Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Is It Really Frugal?

I was thrilled and full of excitement when DH handed me the grocery list and saw that he had saved a nice chunk of the bill using coupons with his shopper's card. Not all the coupons were able to be doubled, and we didn't have a coupon for everything we needed.

He brought home:
  1. 12 boxes/bags of cereal
  2. 10 boxes frozen veggies
  3. 15 ct. Totinos Pizza Rolls
  4. 6 pk. Yoplait Yogurt
  5. Coffemate Creme Brule
  6. Betty Crocker Potatoes
  7. Fiskies Cat Food
  8. 2 boxes Taco Shells
  9. Bisquick
  10. Hellman's Mayo
  11. 2 Bottles Hoagie Spread
  12. 2 Bunches Celery
Everything came to a total of $27.99 (including tax). I can't remember when we got so many things for under $30! With everything he brought home, the only thing I wouldn't have purchased would have been the Bisquick, Totinos and the Betty Crocker Potatoes. With coupons, though, the Bisquick came out cheaper than I could make it, the Totinos were free as well as the BC Potatoes.

So did I sell out to use coupons? I don't know. I'm on the fence if I'm giving my family healthy items. The cereal was things like Cheerios and not sugar cereals. Am I cutting back where I shouldn't? I struggle with this one, as we've been doing scratch items for so long, but the price of items to cook from scratch has gotten so high these days. I'm on the fence on this one.

Friday, April 25, 2008

Busy And Productive Week

Frugal Friday

We have been contemplating moving for quite a long while. With DH's job being unpredictable, he has been looking for employment elsewhere. He found a job that he's very qualified for, but we are now sitting on the fence wondering if he should apply and move out of state, or if we should stay and see if he stays employed. If we move, we are going to end up with a mortgage - something we no longer have. We have dug our way out of debt, and wonder if this is the time to jump back in it. The economy scares me, and the last thing I want is a mortgage looming over my head. However, if DH loses his job, we are in another predictament. Ohhhh, what's a body to do? I'm really leaning towards staying here and deal with a job loss if it comes.

Until then, I'm working on stretching DH's hard earned check. I have some pretty decent savings to report.

CVS (Our store has been a bit of a disappointment this month- they're not getting things in to restock. Some things like the Softsoap SPA has not been in all month! It looks like I'll be missing that one. Bummer. We were looking forward to trying it.) With all that said, here's my CVS savings for the week:

Speedstitck 24/7 Deodorant
2 bottles CVS Vitamin C 500 mg. 100 ct.
6 boxes Kleenex tissues 120 ct.
2 bottles Herbal Essence Shampoo
1 box Pepcid Ez Chews 25ct.

After coupons ($7), a CVS kickout on vitamins ($2) and ECB's ($14), my total OOP was $3.63. I also have a $5.50 rebate from Pepcid, so my final cost... I made $1.87 (actually, $1.46 after postage to send the rebate out). I also received 8.99 in ECB's for the next trip!!!

Rite Aid shopping trip

Advil PM
SanDisk 1GB
Oral B Cross Action Toothbrush
Just for Men Touch of Gray Hail Color
Jane Be Pure Mineral Make Up
2 Stayfree Maxi Pads
2 Nature's Bounty Flex-A-Min
Duracell Batteries AAA 12 ct.
Dove Ultra Clear Deodorant
Dove Body Mist
Renuzit Pearl Scents
Renuzit Super Odor Nutralizer Spray

Total OOP after coupons ($21.99) was $68.32. Total after 1 check rebate is: $25.37. I also have $8.00 in rebates for a final cost of $17.37. Not bad for $90.31 worth of items! This whole haul was less than what we paid for the last memory card we purchased for my DD's camera last year!

There are still a few things I want to get at Rite Aid before the One Check rebate runs out for this month. They are supposed to restock today, so I'm keeping my fingers crossed that the things I want will be available tonight.

Shopping has become quite fun again!! :)

Monday, April 21, 2008

What's New at the Homestead

Can you believe a month has already gone by since my last post? A WHOLE month?!!! Unbelievable! Between the blasted flu hitting us all pretty hard, and then life's demands, I hadn't had much time to think of blogging. I decided today, to take a break and record what has been going on at the homestead.

We have been looking at numerous ways of saving money. Our shopping trips have become more exciting since we've been matching up coupons and rebates. I no longer dread watching the register, but instead, I love knowing how little I am paying for things. Our last CVS and Rite Aid trip was a good example. My combined purchases included:
  1. 2 boxes Raisin Bran Crunch
  2. Aquafresh Extreme Clean
  3. Samy Mousse
  4. Total Complete Whitening
  5. 2 Glade Plug-In's Scented Oil with warmer
Total cost of the above items (after coupons and rebates) was 79 cents!

Another good buy at CVS was 5 Sunsilk 24/7 and one Sunsilk shampoo for a total of $3.18 - that's less than what we paid for the last bottle we purchased at Walmart. My DD loves the 24/7 so the cost difference pleased all of us.

As we have been watching the cost of things increase, we have been limiting the amount we were able to spend on items like shampoo and other personals. We had informed both children that they won't be able to buy those brand name items - but store brand, unless they want to pitch in the balance. I know it sounds harsh, but being brand faithful can be very expensive. Now that we are shopping at CVS and Rite Aid, they no longer have to do that, because this breaks down even cheaper than store brand!! Sadly, we avoided both stores because they were more expensive than Walmart. Or so we thought!

Yesterday, we put together a very primitive solar oven made from cardboard boxes, aluminum foil and newspaper. We sat a piece of glass over top (it needs cut down yet) just to see what potential the oven might have. Without reflectors, a fitted glass or a good sunny day, the oven reached 130 degrees. We sat it out just before a rain storm - so the sun was poking in and out of heavy clouds. As soon as we get through the cloudy week, we should be ready to really test the oven. We'll have the glass cut down to fit correctly, and the reflectors will be finished. I can't wait!!

I put the humming bird feeder up on Saturday. I'm expecting to see them any time now. I can't tell you how much I'm looking forward to seeing them again. Speaking of birds, we have been blessed with a real treat. For the past month or so, we have been able to watch a pair of doves set up their home in a tree outside my kitchen window. The way the nest is, I can't get a picture where one can make out the dove sitting, or the baby. It's sad that I haven't been able to photograph it, but I'm thrilled to be able to witness something so cool. Isn't nature wonderful?

For a little bit of fun, I joined the SockMadness 2 competition. I decided with a little bit of push, I could use some of my stash up, and have fun along the way. I was thrilled to be able to make it to round 3 before I was knocked out. I might have even made it to round 4 had the flu not knocked me down and put me in bed. You know it had to hit the hardest just after the 3rd pattern came out. That's ok though, because I really needed to start focusing on getting things done around here. It was a cool diversion though. I made 2 very nice socks and I'm on my 3rd pair - getting ready to turn the heel on the second sock.

Zombie Socks designed by Sheryl Giles for Round 1

Reversai Socks designed by Janine Le Cras for Round 2

That's all the time I have for today. The rest of the news will have to wait for another time. Have a lovely, lovely April day!