Friday, December 18, 2009

And all through the house...

Not a creature was stirring, not even our mouse. And by mouse, I mean our chihuahua. Close enough. Our Christmas countdown is almost done! It started at 43 days... don't ask me why, that's just when I decided to do it. And tomorrow I get to cross off number TWO!! Yep, 2 more days and we will be on the beautiful West (aka BEST) coast.

Tomorrow and Sunday are going to be busy days for the Hansen household. We have a birthday party to go to at noon tomorrow or else I would just stay home all day. We are getting the bottom portion of this nasty winter storm that is hitting the Eastern seaboard. It is also the weekend before Christmas which means last minute shoppers abound. Hopefully it won't be too dreadful while we are out and about. Once we get home, the cleaning and preparing and packing begins.

This trip is a big undertaking for us for a few different reasons. 1-- we are taking a 6.5 month old, 2-- we are taking a 5lb dog, 3-- we are going to be gone for 2 weeks, 4-- it's the holidays which means extra stress no matter how much you prepare. All of this means that there is a lot to be done before we leave. I am so, SO thankful that Ryan is in the military and therefore we don't have to pay for baggage AND there is no weight limit. Thank you airlines for supporting our troops! That's one less stress, because any of you with a baby know that there are a kabillion things to pack. And when you have to worry about a limit on the number of bags, or the weight of said bags, it can be a bit stressful.

So... here we are. 2 days left. Lots of stuff to get done. But honestly, I'm just so excited (and thankful that I'm actually flying with Ryan this time) that I'm not feeling too stressed. My biggest worry is the actual flying part of our trip. I hate flying. I've flown a lot, but I still hate it. And on top of that, flying with a baby and a dog is not easy. We're gonna be those people on the plane who everyone hates. Oh well. It is what it is. We'll never see those people again and life goes on. But in the mean time I would really, REALLY appreciate any prayers ya'll want to send our way. Please pray that mine and Jax's colds are completely cleared by Monday. Pray that Jax and Mojo do well on the flights. Pray for clear weather and safe/on time flights for us. Pray that these 2 weeks are all blessings and no stress!

Thanks for being my prayer warriors. I love ya'll! MERRY CHRISTMAS!!!

Monday, December 14, 2009

Cereal for $0.05!!

Since we are leaving in a week, I'm not doing much shopping... BUT I knew I could get some great savings at CVS and Walgreens this week. I might make a quicky trip to Harris Teeter when their ad comes out on Wednesday, but only if there are some truly great savings.

My only goal at Walgreens this week was to get Coffee-Mate coffee creamer. It's on sale 2/$3, plus I had a MQ (manufacturer's coupon) for $1.50 off 2. So I paid $1.50 for 2 or $0.75 each!!

CVS rocked my socks off this week. Ya'll, I got cereal for $0.05 and saved 73% overall!! Here's how it went...
Transaction #1-- 2 Christmas gift tissue @ $1.99 each
Used $4 ECB from last week to pay for it and got $3.98 ECB back
**OOP (out of pocket)- $0.32 (tax)
Transaction #2-- 2 Christmas gift tags @ $1.99 each
Used $3.98 ECB from T#1 and got $3.98 ECB back
**OOP- $0.32
Transaction #3-- 2 Dove body wash @ 2/$14
Used $3.98 ECB from T#2, used $2 ECB from last week and got $4 ECB back
**OOP- $9.14
Transaction #4-- 1 Lucky Charms, 1 Cinnamon Toast Crunch @ $2.50 each
Used $4 ECB from T#3, used $1 MQ (manufacturer's coupon)
**OOP- $0.10
I got $36.58 worth of stuff for $9.88! And I achieved my goal of wanting to spend less than $10 OOP this week. The cashier was saying "Man, I'm giving you my grocery list and having you shop for me". It was so fun to pull out a dime to pay for 2 boxes of cereal!!

Things will be a bit quiet with couponing over the next few weeks while we're gone. But one the new year (and new budget) starts, things will be in full swing again. Happy shopping everyone!!

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Free Christmas Music!

Go HERE for a new *free* Christmas song each day until Christmas. Thanks Amazon!

Go HERE for a *free* Christmas album. Thanks iTunes!

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Hello, cuteness!

Santa's Little Helper!

Coupon Totals 12/5

We are finally getting to the point where we are spending less money on groceries because we are stocking up when things are on sale. We normally average $150-$200 every 2 weeks on groceries and baby/household stuff. This week we spent less than $100 on all that stuff! I went to CVS, Harris Teeter, the farmer's market and the Commissary.

CVS was my best savings this week. I spent more than I had planned because I'm still getting the hang of everything and I messed up one transaction. But overall, I got $50 worth of stuff for $20! And I have $6 ECB to spend next time. I won't be able to go this coming week because all our extra money has gone towards Christmas. But my goal next week is to spend less than $10 OOP (out of pocket) and get lots of good stuff. My $6 ECB (which is pretty much just free money!) should give me a good head start. It's crazy how much of a "high" you can get from couponing. At times I feel a bit silly, but then I realize that this is my way of providing for my family and I should be proud of that. Plus, it makes Ryan so happy to see that I spent $1 on $20 worth of stuff! --That was one of my transactions at CVS this week!

Harris Teeter wasn't bad this week either. I got 6 boxes of cereal, each for about $1.50 instead of $3 or more. It's definitely possible to get cereal for cheaper, but that's how it worked out this week. I also got toilet paper for $7.99 instead of $11.99. I'm not exactly sure what my savings were because I threw away the receipt and forgot to record it. But I do remember seeing approx. $90 on the screen before discounts/coupons and I ended up paying $47. So I'm thinking it was right around 50%. It would have been even better had I not bought some crazy expensive yogurt for Jax. But I wanted to try it and I couldn't find anything cheaper there. Thank goodness I ended up also finding it at the Commissary for much cheaper!

I really wish I could tell ya'll how much I save at the Commissary, but they don't print their regular prices on the receipt. It only prints out the sale prices, so I can't tell exactly how much my savings are each time. But I can tell you that I normally spend at least $125 there every two weeks, and it's usually more than that. Yesterday I spent $34!!! So that's pretty exciting. They really have great prices, plus we don't pay sales tax. It's usually my final shopping place once I've visited my other stores. I look up what's on sale and fill in things that I wasn't able to get anywhere else. I usually don't use very many coupons there because we get stuff pretty cheap without them. Even though it's more work to go to multiple stores and figure out sales, it's SO worth it. It's still a bit tight because of the holidays, but once they are over, we will have a good amount of extra money left over after each paycheck. Woo hoo for coupons and smart shopping!