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Wednesday, September 4, 2013

I have 2 routes...

I have 2 routes I take to work.

One is the highway.

The other is a main street that eventually winds through a golf course and ends up at my house.  The "other" route is also a good route to take once traffic hits and also it allows me to hunt for coupons and stop at like 8 stores all on the way home so there is no doubling back.  I love the "other" route when the sales are hot...

The "other" route also passes this church that has the best quotes on their sign:

"healthy boundaries in friendship"

"praying for your boss"

"keys to self sustaining relationships"

"when God says NO to your prayers"

"what to do if children hurt you"


"marriage part 2"

"preparing for it all"


"what will it cost if you are wrong"

I reallly thought about that - especially since we like to keep ourselves prepared for a lot of situations.  What would it cost us if we are wrong and nothing happens? Well, let's see what does it cost us now?  Monetarily?  We are not spending more than we did before actually we are spending less.  Convenience?  Well, I probably had a few more hours of free time before per day - which were often spent at the book store or cafe writing or drawing --- I can always resume that if nothing happens - actually I can resume it now - we have a spare room i can oil paint in right now.  Space?  We are sacrificing a bit of space but our guest room is still a room with a bed, the office resembles an office plus a dog bed and the master bedroom is just a parking spot for a king size bed. Reward?  Peace of mind and listening to that Spirit that urges you to be prepared and do all you can do for yourselves and your family.  Downside?  Some months there is no downtime...but so what.  Even if there is no downtime the satisfaction and savings far outweighs the loss of "downtime"  downtime is a western concept - an AMERICAN concept.

In the 2 years we've done this - we've only had to make 2 major donations of stuff that was about to expire and we had about 20 lbs of cornmeal that was past it's prime which we mixed into the compost (great compost this year).  Other than that we've had few things expire because I'm good at keeping tabs on it.  And I donate it about 2 months pre-expiration to food banks where I know it will be eaten quickly.

2 years ago our extended family gave us a hard time about putting up stuff.  Now they all save because of what we are doing and all our houses are fluid.  I am happy to keep all of us saving.  I am happy to have items for trade.  If you see items that aren't the healthiest of products I buy them because of requests - because my friends/family would buy it anyway I might as well get it free if I can't convince them to not eat it at all.

so What will it cost you if YOU are wrong?

Lasik Update: 17 months later

I totally forgot to post the results of my lasik surgery - 1 year after.  I had my one year exam a few months ago and I told the doctor that my vision seemed a bit off and maybe it should be better.  I was quick to say this because I have a warranty on my eyes.  The warranty means that as long as I go to them for my annual exams (about $100) they will cover any adjustments needed to my vision.

I will say this - for some reason my night vision sharpened a lot more quickly than my day vision.  The doctor also said my eyes healed really well, very clear and you could barely tell any surgery had been done.  THEN..he laughed.  He told me my eyes were actually 20/20 when using one eye at a time but when viewing with both eyes I see 20/15- he told me they would probably be better than that if I stopped taking my OTC allergy meds that dry my eyes out. hahaha.

Lasik is my BEST PREP EVER.

That was always one of my concerns not being able to see in an emergency.  My contact kit, extra solution, extra boxes of contacts, 2 pairs of glasses - one of them light sensitive because it's very sunny here - all these things were always ready to go.  Some years my eyes were better and some years they were worse.  Weapon accuracy changes for me when I use glasses versus contacts.  I also didn't like it if I woke up in the middle of the night and I couldn't see.  Lasik reduced the potential for disaster.

I paid 2600 vs the original quote of 4800.  I paid it off in 11 months even though there was no need to hurry and pay it because I had 2 years 0% interest and I only put 1K down.  Versus the price of what I would pay for 8 boxes of contacts, 2 pairs of glasses plus the high cost of contact solution - I would say I'm ahead.

Plus it really puts my mind at ease that even if I didn't have my glasses or anything no one would have to drag me around in the dark like Stevie Wonder.  My eyes were -3.25/-3.5 definitely no driving or walking around or hiking in dark situations.  Way safer to crouch quietly in the dark than feel around for glasses and knock them over. I have not one regret at all in getting this surgery plus the staff is fantastic and cheerful.

Just sayin.

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

My Biggest Dollar Savings Yet!

 Thanks to an increase in couponers...i have been able to get rainchecks.  Due to the rainchecks I am able to do huge preorders of expensive items.

I honestly don't know what i'm going to do with all these razors...we will see.

I do not want to donate them because they are so high value - I may just keep them and distribute to family since they do not "expire.
I saved over one thousand dollars.

I have to admit this was one of my biggest purchases.  I normally don't make purchases this big because it requires manager approval and sometimes managers have a change of heart when the savings is too high.

Fortunately I did not have that problem.

 The next day I went back for a second haul - because i figured out that you could use a mens gillette coupon on a female gillette razor.

The stock manager is so awesome - we are on a first name basis and have each others numbers - haha.  She told me that the distribution center sent her too many razors and I could get more if I wanted.

Bet your keisters I went back for more.
If I hadn't of gotten the toothbrushes at 50 cents each I would have paid about $1.50.  But I always buy stuff on top of my savings because - the store should always make money.

Even when there's a lot of overages - I just grab candybars near the register and give them to the cashiers and baggers.  Also when it's "freebie" day I tell my cashiers and baggers to pick what they want and take them as a tip.

That's why when I get home my bags are lighter by a few items because I make sure to share.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

wow Have I really been behind 2 months!

Dang time flies!

I am around - I promise.

Just slammed at work...please check out my youtube and pinterest!

New blog coming soon!

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Month of Deals...

It's been a super crazy month...

I have been making cakes like crazy and I survived Mothers Day and now I'm in the middle of grad cakes.  It will be grad cakes for the rest of the month around here.  It's also been a crazy month of deals:

 For this deal I had just run to the store for kitchen...then I realized that there was a basket of clearance icing (clearly for donation)...and a ton of the granola bars on clearance.  The icing actually made money - and paid for the parmesan cheese, chicken and poker chips - and still put $2.60 in my pocket.
 Here's the receipt for those naysayers.

LOL I love naysayers.  Naysayers are the reason I got so dang good at this...

 this was a freak deal.  The phone app AD had the barilla sauce listed at $10/10.  But when I got to the store it said $2.79 ea.  So the store manager gave me a rain check for the $1ea.  The store only had 30 - so I asked for another raincheck coz I had to pick up more at another store.
 Well at checkout - even though it was already 100% free - another catalina (register generated coupon) came out after I paid the total bill of UM... 60 CENTS! hhaha.  so in fact this purchase made me $1.40

But when you notice something like this you should always change your game up...

So at the next store I had them ring up my barilla pasta in 3 transactions...
Which gave me another $6 bucks even though I only paid 54 cents total. haha.

I used those 4 coupons + another 1.50 off your next meat purchase coupon - and picked up a spiral ham (99cents/lb sale) for a whoppin total of $1.38. HA!

These are the little things that really test your skills - to see if you know how to milk money out of that register in the most legal way possible.

 These eyeshadow were 1.55 if you bought 4 - I had a coupon for $2 off any eyeshadow - in turn this made me .45 cents per piece...

which i used to get these...
the shampoo/conditioner was on sale for 2.18 each and i had a coupon for 1.50 off each AND the overage from the above eyeshadow - so they ended up being about 17 cents.

so the next day on my lunch break i'm picking up some chicken strips and an iced tea at the grocery store and I figure well why not - I might as well pick up a few things...

 There were a few nice colors of eyeshadow so I grabbed those and used money maker coupons - and it's funny I actually ended up giving some to one of the employees...

I knew I had an overage of 3.60 so I picked up some lightbulbs... 
Ironically - another catalina popped out because I bought the lightbulbs. haha.

so on this transaction I made 1.59 - it at least covered my lunch.  Cool right.

I was on a mission to use up these eyeshadow coupons they were quickly becoming a pain in my ass - but everyone around here loves it - at least both my sister in laws do as well as the teenage girls who work at the shop...

 I really have a feel for which store treats stuff as unlimited and which stores really obey the limits.

I used the overage from the eyeshadow and coupons on everything else to pay the surplus.
With coupons...all I paid was 5.96...Had I put back the glad tupperware things I probably wouldn't have paid more than a quarter - HAHA...

 toothbrushes: free
shave prep: free
spatulas: free
handsoap: free
febreze: 99 cents
dish soap: 1.54
body soap: 1.88
winter color clearance - LOL..silly
bathtowels were around $3.50
hand towels were around $2.20
bounty table napkins: 1.99
crowbar: $2

these are random deals that are always handy - we haven't bought new towels in about 3 years - we were overdue!

I found these at a local market for 1.39

lucky for me I had $3/3 coupons which made them 39 cents

2 days later I went to the store and asked if I could preorder.  The store manager told me I could preorder anything as long as I prepaid it!


 A neighboring store had these butter on sale for 1.99.  I had a coupon for 55cents which doubled up to $1 - so I picked up 50 right!

99 cents a lb of butter - that's how it should be!  it's so delicious.

Welch's drinks: 1.49
Langers juice: 99 cents (thanks to bottle neck coupon)

 So I preordered and prepaid 19 that a crime - lol i don't think so - especially since all of these have a nafta sticker on them LOL.  silly people.
Finally I got this deal tonight- 60 bars of soap free and 10 deodorant/antiperspirant for 50 cents each...

I went after taking my girl to sweet tomatoes...

it's our weekly thing.

I'm so happy they have this in stock again - I can go wipe out a few stores now.

and finally:

 We ordered 12 cases of wide mouth pints because we can find them nowhere in the valley.  Craigslist is cleaned out and mostly on there is a bunch of moochers asking for free jars - yeah right that hasn't worked since 2011 - okay - buy your jars here in the desert like everyone else.

they were marked 12.99 but the manager gave us the old price of 9.99 a case.  Still hefty - but I figure since the cost doesn't seem to be going down - we might as well get 12 cases and that will hold us.
Last Sunday we beat our old record.

together we found 412 inserts.

412 smart source
412 red plum

I've given away all of them but 250 a piece.

Exhausting work this is.

We are running into a problem where some of our friends seem to think that just because we are able to get stuff for free we should be giving it to them for free.  UM NO.  The people who seem to feel entitled to it for free are the same people whom I used to give coupons to and they were too lazy or too stupid to figure out how coupons work.  Now I say they are stupid because here there are TWO different stores (with a jillion locations) that double all manufacturer coupons up to $1.  So all you have to do is subtract $1 from the sale price.

I find it really insulting that people seem to think that they are entitled to what we work for - do they get up at 6am on Sundays?  do they separate the papers?  do they sort them into neat piles - then staple and cut them?  do they work out the deals by comparing a database to the weekly ad?  do they work on speaking relationships with cashiers and store managers so that the transactions go through without a snag?  NO NO and NO to all of the above questions.  So why in the f&&#*** do they think they should be entitled and suggest that we give them what we've worked for.  Annoying and Disgusting.

You know what's cool?

When you save enough money trimming the budget and couponing...that you can buy your husband a treat that he has been wanting but didn't want to crack into the budget for...

I think that if you work hard and put a good amount of concentration into your homes well being and safety - then once in awhile you deserve a reward - a treat so to speak.  It's funny ever since we were given the new LG 55 inch 3D (blah blah blah) tv as a gift i knew he wanted this sound bar with blue tooth sub woofer.

Mr. Man is at it very early every day then after he gets home from work he's always in the garden or outside or unloading Lord knows what I bring home.  He may not look thrilled but believe me when I tell you that he enjoys this sound bar.  Shhhh So do I.

Sunday, April 28, 2013

Gotta Keep doin IT!

 Total: $4
cereal: $1.25
crush soda: 75 cents
childrens toothpaste: 50 cents
infants toothpaste: $1
bobby pins: 80 cents
weber bbq sauce: $1

to be continued...
okay back "  4/29/13

 We ended up scoring 45 total of the weber bbq sauce.  With the moneymaking Advil coupons - the average pay for the bbq sauce was 19 cents (because I had $1 off coupons)...

Sale price for weber bbq sauce is $2 = regular price is $3.49 - even at $1 a piece I would have been happy but what we got was great!

We even found a spot for it in the garage - we just had to reconfigure the juicy juice and the molasses somewhere else....

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

dang i'm rusty...

I haven't really made bread since last fall -- but now the house is an ambient 79 I'm at it again...I can't believe i ran out of olive oil spray and eggs (gotta stop by our friends house for my 5 dozen brown organics!)


Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Random Finds at the Store...

I went to get some scrubbing bubbles today coz it would be the last day that it would be 20 cents today - then I remembered that the catalina value is only $2 today - so it was actually 40 cents each - which is still totally acceptable...

 softsoap refill: 2.99
windex: 40 cents
scrubbing bubbles: 40 cents
shout: 40 cents
ranch dressing: 99 cents
kettle chips: 99 cents
mt olive pickles: 1.49
stayfree: $2
Pringles: 1.44
foodsaver micro bags: $3
iams treats: 75cents
dried currants: 49 cents
seattles best coffee: 3.49
beer chicken steel holder: 79 cents
wine openers: 99 c
beer plate holders: 10 cents

Monday, April 22, 2013

Everyone should have a stash...

I had to reorganize my immediate coffee stash...

This is what I've acquired in the last 5 weeks!

what do lazy people do all day?

I wish sometimes I could be lazy...

I worked today and he worked today...

and I came home and Mr. Man was changing the oil on his motorcycle and had just worked on some things in the yard area...I made some steak fajitas for a late lunch..

 after lunch I jumped right to it.

Mr. man took a cat nap coz he got up at 4am.
 I precooked 9 lbs of fries to freeze for easier use.  We no longer buy pre frozen fries from the store because they are cooked in cottonseed oil
 While the last batch of fries was cooking then i washed the last box of oranges...
 The new juicer works great it goes clockwise then counter clockwise based on if you push the center or pull it towards you...

Then I broke down the turkey breasts that we cooked and dropped them in the freezer.

After all that was done Mr. Man woke up and weeded the garden and vacuumed and used the leaf blower on the back patio...I swept and mopped.  Then he came in and vacuumed the area rugs while I did the windows on the back of the house.  He just ran off to refill our 35 gallons of water (7 5-gallon jugs) and I started the laundry.

That's it - just another day in the life.

It's crazy.  But I'm glad we have the energy to do it...

We had some people over here this weekend and I feel like I had to really clean up after she was around...I just didn't like her presence in my house.  Mr. Man is SOOOOOO lucky I am respectful of him and I didn't thump that hoe on the back of her skull.

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Storage Solution! Yippee!

i went by wally world today to pick up some eyeshadow for my sister in law - she's collecting makeup for some of her cousins overseas and I could get them for a quarter at WW...

But in the process I found these:

Large Chrome Baskets on sale for $2 ea
Kettle Chips: 99 cents
Quaker pop chips:  49 cents
Shout: 20cents
Old spice soap $3 (6 bars)
envelopes: 60 cents
Eyeshadow: 25 cents
Strawberries: 3.49 (4lbs)

All in All a good day!

I'm so relieved to have a stackable storage solution.  I can't believe these chrome baskets used to be 12.97 and today they were $2.  I don't think it gets any better than that!

Ok...I put the stacking baskets to use - One shelf took 14 baskets.
It took me almost 2 hours - but now it's done! Yay!

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Sometimes a deal is just meant to be!

Today i went on a run to look for some makeup that I had a $4 off coupon...of course they marked it up to 7.25 knowing that a coupon came out.  Unbelievable.

However I was able to find some other things!

 2lb dark brown sugar: 49c
nivea body soap: $1
first aid kits: 2/1.29
binkies: 1.99
sharpies 16ct: 6.50
chinese mustard 75c
stubbs seasoning: $1
northern beans 2lbs: 75c
rice snacks and candy bar: free
libby's pumpkin: 49c
candles: 40c
molasses: 1.50 ea
crest toothpaste: free
colgate toothpaste: free
bandaids: $1

All in all this was about a $52 trip.
I didn't even use a lot of coupons.

i tell you was super shocking to see almost all the prep items on clearance.  I was most happy with the jars.  I really wanted more of these pretty pint jars and now I have 16 of them...I can salsa and jelly for at least a batch and a half --- and I paid half price!

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Sundays are Cool!

I had an easy morning - collecting coupons, doing some inventory at work, hanging out with the other manager and then doing a little shopping...

I talked to the "paper boy"  and he told me that he has 50 extra inserts that he will gladly give me weekly coz I'm so "nice"  Nice kid with 2 jobs and he's hookin up those inserts and hiding them in a spot I can hide behind the shop!  Awesome!  That makes my life so much easier now!  But today I found 160 red plum inserts and 100 smart source inserts and Mr. Man found 50 of the 2nd edition smart source inserts (yay Barilla pasta sauce coupons).

Today I went to get a few things for the shop (chocolate and scrubbin bubbles).  It turns out that our local Fry's (aka Kroger's aka Publix) is having a $5 off of 5 on certain items.  The coolest thing is - the manager priced items are far better than the advertised prices.

I was finally able to use some of the Rice coupons I've been hanging onto forever.  I thought they were going to fade into expiration but fortune was on my side.

pantiliners: free
pampers wipes: 99 cents
success rice: 29 cents ea
shout: 22 cents (including tax)

Super exciting day!

Here's a different angle of the haul.

I even tipped the cashier 10 packages of rice because she expressed interest!  I like tipping my cashiers when they are awesome.  If they don't express interest in my haul then I give them a gift card for coffee or ice cream!

I found these for Mr. Man everything was about $1 except the mini hack saw - that was 1.99.  I figure since he's doing carpentry stuff all these tools will come in handy!

he's always excited when I bring him surprises that will help with all the new stuff he is learning now!

SECOND HAUL:  more of the same but a bit different.  A little under $19 is what I paid.

Shout: 22c
Cheese: 1.99
Ranch: 1.49
10lb sugar: 4.25
Powdered sugar 2lbs: 1.19
Shavers: 1.20 ea
Fiber 1 bars: 49 cents
Special K: Free
pantinliners  - free

I also tipped this second cashier 10 pantiliners because she expressed interest.   You know I wish all people would at least be kind to their cashiers even if they can't tip.  Because it's nice if they are appreciated for their thankless job and being on their feet 8 hours a day.  It can't be easy to be nice to people one after the other.

Here's the video:

Saturday, April 13, 2013

Scary mini SHTF...

so this afternoon I went into the kitchen to make some popcorn.  I looked outside the kitchen window and saw walls of smoke in the backyard...then I saw black shreds of paper looking things being carried by the wind...

I called Mr. Man and said,"you better check this out..."

He came back and said,"that ain't no barbecue, it's a FIRE...get out here"

I said OMG...

he said Hold this ladder quickly...

He kept our side of the house wet until the fire department came.  I could already hear the sirens while I called 911 and they told me that other neighbors had already called.

Super Crazy.

The neighbors were not home - but their dog was locked in the house.
To be honest I never did like these neighbors.  If I felt sorry for anyone I felt sorry for the dog that was locked in the house.  THEN...the fireman told us something,"Apparently this is the 2nd fire related to the tenant - but that is 'to be determined' "

That's sickening...

I told Mr. Man he sprung into action without pause...he told me all he could think of was that this fire would not "get us"  A neighbor on the back side was telling him where to spray that he was missing so it wouldn't jump to our yard.  I'm so proud of him to just jump to action to protect what is ours.  I also told him I was so happy he was always blowing the pine needles off the roof and maintaining the gutters so there was no excess debris in there that would catch fire.  We checked the attic and the walls and everything was fine - and the fireman told him that "you saved your house!"

I thank God for watching over us and giving him the sense to spring to action!

This was the end result of that fire: