Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Works For Me Wednesday - My Coupon Notebook


Couponing is a great way to save money and stockpile items that you know you will need and use, and by purchasing them on sale, combined with a coupon, you really do make out! 
 



I wanted to share my nerdy coupon binder...seriously, I feel like I'm walking into the grocery store to do an inspection or something...but hey, it gets the job done, and I've gotten lots of oohs and aahs from fellow shoppers as I've walked the aisles...so there you go!

As you shop, you'll be able to quickly scan your sheets to see if you have any coupons that fit your needs. I love Harris Teeter b/c they double your coupons, and Giant does the same thing up to $.99/each. I also like checking out CVS every once in a while, b/c they do the whole Extra Care Bucks thing...


you will need 
a 1" binder
20-30 baseball card sleeves (I found them at target next to the trading cards)
subject divider tabs
a zipper pocket to hold your scissors/extras in

I clip coupons from the regular newspaper inserts, as well as from online resources like coupons.com and target.  I get emails from bettycrocker/proctor&gamble, etc, and I'll print those out as well.  You can typically print out 2 of everything you have selected.  I do this at the office and use the large paper-cutter (bonus!!) to get them done quickly and neatly.

First thing, clip your coupons and sort them into categories...I have my pates set up like the typical grocery store aisles are laid out...I'm sure I'm forgetting a few:

Produce/Meats (not many coupons for this group!)
Refrigerated Items
Dairy
canned goods/pasta
salad dressing/marinades
breakfast/cereal
snacks/juices
baking
containers/packaging
paper products
cleaning supplies
toiletries
dental
cosmetics
medicine
baby
freezer


Then start folding the coupons to fit in the slots...if I have any duplicates or similar coupons for the same item, I group them together with the earliest expiration date on top.

speaking of expiration dates, make sure if you can't see the expiration from the front, you fold them in a way that when you flip the page, you can see them from the back (this makes it extremely helpful to clear out the expired ones!)

Here is a page filled in, as you can see, the coupons are all different shapes and sizes, but you get the hang of folding them just-so, pretty quickly


Some categories are rather daunting in my book...there are tons of medicine/cleaning supplies/toiletries coupons out there, so sometimes, If I've blown off my coupon book for a few weeks, and have alot of clipping to do, I run out of steam and cheat by putting them in a snack-sized baggie...at least that way, when you are in the store, and see something on sale, you can quickly shuffle thru the baggie to see if you have a corresponding coupon...not as effective as the notebook, but sometimes you just have to wing it.

(cheater, cheater, pumpkin eater!!)
Just don't do this!

eek!!!
That is how I had to start the process yesterday, b/c I've put it off...if you clip and put away weekly, when doing your meal-planning/grocery list for the week, it goes alot quicker and for me, the coupons stay fresh on my mind, so when I'm in the store, and see a great sale, I can check and see if I can use a coupon to stock up!

I keep a zipper-pocket thingy in the back for a pair of scissors, and any extra coupons that might be floating around

So, when you are planning out your meals for the week, and writing your grocery list, you can quickly flip thru to see what coupons you have available.  Here is a link to the free meal-planning calendar/grocery list I use (cough, cough!).  This website actually has a really great excel file you can download that you can plug your meals into, it has drop-down menus that you can customize with your favorite meals, sides, etc...pretty cool.  Here is the link I

Works for me!

Monday, January 3, 2011

Shaking it off...

Happy New Year! 

Looking forward to a happier, healthier, smarter New Year full of more love, more smiles, more pictures, more confidence, more fun, more memories, more family adventures, more success, more direction, more clarity...shaking off the past year, thankful for all of the good and bad, for it has made us stronger, thankful for all of our friends and family, thankful for our growing relationship with God, and more aware of what is truly important.

Clap, Clap!  Moving right along!

A special visit...

Our Nephew, Xander was diagnosed with 'Type ALL Leukemia' this past spring.  It has been a really rough year for the little man, but he has been under great care, and we were lucky enough to be able to see him over the Christmas break.  My Brother-in-law Gavin and sister Carol were able to pick him up after the Christmas blizzard, and bring him down to VA for a few days of adventures including trips to the Grumpy's firehouse, the barn to see the horses/burros/chickens, and the zoo...oh wait, I mean our house to see Chase and Addy ;) 

We TRIED our hardest to get a good, smiling picture of all 3 of Grammy and Grumpy's grandkids, I snapped over 50 frames, and this is what we got:

Take 1

this is never going to work

Chase...really?

Chase...seriously, that is not a good look for you kid...Addy, camera is over heeeeere!
OK, it's confirmed that Chase and Xander have teeth...Addy, you are killing me

Ok, Grammy and Grampy might just have to settle for having 3 goofballs!!

One last try!!!!  Smooches!!!  Muah!!
What can I say?  I won't be quitting my day job to take pictures!

Monday, November 29, 2010

Decking the Halls

This was our first year (of the past 7) not going out and cutting down our annual Christmas Tree...while we sure did miss the sentimental meaning of our little annual field-trip, we quickly got over it, didn't have to worry about watering and the constant clean-up, and had fun decorating with the kiddos.

Bruce and Chase were the official lighting crew...
Chase took his job VERY seriously...

Daddy and Chase standing back to make sure the lights were spaced properly

Addy and I understood that there was only so much space next to the tree, and we (I mean Addy) spent our time doing neat stuff like:
  
Oh Addy...
The boys did a great job with the tree, there were many mid-decorating dance-off's to Christmas music coming from the TV, and the kids even got a snazzy picture with our very own in-house Santa...
Too bad I didn't make up some sort of "Elf on the Shelf" story for our Santa...you know, about our Santa keeping an eye on the kids behavior and reporting back to the "real" Santa...darn it!

Friday, August 20, 2010

Why the 1st half of the year was a complete blogging wash for me

I had a long-winded post about this whole thing, which I think is "too much", but I think these 2 images do the trick!
(this came on January 4th, Bruce's first day back to work after Christmas and New Years...no warning, and no severance)
and then...
(This happened on March 4th...the rehabilitation process for me was 4+ months long and awful...this is a picture of me getting my 2nd cortisone injection into my spinal cord, to reduce the swelling at the base of my neck and chill my nerves out for a few days, about 2 months after my operation)

Made me pretty much not really feel like blogging the first half of the year

We are glad to have it behind us, besides the 2 really, truly sucky things that happened, there were some really great things too...but the thought of going back and trying to re-cap everything is just too overwhelming for me...plus, my memory is pretty fuzzy of the entire month of March...sad, but true!

Here's to moving on!

Email from Grammy!

Chase of course fell asleep in the car on the way home from Del Rio. They were excellent and ate like Saxons.

Addy and I fed the animals with hugs and kisses ALL around, found a frog, had to play with that Chase still slept.

Got home put bags in the house and Frank out and yes! Chase slept. Woke him up came in the house had milk, peed, wasted face AND hands, brushed our teeth.

They went into chases room got jammies on while I took Frank out, Came upstairs to a blue TV screen and this!
(seriously!?!?!  This NEVER happens!!!!)

Sweet Dreams!
Grammy

Monday, August 16, 2010

You Run, You Slide...

You Hit The Bump, And Take A Dive!! Gotta love the 80's jingles that are permanently burned into our brains!

(please note the patio cushion padding the corner of the playset..it was a necessary precaution, but thankfully was never put into action!)

One night last week, it wasn't quite sunny enough to hit up the pool after dinner for an hour or so to burn off some steam, but it sure was hot enough! So, we broke out the slip and slide that had been hanging off the walk-up basement stair railing since the beginning of the summer (Don't judge, it was hidden behind the bushes!!) The kids aren't big enough yet to be able to really fling themselves all the way down the slip and slide, so we kind of chalked it up to a "next summer" kind of thing. But, that was on the flat surface of our side-yard...we kind of thought our back yard was too steep...ended up being perfect!

Addy is a chicken...slowly but surely she is becoming more adventurous...I think it's because she is so eager to start pre-school, and thinks she has to be a big-girl (aka: brave) before she can go!

Here she is...Mom, I don't know about this...


Oh yeah, I'm a big girl!! I forgot! Here goes nothing!

Whee!!! This is fun!

Ok, Mom, being a big-girl is fun! (pardon the upper lip...this was the day after her lip procedure!)
I even took a few turns (In my work dress...good thing the neighbors weren't out!) which totally amused the kids and mortified my husband. Ha!

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Super Patient Addy

Yesterday Chase and I took Addy to the dentist to have a Frenectomy done on her upper lip!



You know that piece of tissue that connects your upper lip to your gums above your teeth? That strip of tissue ran all the way down to her gum-line, between her front teeth. Any time she'd bump her lip, it would always bust open and bleed. It was always painful for her to take shirts off, if they brushed up against her lip! When she smiles, you don't see her upper front teeth.

Here she is right before her procedure...very excited!

My pretty little girl!

Getting ready, watching a Princess Movie on the overhead screen...they totally didn't have this kind of thing when we were kids!
Numbing gel doing it's job, Nitrous (AKA: "the Princess Nose") doing it's job... ;o)
The procedure was very quick and painless! They used a water-laser and sliced it right up to where it should be! Addy looked like she was levitating while laying on the chair, she said she felt like she was floating in the ocean!
We came home and went about business as usual! Addy looks like she got a collagen injection in her lip, and the swelling should subside over the next few days...here is a not so great shot of her this morning, she still doesn't quite know what to do with that big, fat lip!

After seeing her lip once everything was all said and done, I felt bad getting it corrected, like I was ruining her smile, but after a few days, I know it will look normal again, and it's for the best, getting it taken care of sooner than later!