Archive for November, 2010

Where’d November Go??

In just a few days it will be December. Normally I don’t like December and that’s because I think all of the holiday madness is ridiculous. This year, I happen to be in the holiday spirit. Even after everything that has happened this year, I am going to make it the best for Addy because I know this year will be a different experience from last year.
I have some exciting news to share! In 18 months, 3 days and somewhere around 8 hours my little princess FINALLY learned how to walk. I almost couldn’t believe my eyes when she did it. With a little support and convincing from Mommy she took lots of steps and walked about 5 feet. I never knew I would be SO happy! Ok, maybe it wouldn’t have been as big of a deal if she did it at a normal age like other kids! But, she took over a year and a half and 30 lbs is ALOT for me to carry!

I have 2 other subjects to discuss tonight:

First, have you ever stopped to think about technological advancements? As I was driving home tonight I was thinking about electricity and where it comes from- how it gets here.. etc. How old, outdated, and uncomfortable the airplanes must have been in the olden days when soldiers flew halfway across the globe to fight wars. How awesome it must have been in the 50’s when Johnny Cash debuted his new music that wasn’t like what anyone had heard before. It was just heavy on my mind tonight.

Lastly as I was coming home tonight and a state trooper followed me. I’m really torn if that was a good thing or a bad thing.. When he first turned I think it was just to follow me, but then I think it turned into something else. Since my car still has a paper plate- he had to shine his SUPER shiny light in my back window at the stop light to make sure it was legitimate. Then, after I came home and parked in my driveway he drove back by. In a sense it freaked me out, but in another sense it made me feel safe. I am always scared to walk in the house after dark- weird things have been happening in my neighborhood lately, and everywhere else too. A city officer would never even pay attention to weird people walking by, which was why I think the trooper turned back around. Then he sat down the road to make sure I made it in the house. The little things are the ones I appreciate most.

Randomness.

First of all- I hate to admit it but yesterday I stopped in Meijer when the chick from Olan mills tried to sell me something! I usually say hi to her, but don’t listen to the whole pitch. I did this time because I have seriously been lacking time away from baby talk! Well, today we had a fun time with our friends and an entire day out of the house!! First time all week other than grocery shopping. While the kiddos were playing- both of us mommies did not have our real cameras. So, this is what you get: a phone picture.

I must say- it was refreshing to be out of the house. AND I tried the southwest salad at Mc D’s today too. It was pretty tasty, I think I’ll get another one sometime. Oh, aside from the weird weed looking thing they call lettuce.

I also want to say I’m proud of my mommy friend Tiffany because she’s taken up couponing too!! She scored a TON of groceries, diapers, formula & such for a ton less than her normal bill for her family of 5 =) I’m telling you it’s easy aside from the time you spend searching the deals!! Stay tuned for next week’s tip and remember to check out the FB page to stay up to date on sales!
Something else on my mind: Grammatical errors erk me! Seriously if you don’t know how to use the words their, there, and they’re or too, to, and two- DONT USE THEM! Please. For my sanity’s sake.

Coupon Tip of the Week!

Okay- I couldn’t pick just one. So this is a coupon tutorial!! Please read in its entirety!
Interesting Coupon Facts
*It takes people 20 minutes to an hour organizing their coupons for a shopping trip.
*Less people are inclined to use coupons these days compared to a few years ago, with less than 2% of coupons converted into money. But that can change with the whiff of a recession in our midst.
*With the right strategies, you can end up shave off 75% to 80% of your grocery bill. That translates to several hundred dollars a month of savings. On average, regular coupon users save 12% off their shopping bills.
*The higher your income, the more likely it is that you’ll use online coupons.
*At least 80% of people use coupons, but most don’t have a real system for using them.
*47% of coupons issued are for nonfood items, with the most common coupons issued for household cleaning products.
Successful coupon clippers are persistent, organized, systematic and very resourceful.
*The biggest complaint people have about coupons? The obvious beef about it being time-consuming to deal with.

Okay, so let’s address NOT having a system for coupons. I’m going to take you through my method- step by step! It’s easy. I promise! And once you get the hang of it you WILL be thankful!!

First, I start by collecting in-store ad’s for all the stores local to me. I look at: Meijer (online), CVS (comes in Sunday paper), Kroger (Payless here in Anderson) [I get this one in the mail on Wednesdays], Marsh (also comes in Wednesday’s mail) and Walgreens (comes in Sunday paper). OH I almost forgot!! My favorite: Target! (comes in my Sunday paper too). All of these can be viewed online. If you like to save paper, grab the online version! I used to until I subscribed to the Sunday paper ($4 a month and it comes with tons of coupons!).

So, you are following the blogs I mentioned in my earlier post- RIGHT? That’s the secret to success here. Those blogs do coupon match ups. http://www.theKrazyCouponLady.com is one of my favorites! On her site you can find almost every ad for this week (with the exception of Meijer).

Next, set out to the online coupon places:
http://www.smartsource.com
http://www.redplum.com
http://www.coupons.com
and Facebook fan pages are starting to have TONS of coupons on the brand’s page. **HINT start a separate email (as I said in another post) and separate facebook account so you can easily track these sales. Otherwise your personal page becomes far too overwhelmed.

How to I organize my coupons? I use a little pocketbook coupon organizer I ordered on eBay for $5 with dividers (like the ones you would use in an index card box in the 90’s lol). I keep them there until I need them!

Then, when I am putting them together for my trip to the store I will move them to plain white envelopes marked as “meijer” “target” etc. I use 1 envelope for each store and put my matchups in there. I also make a list on an index card from the ad with prices and write what Q (coupon) to use next to that! I also put items on my index card I don’t have coupons for. I search the ads for the cheapest place for non-coupon items too. In October I saved $903 with coupons and/or rebates! I know you can do it too- it just takes about an hour a week of time to organize and shop.

November isn’t looking so good for me, I haven’t been in the mood to coupon as much unfortunately. But, I have gotten some awesome freebies!
Good luck and please feel free to email me or comment with any topics you would like featured in the future!!
~Ashley

You know the feeling, right?

In just a bit I’m going to write the coupon tip of the week blog. . as soon as I can think of one!!
But first- I have to get this off my chest. I have several ‘old friends’ who I seldom talk to. One of them talks to me when my number is mysteriously found. Well, that day is today. Since my friend isn’t frequently in my life is it wrong to say I don’t want to hang out? I don’t want Addy around a ton of new people. I like to keep her life pretty routine for both our sanity. When she’s around new people she often ends up in one of her over bearing mommy please don’t leave me moods. Right now, I honestly can’t deal with another day of that. It has been a rough week around here for both of us. She’s fighting another ear infection and me, well, I’m still struggling with losing my best friend. I don’t want to say I’m depressed but I’m definitely not my normal self. I’m not looking to replace him and I think that’s what this friend is trying to do. No one can ever be the same to me, even after I know them for 10 years.

The rain isn’t helping either. I really wish I could wake up to sunshine & birds singing every day. Maybe that would help.

On another note: I wanted to share these images from a recent photo session I had with my friend Annie & her family! Things like these always make me feel better. I know, it’s a work in progress- But I’m getting better (or so I think!)

It’s beginning to sound a lot like..

Christmas! yep, you heard me right. It’s so nice today! Despite me feeling ill, I think I’m going to try to find a way to put up my Christmas lights outside! I don’t think I am going to turn them on yet- but get them up before my hands turn to ice while doing so. Oh, and this weekend=Christmas tree time. HOPEFULLY Addy doesn’t try to climb it!

I’m needing some Mommy input! Here are the gifts I’ve gotten Addy so far. I want something super spectacular and I don’t think I’ve reached that yet. I was thinking a VW Beetle Power Wheels maybe? So cute!!
Her gifts:
A little lady but car thing for dolls
A Melissa & Doug wooden kitchen complete with:
A M&D pots & pans set, 5-8 food sets, and her very own cafe’ to go along with it. I know i know she needs a table and chairs but we’re going to be tight on space!
A ball pit- with 250 balls. YES 250 and I know I’m crazy!
2 Lalaloopsy dolls: Mittens Fluff n Stuff & Crumbs Sugar Cookie
A monkey pillow pet
A fisher price cash register
New shoes and more new shoes!
A buggy thing that she can ride on (non motorized) (I got it for her 1st bday but she wasn’t walking -still isnt)
A sit & spin (also bought like a year ago)
A giant bag of mega blocks
I know there are more toys in my closet but I can’t think of them!
I really want to make her a giant magnetic chalkboard but that’s slow going. I don’t know where to get the magnetic metal cut to size and I obviously don’t have a saw! I found the paint and frame.. so maybe that’ll be a good chore for my brother =) To go with that she got a set of wooden alphabet magnets to go with her other 2 sets on the fridge. I hope to hang this in her play area so she can draw till her heart’s content ❤

Q’s FAQ

Everyone always asks me questions regarding ‘couponing’ as I call it. One of the most recent- how do you organize your inbox??
I have a TON going on.. freebies, a little girl, school, and doing some pleasure work with photography. That often means a lot of emails! The solution??
I have a separate inbox for freebies. It just so happens Uverse made me get an att.net username- so I use that one!
If you don’t have an ‘extra’ you should get one. Check it every couple of days for great deals and all those emails you get from the blog subscriptions I suggested last week! That way if something goes awry and you can’t get to the ‘junk’ emails you can at least get to the important ones.
Try sites like:
http://www.gmail.com (powered by Google)
http://www.yahoo.com
http://www.hotmail.com

Those are a few of my favorites! Good luck! ~Ashley

Freebies/Weird dreams

First of all, I want to refer you to my PPM page on FB..
http://www.facebook.com/#!/pages/Anderson-IN/Penny-Pinching-Mom/127399410629003

There you will find a couple of very good deals I’ve recently found. The best- a freebie!! Yep, free Renuzit air fresheners. I use these in the diaper champ! Print 2 coupons per computer. Just follow the link on my PPM FB page!! Also, a great deal on TP. I’m about to order mine now!
Enjoy

Next, I thought I’d limit myself to one post today. I woke up last night SUPER freaked out! I’ve been having really weird dreams lately, but this one takes the cake. I lost all my teeth. They were falling out everywhere. Then, my Mom’s dog came along and ate one of them. Seriously?? So weird!! I’m a little weird about my teeth and was talking about a dentist appointment yesterday, so maybe that’s what triggered this one.

On another note- I got a new shiny car yesterday. And it was HALF funded by the money I saved from clipping coupons. Seriously. Over the past year I saved a TON with coupons!!
Here’s a pic of it (not as shiny as it is now but I don’t have anywhere to take my own pic at my house!) Maybe I will do that later!

Unwritten territory?

First, I want to refer you to my facebook page for some awesome deals I’ve posted in the past few days. I have been limiting them to only super-awesome deals lately!!
Penny Pinching Mom

Today Miss Addy had her flu shot.. and she didn’t even cry!! Oh my goodness- my daughter is tougher than I am! After that, she was treated to Mc D’s nuggets & fries! She loved them 🙂 And, we went off to the park for a play date with our friend (and fellow blogger) Ciara & her little one Reaghan. Here’s my favorite poses from playtime:


On to the real reason behind this post:
Is there some sort of unwritten rule that someone you love shouldn’t be friends with someone you DON’T like? You know, like they are too close for comfort? I don’t know how to explain it really.. There aren’t many people I don’t like to be honest, but there are the select couple. We all have the ‘sort’ of people we don’t care for. Mine happens to be worthless people. Again, we all have our own definition of that too. Before I honk someone off, I’ll leave it at that!