Friday, July 30, 2010

No matter what I do, He finds me

Like in today's reading from My Utmost for His Highest by Oswald Chambers. I just can't get away from it lately. I can't turn on the radio, have a conversation, or read a book without feeling like it was specifically chosen for me. In one way it's nice, but on the other hand I find myself wanting to remind Him that he does have other children to tend to.

When I'm feeling judgemental, I need to remember this...

"It is not the critic who counts, nor the man who points how the strong man stumbled or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena; whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly...who knows the great enthusiasms, the great devotions, and spends himself in a worthy cause; who, at best, knows the triumph of high achievement; and who, at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who know neither victory nor defeat."
-- Teddy Roosevelt

Stockpiling Aspirations

Check this out! I hope to have this (when I have a garage).

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Grocery Trip 7.29

Pictured are all the groceries we bought this week, minus 6 packs of 18 ct Playtex Gentle Glide tampons.

I wasn't paying attention like I should have (I met another couponer in line and got to talking) when the cashier scanned the tampons I thought were BOGO at $5.17. It turns out all the cheap tampons were gone and the more expensive $7.99 tampons were moved to their place on the shelf. When everything was scanned and ready to swipe our card the total was $65.34 when we were expecting it to be under $30. I thought I had left some coupons at home, but I knew it would be difficult to figure it out there. By the time we got to the car, I realized the mistake. We went to the desk for a refund of - get this - $51.30! What?! Who spends that much on tampons?!
Anyway, we were able to get a rain check and I will pick them up later this week. But, whew! I was so worried.

We spent $27.17 for $138.90 worth of groceries. Booyah.

We saved $63.48 by shopping sales and $48.25 in coupons. This gives us 80.4% savings this week! The best yet!

I'm especially proud because, included in our purchase was zucchini, squash, peaches and steak. Produce is always the killer of our savings ratio but we made it out okay this week. :)

Free Burgers, Anyone?

If there is a Wahtaburger near you, you may just be able to score a free sandwich. August 3 is the company's 60th anniversary. To celebrate, they will give any dine-in (between 5 and 8pm) customer wearing their signature orange a free burger.

So, wear an orange shirt and get free dinner.


Grocery Planning 7.29

# Item Price Per Price $Qs Total Qs
8 Pop Tarts $2.39 $9.56 $4.00 $5.56 4 $1/2 Man
2 NatureV Bars $5.49 $5.49 $2.75 $2.74 1 $.75/2, 2 $1/1 T.
2 Hunts Ketchup $1.75 $1.75 $2.00 -$0.25 1 $1/2 Man, 1 $1/2 F.L.
2 GoGurt $2.79 $2.79 $2.00 $0.79 2 $1/1 Man
4 Old Orch. Juice $1.50 $3.00 $1.00 $2.00 1 $1/4 Man
6 Playt. Tampons $4.25 $12.75 $5.00 $7.75 4 $2.50/1 Man
1 Sabra Hummus
$2.50 $1.00 $1.50 1 $1/1 Man
1 Bleach
$1.50 $0.00 $1.50
1 Ammonia
$1.50 $0.00 $1.50
1 12 Eggs
$0.99 $0.00 $0.99
2 Tony's Pizzas $1.00 $2.00 $1.00 $1.00 1 $1/2 Man
2 Lactaid Milk $2.19 $4.38 $4.00 $0.38 2 $2/1 Man
2 Cascadian Farm Bars
$3.99 $4.00 -$0.01 2 $1/1 Man, 2 $1/1 W.F.
2 Power of Fruit Bars
$3.39 $2.00 $1.39 2 $1/1 Man

Check out:

Whole Chicken ($1.19/lb)



Publix Coupon
1 $5/50

2 $5/20 $10.00

$55.59 $43.75 $11.84

Peelies to look for: $2/1 Nature Valley Bars


I love vintage items -- especially clothes. I really wish it was still cool to wear a hat and slip into some gloves, both of which would complement my full-skirted dress and heels. Alas, those days have passed (and I missed them).

Still, when I run into vintage hats, gloves, etc, I get giddy. That's what happened when I found this at an estate sale last weekend. I really wish I could wear it, but 1) my head is way too big (drat!) and 2) Hubby Dear would never be seen with me. So... I am selling it on eBay. Check out my listing here!

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Weekly Food Lion Coupons

If you go to you can sign up for weekly emails. Each week they will send at least 3 coupons. Use them at Food Lion, or take them to Publix and use them as a competitor coupon!

Monday, July 26, 2010

Seventh Generation Coupons

You can find some wonderful savings here.

Nestle Coupons

Nestle just released some new coupons! To get some for yourself log in here.

Baskin Robbins Soft Serve is BOGO!

Click here to get a coupon for a free soft serve cone at Baskin Robbins when you buy one of equal or greater value! Ice cream is a wonderful way to beat the heat!

Friday, July 23, 2010

Shopping Trip 7/22

Another decent shopping week. Our total ended up at $22.88. We saved $40.25 by shopping sales and $36.80 by using coupons. That gives us a grand total of $100 worth of groceries and a savings rate of over 77%.

Some of our best buys were:

2 Lysol Cleaners - BOGO @ $2.69, we had 2 $1/1 Lysol trigger cleaners so we got both of them for $.69

2 Tombstone Pizzas - BOGO @ $5.79 - Used 2 $2/1 facebook coupons to get them for less than $.90 each.

2 Lactaid 1/4 Gallon Milk - $2.19 each - Used 2 $2/ any 1 Lactaid milk Blinkies that were right there which enabled us to by a half gallon of milk for $.38.

Smart Balance Milk - on sale for $2.50 - Used a $2/1 coupon to score a half gallon for $.50

1 Lea & Perrins Worcestershire Sauce - $2.29 - Used a $2/1 coupon and got it for $.29.

4 Right Guard Deoderants - BOGO at $2.79 - Used 2 $2/2 coupons for a final price of less than $.40 each.

4 Crest Toothpastes - 10 for $10 - used 2 $.75/1 coupons, 2 $.50/1 coupons, and 2 Target coupons for $2/2 Crest products -- we ended up making $.5o!

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Marriage Challange - Day 1 (7/22)

Part One (AM):

This morning I let Hubby Dear stay in bed while I fed the cats, put my waffles in the toaster and checked my email. This means that the sweet greeting we were assigned to give at the beginning of the day was postponed until he groggily walked into the kitchen. I actually think the effect was accentuated by his being at least partly coherent. All I said was "I love you," followed by "I'm glad you married me." The response was a little bit of surprise and "I'm glad you said yes." Not bad for a start, methinks.

Part Two (PM):

When I got home from work Hubby Dear and I went to work on the ribs we had for supper. As we were waiting for the grill fire to burn correctly, I told him that I am so glad the Lord brought us together the way he did. I also reminded HD how proud I am of him and that I am always on his side. Honestly, when I first read the assignment for day 1 I was a little skeptical. It seemed so unnecessarily mushy. It ended up being much less awkward than I had anticipated. In addition, I think it worked. Even just a few words can have an affect. :)

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Marriage Challenge - Reality Sets in Early

Anytime I aim for some lofty goal, especially one that I feel is particularly tied to my spiritual well-being, I expect to meet some difficulty. I assume that some days will require skilled maneuvering to stay on track, I anticipate that at least once I will fall flat on my hiney begging the Lord for help. More of my life-altering experiences have occurred at my whit's end than anywhere else. So, I knew this was going to be an actual challenge. What I didn't know is that, as Providence would have it, the testing would begin early.

I haven't even made to Day 1 - this is Day 0 - and I am frustrated with Hubby Dear. We have had a misunderstanding/disagreement/argument that we somehow cannot reach a resolution on. I am left feeling a irritated, frustrated, and oh so right. All of these things make tomorrow morning's task appear arduous, none more so than the last on the list. However, I am determined to prevail.

This is what has played in my head:

1) Being right and being a kind, encouraging wife are not mutually exclusive qualities (code for "I want to justify my self-righteousness. I really like being right.")

2) Even though I feel right I was probably wrong in either an attitude or action (code for 'Okay Lord, I probably haven't been perfect either. But I'm still right.")

3) Why is being right so important anyway? (code for "What is wrong with me? This is ridiculous. Wow, I'm prideful.")

Hm. Number 3 got me.

I can't answer it.

My husband is a fantastic, hardworking man who loves more than I ever thought possible. He is thoughtful, does housework, fills my car with gas, goes shopping with me because he knows it makes me happy... the list goes on. Being right just doesn't compare. Suddenly (and through prayer all day at work) this feels easier to let go of. It really doesn't seem important.

Excuse me, I have a husband I need to go find and kiss.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010


Is it bad that I want a baby (specifically a girl) just so I can make her wear this?

Marriage Challenge - Day One (7/22)

"The heart of her husband safely trusts her; so he will have no lack of gain. She does
him good and not evil all the days of her life." Prov. 31:11-12

To refresh your's the 30-Day Encouragement Challenge...for the next 30
* You can't say anything negative about your husband your husband...or to anyone
else, about your husband.
* Say something that you admire or appreciate about your your
husband...and to someone else, about your husband!

To help you get started, have you ever thanked your husband for "choosing you" above
all other women? He found you attractive as a person, and appreciated you. Though
many circumstances in your marriage may have changed, let your husband know that
you are glad God led you together, and that you want to be a blessing to him for the rest
of your marriage. Let him know that he can trust you to be in his corner.
One of the best opportunities to express your gratitude is first thing in the morning. How
do you greet your husband each morning? Is he confident in your love? Give him a
"wake up call" that he'll never forget-a big "I love you" and an "I'm so glad I'm your wife!"

By Nancy Leigh DeMoss
Published by Revive Our Hearts, © 2005.
Permission granted to photocopy in the exact form, including copyright.

Marriage Challenge

In general I try to be a good wife. I try to be nice, not yell, to listen even when I barely understand what Hubby Dear is talking about, and to do little things that bless him. However, I recently came to the realization that while I have been trying, it has only been an in-the-back-of-my-mind/when-I-think-about-it kind of try. In order to bring my attempts to forefront of my thoughts I am embarking on a quest. I am going to take Nancy Leigh DeMoss' 30 day Husband Encouragement Challenge. I am going to keep a diary of sorts, tracking each day to help me reflect and stay on track. I invite you to join me on this little adventure and let me know what you think as we work through this.

If you know Hubby Dear, I am not telling him I am trying this. I want to see how/if it affects our relationship with no outside influence. Thanks for keeping my secret!

Pressing On

Recently, and by recently I mean the past couple months, I have really been getting stressed about work and life in general. It isn't that my job is terrible. I have a great boss, I mostly work at my own pace and other than the fires that have to be put out from time to time my work isn't intrinsically oppressive. I am thankful that both Hubby Dear and I have jobs, that we can poay our bills and we count ourselves blessed. However, we do feel unfulfilled. I sit at my desk and wonder "Why am I here?" The answer: salary and benefits. I know there are lots of people who work for these reasons as income is a necessity and going to the doctor on occasion is advisable. Even so, I find myself entering into a philosophical thought process and come to the conclusion that there must be more to my life than this. I want to do something with my life. Sure, I have the opportunity to help people - but what I want is to labor towards some lofty goal. I have come to the conclusion that I want to work part-time for some non-profit organization and spend time getting my Etsy and Ebay shops up and really running as well. Sitting at my desk I feel the Idealist in me slowly suffocating (mellow-dramatic, I know). I have been talking to the Lord a lot about this recently. I tell Him that if He wanted us to wander the desert for a while so we can appreciate the promised land, we are so there. Ready to appreciate. In order to keep myself from becoming a droopy, wistful human being I am trying to practice two things. One is an attitude of expectation. My Creator knows exactly how He made me. He gave me my strengths, my desires, and placed specific burdens on my heart. I am confident that He will fulfill that he gave me, and will dispel my own imperfect desires as I walk with Him. With that in mind I have resolved to go forward confidently, knowing that the day may come (and it may be today) when the next part of the plan is revealed. The other is the habit of a happy heart. My head is ringing with the lyrics of a VeggieTales song, "A thankful heart is a happy heart, be glad for what you have - it's an easy place to start." Simple, yet challenging. We'll see how Day 1 goes.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Kotex Sample

You can find some useful freebies at

Cheap Cheesecake at the Factory!

"Like" the Cheesecake Factory on Facebook and you will be sent a coupon to try their new flavor (Reece Peanut Butter Chocolate) on July 29th for $1.5o per slice. Yum!

Free Produce

Thank you Esther for this... an Albertson's coupon for $2 off of produce. You can print this an unlimited number of times, which makes it even better. Free produce until the expiration date... use as many as you need (as long as your Publix accepts Albertson's as a competitor)! Get it here.

Friday, July 16, 2010

The Power of Forgiveness

It is one of the strongest things in existence, yet it is considered disdainful by the majority of the world and certainly by American culture. Those who practice it are often ridiculed and subject to sneers. I grant that forgiveness, while a force to be reckoned with, can be extremely difficult to execute. One of the things that makes it such a difficult practice is that it requires humility. It is an impossibility to forgive and simultaneously believe that you are better than the one you are forgiving. Forgiveness requires rejection of the prevailing mantra of humanity: "I'm number one." Those whose first task is not self advancement are not only strangers to this world, but offensive to it. The world will reject that which is not its own, and forgiveness is certainly not its child. Even other "liberated" Christians may chide you for demonstrating forgiveness -- especially if the other person "doesn't deserve it." External pressure can be difficult to deal with, but internal resistance is positioned to wreak even more havoc on good intentions.
As a Believer you may know that we should forgive as Christ did, you may have heard beautiful stories of redemption (in addition to your own), and you may very well stand in awe of those who faithfully practice such generosity. However, admiring the quality in others and weaving it into the cloth of your own life are very different. Again, the pain of forgiveness stems from pride. People don't want to be humble. Not one of us, in our flesh, finds humility or submission enjoyable. They are in direct opposition to our very nature. Because of this, forgiveness is not something we can carry out on our own. The first battle is to make the decision that we want to forgive. Sometimes it just feels better to sit on our self-righteous fannies and feel justified. I have had to remind my self many times of Romans 12:19 "Beloved, never avenge yourselves, but leave it to the wrath of God, for it is written, 'Vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord.'" Justice is not my business. As much as I would sometimes like to take the position, I am not meant to be the punisher of all who wrong me. I have to frequently remind myself that I am thankful the Lord has taken on that burden for me. Can you imagine how our lives would be if the only justice was that which we could implement on our own? Stressful much?
After the decision that we want to forgive has been made, we have to administer it. In my life there have been times I have wanted to forgive, but have simply found myself incapable. It just wasn't in me. Instead I have cried in my spirit "Father, help me to forgive. I can't do it." That is the beginning of true forgiveness. "I can't, but You can. Help me." It is only by the power of the Spirit and his abundant life in us that we can find the strength required to truly, openly, completely forgive. This is extremely different from the say-you're-sorry-and-hug-each-other brand of forgiveness kindergarten totes. Forgiveness is a matter of the heart. It is about our attitude not "being nice." Outward show without inward change is fraud of the heart.
The last, and possibly the most difficult minefield to cross is that of hurt. If no one was hurt forgiveness wouldn't be necessary in the first place. To say "I forgive you" is to also say "You caused me pain." Sometimes, especially when an apology isn't offered from the offending party, anger is the only thing to testify to the unfairness of what occurred. We are tempted to hold onto it because it is the only thing that says "This happened and it isn't okay." Secondly, forgiveness means that we have to release the other person from the burden of healing us. In our hearts we want to withhold forgiveness until we feel okay again, until there is emotional restitution. It is difficult to realize that it is an impossibility. As much as an apology might help and a repentant attitude is a salve, nothing another person can do will fully heal us. The sooner we relieve others of the responsibility of our emotional states and take our hurts to the only one who can actually cure us, the sooner we will experience the fullness and the goodness and the freedom of forgiveness.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Grocery Trip 7.15

Hubby and I just returned from our weekly Publix excursion. We did pretty well this week. We spent $25.85 and saved $63.95. So, we paid $25.85 for $89.80 worth of groceries. That gives us a savings rate of 71%.

I find it helpful to review my receipt after the trip to help make it clear in my mind what the best deals were and how we got them. We found that my best deal was the four packs of free razors I mentioned in an earlier post. A close second was the Finish dish detergent that is BOGO for $6.99. We had two $2.50/1 coupons, allowing us to purchase 2 boxes of detergent for $1.99. I would much rather pay $2 than $14!

The Bayer aspirin in the picture is on sale 3/$5. I had a $1/1 coupon and got the 30ct bottle for $.67... not too shabby.

All in all, we saved $36.76 by shopping sales and $25.50 in coupons. Those coupons can really add up, so keep clipping (and printing)!

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Free Samples

I love Philosophy, however the price tag is generally (always) a little more than my wallet can handle. They are now giving out free samples of a new cleansing cloth they are introducing to their line... enjoy!

Also you can get a free Playtex Gentle Glide sample here.

"You're not trying to make money off your blog, are you?"

Thank you, hubby dear, for those kinds words of affirmation. No, I am not trying to make money off my blog... at least not yet. You need quite a following to do that, which I simply don't have. I won't lie, the passive income would be great! But it isn't something that I'm thinking about at this point. I am simply using this as a diary of sorts. Writing helps me stay aware of where I am and what my goals are. Hopefully someday I will use it to look back at where I've been. That's all folks!

$5 off $50 or more!

My mom just emailed me to let me know that there is a $5 off of $50 Albertsons coupon in today's paper. If your Publix accepts Albertsons as a competitor this will help amp up your savings. Just make sure to put it at the top of your coupon stack when you hand them over to the cashier... if your other coupons put you below $50 you won't be able to use it!

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Free Stuff, Great Coupons

For a while now I've been using My Savings to get free samples. I love this for two reasons: I get free stuff and I get cheap stuff. Over the past 2 months I have received around 15-20 tampons and each time the pack of 3-5 comes in the mail an awesome coupon comes with it. Not only do I have to buy less, but I can save on what I do have to buy.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Getting the most out of your money

We all have those expenditures we just seem to be unable to avoid. For me it's Coke. I've never been a huge soda fan, but when I married a man from Atlanta my purchasing patterns changed. It is consistently consumed and even though we've been getting it at a good deal ($5 for a 24 pack), I like to do anything I can to make those dollars stretch even further. I found a way to do this at My Coke Rewards. All the prizes aren't that wonderful and impressive, but it is a way that I can fairly passively increase my purchasing power. I have also done the same with Tropicana's Juicy Rewards. Codes are under the caps and on the sides of the cartons. Simply register with the site, input your codes and you're done. Another thing to participate in is the ever-present Box Tops for Education. We don't have any kids, but I still clip them. I have driven past multiple cruddy-looking schools in our area that seem likely to need a few extra dollars. I just hate knowing that if I don't clip them, I'm throwing money away. I may not be able to use it, but I want someone to be able to!

Cottonelle Deal at CVS!

I just went to CVS to take advantage of this one: 12 packs of Cottonelle are B1G1. In addition there are $.50/1 coupons for packs of the same size. The limit is 4, so naturally I brought 4 $.50/1 coupons with me so I could save an additional $2. Each 12 pack (double rolls) was $10.49 before coupons, so I paid $4.75 per pack or less that $.40 per roll.

Also, All You magazine has a $1/1 cottonelle coupon. Buy two magazines (which I think are well worth it - lots of coupons), and get two 12 packs for $4.25 each or $.35 a roll. - Next Week's Deals

Here they are! All the dirt you need to get the planning for next week's shopping trip underway:

Weekly Ad (7/15-7/21)

Great Deal at Publix - Starting 7/15

I love cheap razors, and these are cheap! BIC disposable razors are going on sale Buy One, Get One (BOGO) on Thursday. They range in price, but the Publix add says $5.49. I have two each of the following coupons:
$2/1 BIC Disposable Shaver 6/27/2010 RP Insert (exp 7/31/2010)
$3/1 Bic Soleil Disposable Shavers 7/11/2010 SS Insert (exp 10/31/2010)

That means that I can buy four packs of BIC razors for $.98 or less than $.25 each!

Also, for those of you who have Upromise accounts (and if you don't I suggest you get one) there is a $1/1 BIC Soliel Bella coupon that you can load onto your Publix card (you have to request one of these from the customer service desk) . Using this coupon you can get four packs of razors for FREE!! It's hard to do better than that!

When I Grow Up

You know how it is when you're a kid, you can think of 50 things you want to be and do with your life... and they all seem so plausible? I don't feel so far removed from those days, but I do find myself suddenly aware of restrictions I have never noticed before. For the first time in my life I realize that I cannot be anything I want. Huh. After hearing that from so long it is difficult to make the transition. Now, I do understand that there is an awful lot of possibility for what may be, but I know that "anything" is off the table. Right on the heels of this epiphany came another: It's okay. Even if I never achieve my childhood dreams of being a ballerina or a veterinarian or a horseback-rider I'll be alright. At this point the thought of any more homework turns my blood cold, so I'm actually quite happy vet school isn't in my future. I understand that I only want to do one thing anyway - stay in the Lord's will. Of course I have my ideas of what I want my life to look like. I would love to buy a home, have children (perhaps in a year or so), stay at home with them, homeschool them, and go on field trips. This is my current dream. However, I know achieving it in today's two-income society will be difficult. I was listening to Focus on the Family's radio broadcast one morning last week (in Jacksonville it airs on AM 1050) and heard them interview a woman named Donna Partow who wrote the book "Making Money from Home." I was really inspired by her ability to work from home and make a very decent living. She talked about making sure you have multiple streams of income. I am currently working 40 hours a week out of the home and my salary is most definitely my largest stream. My goal is to create at least two other dependable streams before we start having children. It is my hope that by starting early I will have a firm foundation when it comes time for me to quit work and stay at home. I figure any head start is a good thing. The other thing Mrs. Partow said that really struck me was (and I paraphrase): If you go into this like an amateur you will fail. You have to act as a professional. Research is the key! I have already begun reading up on things that sell well (and those that do not), how to sell, the most efficient methods, etc. I am super excited because I feel like I'm not only being smart, I feel like I'm coming closer to the Proverbs 31 woman. She was in real estate, made clothing and linens, managed a vineyard, and so many other things. What a blessing it is to be able to bless my family, small though it is, through a little extra work and planning! It is my sincere hope that this planting will yield a fruitful crop in days to come.

A Beginning

Life has been really busy lately. My husband and I just celebrated our first anniversary, I am studying to take my series 7 securities exam and am trying to get both Etsy and Ebay shops up and running. In the midst of all this I do my best to keep my eye out for coupons and plan my shopping trips in order to maximize the strength of our (what seem to be so few) dollars. So, what could make more sense than starting a blog to boot? I need one more thing to do, right? I mostly blame a friend at work who recently started a blog at Ruca & Foo. I suppose I'm a glutton for punishment, but I can have impulse control problems when it comes to things like this. So, there you have it. I can now add "Blogger" to my resume. :)