Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Produce Price matches - 11/4 - 11/10

Apples 88 cents/lb WA extra fancy,
Red Delicious,
Golden Delicious
Corn 3 for $1 Ears of Corn
Navel Oranges 98 cents/lb
Avocados 2 for $1 Hass Avocado
Russet Potatoes $2.98 3lb bag
Asparagus $2.75 lb
Cranberries 12 oz. bag
Cilantro 2 for 88 cents

Russet Potatoes 99 cents/ 5lb bag
Navel Oranges 69 cents/lb
Grapefruit 69 cents/lb Texas Rio Star
Pears 99 cents/lb D’Anjou
Red Bartlett
Green Bartlett
Golden Bosc
Tomatoes (OTV) 1.99/lb Tomatoes on the vine
Red Globe Grapes 1.79/lb With seeds
Black Seedless grapes $1.99/lb seedless
Sweet Yellow Onions 99 cents/lb
Hass Avocado 4 for $5
Tangerines 1.99/lb California Fairchild
Lettuce 4 for $5 Garden Fresh Lettuce

Potatoes 1.99/lb 3lb bag Yukon Gold
Apples 2.99/lb 5lb bag Red,
Tomatoes (OTV) 2.99/lb On the vine
Baby carrots 2 for $5 2lb bag
Oranges 2.99/ea 4lb bag
Pineapple 2.99/ea
Mushrooms 1.99/ea 8oz pkg Sliced white
Sliced brown
Bell Peppers 2 for $3 Red Peppers
Yellow Peppers
Seedless black grapes 2.99/lb
Pears 1.69/lb Red Bartlett
Walnut Halves 2.99/ea 9oz pkg
Whole natural almonds 2.99/ea 8.5 oz
Navel Oranges 79 cents/lb From California

Apples 87 cents/lb Lg. Red Delicious
Bartlett Pears
Tangerines 3.77/ea 3lb bag Seedless
Bell Peppers $1/ea Red Bell
Sweet yellow
Grapefruit 4 for $1 Small size, Texas
Blueberries 2 for $5 4.4oz pkg
Shelled nuts 3.77/ea 12-16oz Pecans
HH tomatoes 1.99/lb Lg. Beefsteak Hot House tomatoes
Mushrooms 2 for $4 10oz pkg Jumbo Texan Stuffer
Broccoli 1.29/lb Crowns
Pomegranates 2 for $4 POM Wonderful
Mustard Greens 2 for $1 Collard

Apples 88 cents/lb Gala
Pomegranates 2 for 2.99 Jumbo
Apples 1.99/lb Honeycrisp
Grapefruit 99 cents/ea Jumbo Texas Grapefruit
Watermelon 3.99/ea Dulcinea Purehart seedless
Avocados 2 for $3 Large Hass
Tomatoes (OTV) 1.99/lb On the vine
Blueberries 2 for $6 6oz pkg

Thursday, October 1, 2009

CVS trip

I couldn't help it. I went to CVS after going to the movies with Corinne yesterday. We saw FAME. Loved it. Then I went to CVS and cashed in on their Tide Deal. I bought the following:

4 Bounce Dryer Bars = $4 ea
3 Tide Stain Release Tabs = $4 Ea
2 5" scissors (I had a raincheck for $2.99 ECB on each) = $2.99
1 24 pack of pencils (another raincheck for $1.99 ECB) = $1.99
1 CVS Acidophilus capsules = $5
Total before discounts = $41

1 $5/$25 CVS Coupon
3 $1.50 off 1 and 1 $2.50 off 1 for Bounce Dryer Bars from the mailer
3 $1/1 Tide Stain Release from a blinkie in the store
1 $5 ECB from a previous shopping trip
1 $7.40 in CVS giftcards from prescription refills
Total after discounts, just over $13

Plus, I got $18 back in ECB's.

Yay! It feels good to get some good deals after so long of not being out there shopping. Now I need to pull it back a little.

I didn't really NEED that much Tide stuff. The stain release capsules are awesome, but we don't use dryer sheets. HMPH. Maybe they go in the stockpile for bartering? Also, the school supplies just went into my school supply stockpile.

I hope CVS has some good deals over the next couple of weeks before my ECB's expire.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Compassion Question

The Lord has been teaching our family a lot about how we are supposed to exercise compassion with our neighbors. Jesus said the most important thing was for us to love the Lord our God with all our heart soul mind and strength, and to love our neighbor as ourselves. My question is: **when can you stop being compassionate and still be in Christ?** I am really feeling taken advantage of by a few of our neighbors that we are practicing compassion with.

I know I'm stressed about the actions of people who are going through A LOT. Consequently, they are not keeping their word, which is disappointing to say the least. I am also cognizant of my own failings and grace given me by the LORD. I know there have been times I haven't kept my word, and people have practiced compassion with me. I guess my real question is about boundaries with these relationships.

How can i exercise boundaries without seeming uncompassionate? Maybe this is the maternal instinct in me - just trying to take care of everyone. Maybe that is what has made me so willing to keep giving and giving until I've reached this point. My mom was sort of a martyr. She always gave of herself, even to the detriment of her health. I'd like to prevent the "to the detriment of my health" thing.

Advice appreciated.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Daily to-do list

I've never been a "list person", but have found this daily checklist to be super helpful to me. I keep it taped to my bathroom mirror.

Things to do after I pray:
Take vitamins/pills (AM)
Wash face (AM/PM)
Brush teeth (AM/PM)
Empty dishwasher (AM)
run clothes washer
Shop online (for grocery deals)
print/cut coupons
clean house
catagorize mail
empty dryer/fold clothes
call Mom
call Father-in-law
call friends
shop for groceries
fill dishwasher (PM)
move stuff to dryer, run dryer (PM)

Now, I do not get to all of these things before I go to bed each night - but it sure helps when I am sleep deprived, but have energy to do something around the house. I can't tell you how many days I've forgotten to take my vitamins or even wash my face. Taking care of twins is hard. See anything I missed?


Monday, September 28, 2009


Ok, now I am on the hunt for a refrigerator/freezer or standing freezer for our garage. We have one, but it is a small deep freezer and it usually overfull and hard to sort through. Since I am going back to school next month, I am trying to make sure we have meals prepared beforehand. It would be nice if I could stockpile in a way that saves us money and is easy to access. That way, we can also still eat healthy, even though I am not going to have enough time on a daily basis to cook.

Here's the catch. My goal is to get one for free. I have posted on Freecycle, and am asking people to keep their eyes open if they hear of anyone trying to get rid of one. I've been on the hunt for a couple of weeks now. We will see what happens. I'm not picky - and technically - it is not a NEED, so we aren't going to purchase one. We have other things we are budgeting for.

I'll keep you posted on my journey.

Old School Photo Storage Deal

So, I know, its been a while. I am still hunting for cool deals, and trying to hone my Home Management skills. This week we have been spring cleaning. This was my favorite deal so far - and it happens to fit in with my spring cleaning tasks. I was able to purchase 4 of these photo storage boxes at Michaels.
They are on sale 2 for $5, so if I figure out other uses for them, I will probably go back and purchase some more. If I do that, I will try to take some of those Michael's coupons from the Sunday paper so I can get an even better deal.

I ended up getting 2 solid brown, 1 solid white, and 1 solid black. There were a bunch of funky patterns, but I didn't feel that daring when I was out today.

The cashier said they will be on sale through Saturday.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Please pass on the word!

Did you know that the new Healthcare reform bill is going to fund abortions using our tax dollars? Also, it will support the government in firing Doctors who refuse to perform abortions.

Please help stop the madness


This is so important to me, I cannot help but put it on the top of every webpage I know. Please pass on the word so others can help. We live in a democracy. Our voices need to be heard.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Sum up

Sorry for gone for so long, I've been super busy with my MBA class and the twins and getting ready for our annual trip to Seattle. My recent scores in grocery shopping have been the following:

1. Ground Turkey at Albertson's with $2 off Manager stickers - we got 1.2 lbs for $1.49/ea (I bought 4 lbs for us and froze them in 1/2 lb packages for use later.
2. CVS school supplies - 28 folders, 6 80 page notebooks, 6 rulers, 6 school glues, and 6 packs of 8 pens for a total of under $5! (I also got some rainchecks for their 5 inch scissors for $2.99 with $2.99 ECB's) woo hoo!

Lastly, I found that Walmart's price matches extend to produce and meat sales as well. City Market has Red Bell peppers for $0.88/ea - Walmart matched it, so I got their red peppers for $0.88/ea instead of $2.99.

I really haven't been shopping much this month - I've been trying to shop in my freezer and have been pretty successful.

I just signed up for a giveaway at one of my favorite sites - ChaChing on a Shoestring. I get an extra submission for the drawing because I am blogging about it. I love that website (but I'm sure you can tell, since they are in my right toolbar).

gotta go. Today's Corie's Birthday so I'm taking her to get our nails done.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

I want I want I need I need

Ok, school has started for me, so shopping for deals is more of a hobby than something I am going to get to do regularly (insert sad face here). I've been so pumped about how much I have been helping with our finances. I really have. We are pretty stocked up for this month. Lots of Chicken and Rice and Beans and veggie combinations. The babies are going to enjoy bananas, rice cereal and applesauce this month.

I am going to keep my eyes peeled for FREE or very cheap grocery deals for July and August. God willing, we will get a couple of our CC's paid off that we didn't pay off because we didn't get paid for maternity leave. Please pray for me specifically about that. It is a subject that I am constantly giving to God. I know he can - and will - provide.

Thanks friends -
Marie A.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Cereal and CVS

So, I went to CVS hoping to cash in on this nifty deal but there were no lens cloths left. I was able to get some $3 glasses cases instead, and the deal worked so they paid me $4 to take them off of their hands. I also used Alberta's CVS card and bought her a couple of glasses cases too. I'm rolling up her CVS dollars and keeping them for her until she asks for them.

My favorite deal though was actually with my husband on date night. Thursday, we went to a movie using some BOGO coupons then went to Albertsons to buy some cereal. I knew about the 5 boxes of cereal for $8.88, and I was prepared with my coupon book. We bought 15 boxes of cereal, 3 lbs of strawberries, and 1 dozen large eggs for $19.11. The best part was that on the back of 10 of the boxes of cereal I scored a $1.50 pampers coupon that doesn't expire until 2011. So I left with $15.00 in coupons I'll use too!

The deal on cereal at Albertsons is going on through Tuesday night only. OH, did I mention that they give you $2.50 off your bill if you pick up a pound of strawberries or 6 oz of blueberries or raspberries when you take them up on their 5 for 8.88 deal? Yay for Albies! Go to the Happy Couponing Blog so you can print out and use the coupons too.

OH, and please pray for me as this is week 1 of my 8 week killer Master's level Economics course.


Monday, June 15, 2009

I'm a rule breaker.

I have this rule based on JFK's quote, "Two elephants for two quarters is only a good deal if you need two elephants and you have two quarters"

Anyway, that is how I keep myself in check when I find good deals. I ask myself - do I need this item? Do I have the money to spend on this item? Otherwise I can get too "deal happy" and buy what I don't need.

So here's my confession. I went to Kroger to pick up some frosting for Alberta (my sister/neighbor). I had a 50 cent off coupon, so I knew I could get it for a dollar off. That was the planned purchase, not the problem.

While I was there, I also used three 50 cent coupons for Ken's Salad Dressing, and was able to get them for 49 cents each. Here's the rub. I never - well, almost never - eat salad. The deal was so good, and I heard great things about them, so I spent the $1.47 on them.

My husband has a hypersensitivity to vinegar - so I've never used salad dressing in cooking. To be honest, dressings usually expire way before they get consumed in my household. I bought these dressings with a *hope* that I will use them to eat more salad and healthy things while I am at home. I will make a valient effort to use them - and make meals that I can eat while Chad is at work. :-)

I have to be aware of these things though. I can't let myself get in the habit of buying what we will not use - UNLESS, I am planning on giving the stuff away.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

15 cent Huggies at BRU

This week at BRU (Babies R Us) you get back a $15 BRU giftcard when you buy 2 value boxes of their Huggies diapers. The sale is available only if you go into the store. Look at this link to see the ad.

If that link doesn't work, go to your own Babies R Us site and click on the "View this week's ad" link. It is in the paper ad.

You have to buy 2 value packs to get this deal. Huggies Snug N' Dry Diaper Value packs run around $40.99 for the following sizes

Value box sizes/# of diapers/price/Price per diaper
Huggies Size 1-2/264/$40.99/$.155 cents per diaper (BEFORE $15 gift card)
Huggies Size 3/204/$40.99/$.21 or $66.80 for two boxes/$.16 cents per diaper
Huggies Size 4/176/$40.99/$.23 or $66.80 for two boxes/$.19 cents per diaper
Huggies Size 5/112/$33.99/$.30 or $52.98 for two boxes/$.24 cents per diaper

Here are some Huggies Coupons that I found on HotCouponWorld.com - I am not sure if there are any Pull-Ups or Overnights value boxes.

Huggies Pull-ups $2/1 06-14-09 SS
Huggies Pull-ups $3/1 Printable
Huggies Snugglers or Little Movers Diapers $2/1 Printable
Huggies Pure & Natural Diapers, $3/1 05-17-09 SS (expires on 6/20)
Huggies Diapers $1.50/1 05-17-09 SS
Huggies Overnights $2/1 Printable(Thanks JT at Big Baby Bargains)

I bet you will be able to get your diapers for between 15 and 20 cents a diaper by rolling the gift card into subsequent boxes of diapers.

Also, keep your reciepts/gift receipts with the boxes. If your babies grow out of the size before you've used all of the diapers, you can ALWAYS take it back to BRU for a full refund. Since I have twins, I go through a lot of diapers.

This is the first time I've put up a post like this - let me know if it helped you in the comments. :-)

God be with you - Marie

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Diapers week

Last week I was so excited about the diaper deal I got at CVS - but I was limited to how much I could buy from there because they had a 3 diaper pack limit. Well, I've gone through 100+ of those diapers already, so it was time to try to find another 15cent deal like the one I stocked up on back when they were size ones.

Praise the Lord! Toys R Us/Babies R Us (TRU/BRU) sent out a $5 off value pack of Pampers in last Sunday's paper. I was able to take that to BRU and get the value pack of 228 size 2 Baby Dry diapers for $35.99 ($0.157 per diaper!). So I bought 3 boxes. I'll make sure to tape receipt copies to each of the boxes just in case they grow out of the size 2's before we go through the diapers.

Even better, I was able to return a size 1 value box of pampers, so I got $44 in store credit to use for those diapers. Woo Hoo!

This week I spent:
Babies R Us: $72.51

Retail prices would have cost:
Babies R Us: 133.11

My price book would have allowed me to spend:
Kroger: 12.00 (4X$1.50 for shredded cheese , 6X$1 2 liter pop, 10X$0 koolaid)
Babies R Us: between 136.80 & 102.60 (15 to 20 cents each diaper)

So I saved Retail(pricebook):
Kroger: $16.10 ($2)
Babies R Us: 60.60 ($0-$30)

So, I saved over $76 retail, and between $2 and $32 dollars in my own book.

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Slow week until this weekend

I've been busy with baby ear infections this week, so shopping has been on the back burner - However, I did get a great deal on diapers this morning, and got a really nice high chair for the kiddos yesterday. Here's what I did.

I went to CVS

I bought
1 Jumbo pack Pampers diapers for $8.99, used a $1/1 coupon from this morning's paper, and got back $5 ECB's (think of that like CVS cash back).
paid $8.65

Then, I bought
1 Jumbo pack Pampers diapers
1 Gillette fusion razor for 7.99, used a $4/1 coupon from this morning paper
1 Special K cereal for $4.49, used a $1/1 coupon from this morning paper
1 Frosted Mini Wheats cereal for Free (B1G1 promo), used a $1/1 coupon from this morning paper
and used the $5 ECB from the first transaction
paid $11.21 got back a $4 ECB from the razor and a $5 ECB from the diapers

Finally, I bought
1 Jumbo pack Pampers diapers
1 Frosted Flakes cereal for $5.19, used a $1/1 coupon from this morning's paper
1 Frosted Mini Wheats cereal for Free
Used $4 ECB and $5 ECB from last transaction
paid $4.18

Looking back, I should have mix and matched the cereals differently so I could've saved more since the Mini-wheats were priced at $4.39, the Frosted Flakes at $5.19, and the Special K at 4.49. It really would have only made a $.10 difference, but it could've been more.

Lets talk about inflated prices, shall we? I never would pay $4 for a box of cereal, much less $5.19. Really, I only pay $1 - $1.50 per box.
I would never pay $11.99 for a box of 36 diapers ($.33/diaper), much less the sale price of $8.99/36 diapers ($.25/diaper). I usually pay less than $.20/diaper - $.15 if I can help it.
I do not (nor does my husband) want or need a new razor - so I wouldn't pay $9.99 for a new one, or the sale price of $7.99. I would take one for free though. I can give it to charity.

Lets figure out how much I realistically saved then:
Total I would be willing to pay:
$16.20 to $21.60 for Diapers: 3 packs of 36 = 108 diapers; ideal price $.15/diaper (108 * $.15 = $16.20 (low end), 108*$.20=$21.60 (high end))

$0 for razor: since I don't need one, I would not regularly buy one.

$4 to $6 for cereal: 4 boxes; ideal price $1 to $1.50/box

Total I'd be willing to frugally spend
between $20.20 and $27.60 for this amount of diapers and cereal.

Total I spent:
$8.65+11.21+4.18 = $24.04

So, I landed in my preset perameters for spending. (whew!) And, I have $5 in ECB's to spend next week, as well as a razor for charity.

Praise God!

My dear In-laws want to buy the babies some high chairs, we were able to get one of the ones they recommended from Target at $20 below the price we had budgeted for it! My sweet FIL (father in law) researched high chairs and we decided the two we liked the most were The cozy dinette and the Costco 3 in 1 high chair. Each were priced at $99 - so he sent us a check for 2 $99 high chairs. We were able to get the cozy dinette chair in mulberry at target for $79! I'm excited.

We'll try it out and see if we like it enough to get the blue one at Wal-mart for $99. I hope we like it so I can give back some of the $$. That would be so cool.

Yay! my sister just came over and gave me her CVS card so I can go buy some more of those diapers. Woo hoo! Peace out!

Friday, June 5, 2009

Summer Activities

You MUST check out this post on Cha-Ching on a Shoestring if you have kids and are trying to figure out some fun things to do with them (that don't break the bank).


Thank you Kaley!!


Sunday, May 31, 2009

ChaChing Challenge

Ok, if Ben Franklin was right about a penny saved being a penny earned, I earned about $150 this week. I did not go grocery shopping until yesterday. Some things that have helped me stretch our $$ this week have been the following:

Meals provided by my parents - Mom sent us home with enchiladas, beans, rice, and dessert.
We bought a distiller for water so we don't have to buy bottled water anymore.
We stockpiled on the Kashi waffles and Kelloggs cereals the past few weeks, so breakfast has been taken care of.
Between Mom and the stockpile, we were good this week. I only went to Walmart to pick up the paper and some Knorr pasta sides that were on sale. I also spent our Costco refund check at costco on soymilk ($24), Juice and chips (total $37.06 out of a $46 check.)

Ultimately, I saved
$4.50 in coupons
$2.00 in price matchups at Walmart
$8.96 overage at Costco.

I spent:
$17.88 at Walmart
-$8.96 at Costco

Since we have a $200/week budget - moved down to $100 budget since I started couponing - I saved about $90 by NOT going grocery shopping.

Thank you for the challenge Kaley and Wes! Thanks be to God for helping me with this!

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

$10 hr.

Benjamin Franklin was credited with the phrase "A penny saved is a penny earned". As our company CMO, that is the only way I can contribute to our family's bottom line right now. So I figured out I am earning (read: saving) about $10 for each hour I spend on cutting, sorting, and shopping with coupons. Sometimes I do way better - (like that one week at Target) - but I average about $10/hr. I like that this activity is quantifiable.

Other CMO duties are not as quantifiable - so I am having problems with motivation to do them. For example - laundry. We have plenty of clothes, so Chad and I can go for weeks without me putting any effort into doing our laundry. I need to get this on some sort of schedule so it isn't so overwhelming.

Other examples - dusting, sweeping/mopping, doing dishes - all seems so mundane to me. I will get on a schedule though. At least than maybe I can celebrate weeks that I stay on it. That's probably going to help. I need to create my own recognition program and than get Chad's buy-in.

hmmm. I'll let you know how it goes.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Vickies anyone?

I was coaxed into shopping for myself while "resting" at my parents house on Saturday morning with my sister, Corie, and my fabulous niece, Semira. Semira asked Chad if I could go with them to Victoria's Secret (they are having their semi-annual sale).

Long story super short - I saved $86 on 13 pairs of underwear. Was that TMI? I paid $2.50 for each pair - I am so happy. So this week I saved a lot. We also went to Bath and Body works, where I purchased 2 items at 1/2 price - saving $7.00. We ended our spree at Old Navy where there were no flip-flops to be found - but I did find a cute swimsuit for $12.50! I have no idea if I saved anything on that since it was not a planned purchase.

Target/Walmart - about $160 saved between the two places
Shopping at the Mall - $93

Total --> $253! Wow.

Now, I did feel some pressure as gas prices were going up this week in anticipation of Memorial Day weekend. I need to get our receipts from that and put them into the Google document.

I am going to refrain from any large shopping trips for a few weeks, I think. We seem to be all stocked - as long as I take time to do some cooking. I will keep my eyes peeled for free items at the store, CVS-ing and such - and keep you posted on our continuous improvement efforts.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Midnight shopping spree

Yesterday, Tuesday, was my big shopping day. I wanted to go to SuperTarget so bad because of all the great deals this week. I found a very easy to follow list on Surviving The Stores.
I ended up spending $78.28 (I could hardly believe it!). The price of all of my groceries was over $207 before discounts and coupons. I even got a $5.00 giftcard to use for the future. Joe went with me and did some shopping of for his family, too. It was nice to hang out with my brother. We were shopping late at night, completely outside of my original plans, but it worked.
The babies were at Corie and Joe's house since we were out from 8pm-1am. Once we were done at Target, he took me to a new Wal-mart with aisles of clearance items. I ended up getting over $30 of clearance items for about $7.50. My favorite purchase last night were these potholders - I know, I know - I'm a domestic diva now. I got two Neoprene Pot Holders for $1.00 each. They are rectangular, like the one on the right. They were regularly priced at $4.25/ea.
For those of you in the DFW area, the Walmart is at 6300 Oakmont Blvd, Fort Worth, TX.
My other favorite purchase were our 2 liter bottles of Coke and Sprite for $.88/ea. It was a price match with this week's Albertson's coupon/ad. (good through Tuesday)
I just read my favorite $$ saving website, Cha-Ching on a shoestring. Thank you Kaley and Wes for honoring me by making me the ChaChing Challenge winner for last week. I am so blessed to have people like you as an encouragement!

Friday, May 15, 2009

Savings this week

Our budget for groceries was $200/week (including diapers) back when we were both employed - I've been reducing that as much as I possibly can - only shopping if/when I can get a good deal.

This week I spent
<$20 on produce/groceries/papers (Saved $0) $43.16 on gasoline (saved .36 vs. TX average gas prices) $15.16 on clothes (saved $10.01) $6 at Chick-fil-a (saved $3 with coupon for free kids meal) $30 on date night @ Olive Garden (saved $4 with rollatini coupon) All in all, I only "saved" $17.36 this week. But I also didn't spend money - which counts for something.

Chad did a great job spoiling me for my belated Mother's day without spending much.
2 hour massage (prepaid @ massage envy, so I only had to pay a tip)
trip to the chiropractor (paid for by insurance)
Local coffee shop for coffee and a muffin and hanging out (around $10)
Lunch and Dinner above (we used coupons for both!)
We just hung out today, and I had a chance to take a glorious 3 hour nap.
Cori babysitting kids in the afternoon, and PandA in the evening (free childcare!)

I gotta start somewhere! :-)

Monday, May 11, 2009

grocery spreadsheet

Here it is!


Now its time to bathe the kids. :-)

Thank you Erin!

I found a spreadsheet that is going to help me track my savings on Hot Coupon World. I am a firm believer on not re-inventing the wheel so this was created by another CMO somewhere and of all of the spreadsheets I've found, I like this one the best. I just got it posted on http://spreadsheets.google.com/ccc?key=rBmT9dpxau8A0S1HUk9nAsg - just so y'all can see it too (and encourage me).

I think the thing I like least about being CMO is the feeling of being an island. This blog helps me to reach out and get the feeling of accountability.

Also, thank you for the website and book info on how to make baby foods.

I just printed out a $4 off per person coupon for Olive Garden - yay for date night coupons! :-)

Off I go to get my spreadsheet started. I went to Walmart this morning to pick up a couple of extra papers for coupons and some produce, so I can get some numbers in there.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

How do I keep track of this?

You can't improve what you can't measure --Jeff Hook, Fellowship Technologies

My former CEO used to say this all the time. It was the cornerstone for my ability to consult churches and help them get a higher Return on Ministry at the churches. We would measure the effacacy of what they were doing so they could make informed decisions on where/what was improving and how to proceed.

Now I am the CMO at my house (Chief Maternal Officer). That was the only title I could think of that encompassed all of the jobs I do for our houshold. I have goals - but I need to be sure to measure where I am so I can see what works and what doesn't.

Goals for this quarter (April - June)
1. Increase Chad's fruit/veggie intake to 3 servings a day + Hybrid vitamins
2. Decrease grocery/diaper spending to <$100/week
3. Study homemade baby food; pros, cons, methods

I am going to measure #1 in the calendar. I know I can't make Chad take his vitamins - but I can make sure they are within his reach. I also pack his lunch and dinner each day for work - so I can track what he eats there too. I want him around for a long time.

I am struggling with a way to measure #2. I know I can measure the total that I spend, but I want to build an excel spreadsheet/program to help me track trends for the next quarter. I think I'm going to end up writing out the scope of the program and work in from there.

#2 is going to be tracked at the Macro level with my participation in the ChaChing-challenge. Each Friday or Saturday, I'll post about what deals I cashed in on this week.

Not sure how I am going to organize info from #3 yet. It's a work in progress. Probably in a notebook, or another blog.

Do you have any tips or tricks to share?

Thanks for your support and prayers as we go on this journey as a family!

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Why I'm doing this

OK, I have been really excited about being able to contribute to our family's finances by couponing. I am motivated to continually improve processes and thrive when I have metrics showing me whether I am making an impact or not. This couponing thing is right up my alley.

I've been praying for God to help me to multiply my talents while I am working from home, and raising the kids. This has been a (surprise) FUN activity for me. I get so pumped when i see those receipts and get to show them to Chad when he comes home.

So here's what I've been doing this week:
Checking my favorite budget blogs each day - www.moneysavingmom.com, www.frugal4abusylife.com, www.survivingthestores.com, and ChaChing on a shoestring.

Went Grocery shopping at Kroger and took a picture of what I got - about $100 worth of groceries for $33. With God's help, I saved 68% on that one.

Went grocery shopping at Walmart and spent $25 on 4 Sunday Papers ($4), 3 gallons of distilled water ($2.50), and 14 cans of fat-free refried beans (price matched at $1 ea.).

Corinne and I went to Babies R Us to use a $7 off coupon - but found out when we got to the store that I read the coupon wrong. I was all excited because we use Pampers Sensitive wipes, and we had just purchased them for $2/pack. With the coupon I had, I was able to get 12 packs for $1.67/ea. I was really bummed because I thought I was going to be able to get them for $1 each - but was out of luck.

ahh well. Corinne and I are having fun hunting for deals. God is multiplying our efforts. I give Him all of the praise for giving us wisdom as to where to go and what to do.

Last night, we went to went to my 24 hour CVS to get in on this deal and they didn’t have any metal hooks at that location. So, I used the $1.50/1 coupon and the $1/1 coupon for some plastic hooks and strips. They didn’t ring up as 2 for $5, but the assistant manager overrode the prices and gave them to me for the 2 for $5 price because they were put in the 2 for $5 area. I ended up doing 2 transactions, and paid a total of $5 (includes 2 $5 extra cvs bucks).

Considering they were regularly priced at $6.99-9.49 each, I was pretty stoked.

Let me know if you are signed up for the challenge too, and we can encourage eachother!

Today or tomorrow, I am planning on cashing in on the Wal-Mart deals that are out there, and maybe the Target deals.

Learning to lean on Jesus,