it was a fair tradeoff since we watched the kids on Friday evening while they went to a Dave Ramsey class at church during both of our stays.) Of course we have really been enjoying our visits with Julie and Keith and the kiddos (and my cousin Kimberly this last visit). I finally downloaded some pictures... Some of my favorite moments:
- watching Caleb try to play the wii and his comments to himself (it was lots of giggles for everyone when he kept falling off the cliff)
- watching the 3 older kids "attack" Mike with games and horseyback rides
- cuddling with Aaron and seeing his grins and hearing his giggles
- late nights with Julie and Keith talking and playing games (can you believe we were up well past midnight both times) and Aaron crawling up on the table over our gameboard with a guilty grin on his face
- Caleb saying that Mike tickled his teeth when he was brushing his teeth before bed
- Josiah talking quietly through the baby monitor from bed saying "Aaaunnntttt JJJeeeennnn" "Aaaunnntttt JJJJeeennnn" because he was hungry and wanted a snack
I heard lots of "Uncle Mike, can you sit by me?" at every meal and "Uncle Mike, ----" "Uncle Mike, ----" to whatever was going on and Katelyn just couldn't get enough of Uncle Mike this last time. Mike was telling me on the way home that Katelyn whispered in his ear "Uncle Mike, will you be my Valentine?" (we were there over Valentine's Day weekend). At least he replied "I already have a's Aunt Jen." Thank you for allowing us to stay with you...we're looking forward to another visit again soon! We love you!

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Projecting Hope Film Series

If you live near Charlotte, Pittsburgh or Dubois keep reading...
There is a wonderful opportunity to go to the movies for a date night, outreach or family movie night and see quality inspiring movies...and it's all free!!!!!
Projecting Hope Film Series is going on right now through March in DuBois. Mike and I will be going tonight to see the movie "Sarah's Choice" which features Rebecca St. James. We missed the earlier ones throughout the past month. But, I went on the internet to see the trailers and all of them look good enough that I would see about purchasing them on DVD.
So, I would encourage you to check out the website for Projecting Hope Film Festival and if possible support this opportunity to offer faith-based and family-friendly films in the movie theater. Even if you don't live near any of these cities (is DuBois considered a city?), you can watch trailers of these uplifting and encouraging movies. Most of them are available on DVD.

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Punxsutawney Phil Was Right

Groundhog Day is equal to a government holiday around here. As you may know, Punxsutawney Phil saw his shadow last week which means 6 more weeks of winter. I guess he was right because we got a snowstorm Friday evening. We didn't get near as much snow accumulation as they did south of us (we only got about 6 inches), but it was beautiful. I took some pictures out our dining room door into our backyard. (The video's not too exciting but I thought anyone who hasn't been to our house yet would like to have a view of our backyard...)

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Frugal Friday

So, we have been putting lots of money into our house and fixing it up. Of course, I am looking for ways to save as much as possible in the process.
Here are some examples...1) we were able to get our washer and dryer at a good price on Black Friday, 2) Lowes had $5 rebate for each gallon of Valspar paint last month (we bought 9 gallons for the rooms we had on the list to paint over the next couple months), 3) Coinstar ran a promotion for an extra $10 gift card (we chose Lowes...imagine that) when you cashed in $40 worth of change (we are still waiting for this to come in the mail), 4) we bought Shop and Save and Giant Eagle out of Sears gift cards when we were buying all of our appliances and they were running promotions for double credit toward gas right before Christmas (I think we are up to 3 free tanks of gas now with all of those gift cards) and 5) hopefully soon we will be getting our $8000 tax credit for new homebuyers.
We are still adjusting to the additional expenses though. We started 2010 with estimating a budget and a general category for "Groceries and Household" items. With it being the first month on our new budget as home owners, we quickly learned that "household items" covers alot of stuff and I hate to say it but I went way over in that category. (It sure does add up to alot very quickly buying those "necessary items" - last week I had to buy 2 lightbulbs for our range hood - they were $15 at Walmart even with a coupon.) But, I'm going to keep trying...I plan to be more conscious this month in tracking what I am spending and separate expenses and hope to be a little more frugal as well.
Here are a few great deals from this past week:
Post Grape Nuts cereal on sale at Martins (I had to get a raincheck) = Free after this coupon when you sign up for their newsletter
Single roll of Marcel Small Steps paper towels = $.15 with coupon from newspaper
KMart Hershey's Pieces Candy = $1 money maker (2/$5 sale with $1 off coupon from the newspaper with a mail in rebate for $10 gift card toward additional purchase of Hershey's candy)
I earned my Rite Aid $35 VISA card for spending $100 in P & G products see here (ends next week)
Oral B Satin Tape $4.29
Oral B Toothbrush $3.19
Oral B Toothbrush $3.19
Gillette Fusion Refill 8Ct $26.99
Gillette Fusion Cartridge 12Pk 1 $38.99
Gillette Fusion Refill 8Ct 1 $26.99
- $20 Rite Aid coupon from December Gift of Savings purchases, - $5/$20 or $5/$25 off purchases (see Rite Aid website for how to earn coupons watching videos), - additional product coupons
I figure that I will have actually paid about $30 for those items after I get my $35 VISA gift card...and not need to buy razors for a long time...
Finally, another good rebate to keep your eyes open for is this one from SC Johnson...I made money on it a couple weeks ago using coupons with clearance/sale prices.

Monday, February 1, 2010

It's Been Awhile

I have probably lost all viewers by now. If you are reading this, thank you for not giving up on checking my blog for updates. I apologize for not having any posts in a long while. Hopefully, I can get back into blogging now that we are connected to the internet at home again. We are starting to get into a routine although there is still a lot to get done in any "free" time that we have. We have all of our appliances now. We almost have the kitchen fixed up and we are making progress in the basement. I will post some before and after pictures once we have the finished products of both rooms.