Saturday, May 31, 2008

More Grocery Savings....

Wow... another fabulous weekend at Walgreens (Friday) and Meijer (Saturday)!

15 boxes of Pierogies = 40.80 after sale and coupons $5.40
a bunch of freebies from Walgreens after sales and coupons
a bunch of almost freebies at Walgreens & Meijer.

There was a mad gathering around the meat section at Meijer today as they had a ton of 40% off stickers on just about anything -- plus .99 per pound on Ground Sirloin. It was gone instantly. One lady - I was impressed had about 20 packages in her cart!

I saved $86 at Walgreens - OOP $11.00 (rounded to the nearest dollar) and $120 at Meijer - OOP $92.00. I went over for the week a touch, but I won't need meat next week so next week I won't need so much grocery money.

We went to Home Depot today to buy a HUGE shelving unit. I needed more space for my stock-ups! Now I have a mission: Fill a 48"H x 24 D 5 shelf storage unit! That can go with my already stocked pantry, linen closet, basement, and closet!!

I can't believe the good fortune I've had shopping lately.

Monday, May 26, 2008

Get your Printer Ready - Coupons on the Web!

I stumbled upon a great resource for printable coupons!
The web is such a wonderful thing - I really wish this was around (in this state) back when I first got married and had my ds. OH THE MONEY I COULD HAVE SAVED!

A Full Cup - Printables - You'll want to bookmark this one!

Memorial Day -- A Day of Remembering

A Day of Remembering.....

My dad -- has been gone since 1994. He was only 55 years old and was just starting to take advantage of the "life" he worked so hard for. He always said the restaurant was going to kill him. He was right. Well, that and cigarettes, fatty food and no exercise, I suppose.
My dad and I didn't have the most spectacular of relationships. I spent most of my life fearing him and seeking his approval. It was near the end of his life that we were breaking that wall and getting to understand each other. I have that to hold onto.

My grandparents -- My mother's parents were the most incredible people I have ever met. I can't even get into what a blessing they both were to my life. They were very generous with their time and love. My grandma had a frugal nature that I used to poke fun of, but now live myself. They were both hard working and lived a wholesome life. My dad's dad passed away long before I was ever born. In fact he died while my father was a young boy. I wish with my whole heart that he lived a lot longer, because I feel my dad would have been a whole different person if he had - and in doing so - we would have had a much better relationship from the get go. My dad's mother - I have resentment towards her. She tried - but ultimately I think her well being came before those of her kids and I don't agree with that.

A lost love, Bob -- You never forget your first love. Not that I have a whole whirlwind romance story to tell you about Bob, because I don't. I have just always felt that by something bigger than he and I, that we were destined to have our paths crossed. Even though our lives took turns away from each other, for some reason Memorial Day was a day we would reconnect. I have no idea why. Bob passed away at the age of 24 (in 1992) - and it broke my heart.....into a million little pieces. And because history dictates that I should - I visit his grave every Memorial Day Weekend. To the old times!

Baby Boy -- Anytime a child dies - it breaks your heart. In our neighborhood, a young 2 year old angel of light was killed accidentally by his next door neighbor. My note to everybody: Teach your children to ALWAYS watch for cars -- and ALWAYS make sure your driveway is clear of children when you are backing out (even if you don't have any). SUVs are so high up, she never even saw him.... Any loss of a child would be a shame, but this child was a bright light. His smile was constant and his heart huge! I often said I couldn't wait to see the man he grew to be. Sad.

Sunday, May 25, 2008

June Budget

June Budget

No big changes here except for that mighty fine payment to Bank of America (thanks to some overtime!)
We'll be changing cell phone plans this month and DS will be picking up more of the tab on that.

Looking for a bit more approved overtime in June from my job because of the training season - and then things should level out. My amazing dh, on the otherhand, should be seeing overtime for awhile!

Let the Summer Begin!

Random Updates of Debt and Grocery Shopping

Keeping up with the Plan

Extra Money
We've been very lucky to have the hours we both do right now - and we've been making the best of it. Our budget goes a month ahead meaning last month's income pays for this month's bills. We changed over to that style budget last year as a part of our BS1. Our hours fluctuate somewhat and I was never quite sure on how much to figure on. (Got off track a little - sorry) We have $940 extra in the budget due to the overtime that was worked which means that the Bank of America will be seeing a little extra money from me. Also means that Bank of America total due will drop under $10K.

Still love the Envelopes
My bank teller ladies are always so nice to me when I come in for my monthly CASH to stuff envelopes with. I always leave a nice little note explaining what and how many bills I need. We are entering Month 11 of our Total Money Makeover and I still get the same rush when I fill my monthly envelopes!

The story of the new car has been put on the back burner on a very low simmer. I'm happy the process came to a halt. I think my stress that week was 100% contributed to my two selves battling -- The Inner Brat and the Responsible Adult. Oh, when those two go at it -- LOOK OUT! The things you can rationalize in your mind when the inner brat is throwing a tantrum is amazing. No wonder so many people are in debt.

All Aboard
So many times when going through a process like this, it's hard to get the husband and wife on the same page of what has to happen. At first when we started this plan, I know my dh was just appeasing me. I have a habit of starting things and not finishing them - so he thought of it as one of my half baked ideas that will last a weekend and he didn't put a whole lot of thought into it.
Eleven months later - he's on board (at least until BS4) and even has the lingo down. I thought I would share a funny conversation we had while watching tv the other night:
There was a commercial on tv about this great new bra that Victoria Secret has out. I said, "Look, honey. Victoria Secret's got a fancy new bra! Do you want me to spend $60 on a pretty new bra?" "As long as you are using your share of the blow money because I don't want to spend my blow money for it!" LOL.

Grocery Store Guru Strikes Again
I don't know if the deals are just getting better lately or if I'm just getting back into the stock up mode - but I've been finding killer deals!

Last week, my pile of FREE things was almost as big as the pile I paid for.
This week, my grocery receipt said SAVINGS: $73.00 and my total out of pocket was only $35.00. I got $108 worth of stuff for only $35.00.

I took advantage of Friday's $5 off $20 at Walgreens and my little rebate card to help out with some deals there.

If you haven't been to HOT COUPON WORLD I strongly you diving into that site and take a poke around. They post deals, sales fliers ahead of time, and scenarios to save the most money. It's incredible!

Needless to say, I need another shelving unit - my stocking up is seriously getting nuts!!!

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

American Idol 2007....err I mean 2008!

Randy Jackson checking out! I'll say it for the last time this season... RANDY JACKSON YOU ARE AN IDIOT!

Congrats to David Cook for winning American Idol Season Seven!
After all the criticism last night during the finale performances, I really though the vote would have fallen towards little David.

Now to see what the future has in store for Mr. Cook!
Got to save up some money for a great new album and hopefully a live show next summer!
Whoop! Whoop!

A fun stat I found on

American Idol vs. iTunes Top 20 Quickie:

#3. Billie Jean - David Cook
#7. Imagine - David Archuleta
#8. Always Be My Baby - David Cook
#10. Music of the Night - David Cook
#18. Eleanor Rigby - David Cook
#20. I’m Alive - David Cook
#21. Longer - David Archuleta
#23. Little Sparrow - David Cook
#24. Innocent - David Cook
#25. Hungry Like the Wolf - David Cook
#27. Think of Me - David Archuleta
#30. Angels - David Archuleta

Looks like David Cook fans have the money to support a music career ... they bought more MP3s at Itunes!

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

American Idol -- Looking to the Finale

So who is suprised? ANYBODY?
I would imagine Syesha isn't even surprised by the outcome of tonight's announcement of who was in the finale.

The show of David vs David. We've known it for weeks now it was just a matter of going through the motions to get here. I haven't voted up until this point - but I will next week.

My random thoughts:

Randy Jackson has been an idiot this season. Paula is as Paula ever was, but Randy takes the cake for stupid contradictory comments this year. From his comments to Michael Johns about American Idol not being about dreams that it was about finding the best singer although every week someone is mentioning the word DREAMS!! Take THAT, Mr Jackson! Also, with DA singing an R&B hit and having Randy say -- "It's not who you are." Really? How do we know who DA is besides the show puppet of this father and American Idol? And ending with Randy's comments to DC after his performances this week too. Does he even have a clue? Is he worth really having an opinion on this show? Does he even make an impact? At least Paula is entertaining!

Who needs this more?
David Archuletta needs this more than David Cook does. I can see DA being the "Okay kid, stand here... move there... tilt your head this way....that way....." and ultimately, "Go Home kid, your 15 minutes of fame are up." What looked like the second coming of the Beatles in his homecoming video will be replaced by the next new thing because you know what ..... little girls, tweens and young teens change their flavor of the week VERY QUICKLY. God forbid DA turns into an awkward looking adult and not the cute smiley boy -- he's done. Finished. Kaput! We'll see him on WHERE IS HE NOW. David Cook on the other hand, I can see doing a Chris Daughtry. I see him lasting longer than a mere 15 minutes. How much lasting power does he have? I'm not sure because the music industry is (quoting Ben on Lost last week) "a fickle b*tch". That being said, I think his talent and uniqueness will serve him well.

What I'm looking forward to -- THIS SEASON BEING OVER. I really HATE the filler this show has...and even more than that I truly hate the group performances!

I do have to hand it to them, the Ford Focus commercials have been pretty fun this year!

Monday, May 12, 2008

Where did my money go?

Government Money -- What did I do with it?

The decision has been made --

$1398.00 to Bank of America
$102 paid for 15 pounds of coffee (Zimbabwe Coffee from Z'Cuppa) and 100 vac seal bags from Sweet Pak Attack for coffee and all other bulk freezer purchases. Figured if they were going to raise prices on coffee, I'd better stock up! 15 pounds will last us over 6 months. Vac bags were something I needed and if I'm going to be freezing goodies - and coffee.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

The Car Idea Revisted

Okay, I'm crazy. Plain loco en la cabeza. We went looking at cars. Worse than cars...worse than that... I FELL IN LOVE WITH A NEW CAR!

Here's the dream car -- 2008 Mazda 3 in Ice Blue Metallic.

Did I buy it right then and there?
Did I want to?
No, not really.
Because I really want to pay off AT LEAST the one credit card with the 9.9 APR before I did anything of the sort. Figuring too, that they might drop the price a touch because by the time I'm ready the new 2009 will be out.

DH has been bugging to get me a car and to let my ds buy my Chevy Lumina from me. Of course, the ds has been bugging me to get a new car so he can take my Lumina off me DIRT CHEAP! I've loved my Lumina for the past 11 years. I've never really wanted a new car -- until I test drove that Mazda!

So many of the Dave Ramsey lessons are beating me upside the head right now -

  1. Rich people don't buy NEW cars.
  2. Do you NEED a car?
  3. Loan on a depreciating item is just DUMB!

My game plan --- to kill that Bank of America card as fast as possible so I can get that damn car!

I know, I know!


It's time for training! The restaurant in a seasonal tourist town has one big training season and I just started it. Back to back training classes that I not only coordinate, but I also have my normal manager duties to do along with teaching classes and doing the testing. Some of this fun even overlaps! Long story short, May and June are the only months of the year that I see (and am allowed) OVERTIME! So far figuring 3.5 hours this week and probably 8 hours extra next week. Pretty nice considering I'm a 32-35 hour per week employee.

I swear it's a good thing we don't bet what his schedules are going to be like. The talk changes so quickly around his place; I really don't think they have a full clue on what's going on. I guess it's the new owners getting used to the place. We had overtime - they took it away - and now they are giving it back - plus Sunday (with a new perk of DOUBLE TIME). Dh will be working 7 days a week. I don't know how long THAT will last before he blows a gasket - but he couldn't/wouldn't pass up the money. He's going to be a bear. I'll love the money, but this is going to be a tough one.

Never Hurts to Ask -- the story of the dead dryer

Dryer on the Fritz
We ignored the warning signs. Our digital paneled dryer gave us the "error code E-2" a couple weekends ago -- but we got it to work and cancelled our Sears service call. "Yippee!" We said as we got another week out of it before it happened again. This time, even after taking the dryer apart to clean all the lint from the internal world of the dyer, it was pooped. Done! Nice timing...NOT! You know the service call guys. "Anywhere from noon to 5:00 pm." Yeah, that's reasonable! I decided to try a local guy instead. I thought he could get here faster and fix it cheaper. Welp, neither happened. It took him a couple days to return my calls and he came and looked at it and decided he couldn't fix it.

Of course, Wendy is on the internet and had a pretty good idea what was wrong - but no clue on how to fix it because I don't know a damn thing about electronics to test ohms and stuff. Obviously the local guy didn't either. LOL

Welp, it winds up that one of the neighbors works for Sears or so says the truck parked outside in his driveway. My dh, God love him, walked over there and asked the guy if he wanted to earn a little extra side money and help us figure out the dryer problem. The internet was right, our neighbor was right - the thermister blew. I had to order the part $30 and gave the neighbor $50 for his troubles and our dryer is up and running again.

Found out what Sears may have paid to fix the same thing. Winds up we saved quite a bit of moola right there. I guess it never hurts to ask for help. Nice to know we have someone close by who can help with our Kenmore appliances too!

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

Amazing Shopping Trip -- Coupon Collecting Pays off

My best friend works at Jewel Foods and she called me with a deal I couldn't pass up!

Select General Mills Cereal and various GM products were on sale for 10 for $20. With your Jewel card it would go down to 10 for $10 as long as you bought 10. Her store imposed no limit so you know little Wendy got out all of the coupons she had either printed off the Internet or got it the newspaper. I did their little deal twice so 20 for $20 plus I had $10.45 in coupons.

2 boxes of Fruity Cheerios
2 boxes of Cinn Toast Crunch
2 boxes Nature Valley Granola Bars
6 boxes of Trix
4 boxes of Cheerios
1 box of Chocolate Chex
3 boxes of Lucky Charms

Total= 9.55 (forty eight cents a box!)

Next trip = Meijer
Since I signed up on their website I could print coupons on select Meijer brand items.
Some good deals to be had -- since you could print out as many coupons as you wanted.

10 bags of salty food snacks (cheetoes, pretzels, popcorn) ALL FREE after coupons!
Chocolate Baking Chips = .50 a bag
Frozen Potatoes or Veggies = .50 a bag
Graham Crackers (a good deal...can't recall what right now)

Needless to say, I had stocked up on some things and that will help in the long run!