Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Credit Card Mayhem

I have a Chase Visa card. For the most part, I like it. I has a good rewards program. The problem is, we have carried a balance (for the first time ever in our lives) since last fall when I was off work for longer than expected and had unanticipated medical bills.

I had a pretty good interest rate at 8.99% up until last year when the credit laws changed. Then my "fixed" rate went up to a 13.99% variable rate. I was not happy. I called and complained. What's the point of having a fixed rate if they can just change it whenever they want anyway? I was told that's the best interest rate they had at the time and when I threatened to close my account, the account specialist refunded my finance charge for the month. I told him that was fine for now, but it was simply a bandaid for the real problem, and I couldn't guarantee that I wouldn't call next month and close it.

So I found a new credit card. I'm not one to go through credit cards like I go through underwear, so this was a long, thought-out process for me. I went with a Citi Master Card with a not-as-good rewards program, but a better interest rate at 9.99% variable and a 0% intro rate on purchases and balance transfers until January 2012. I transferred my balance to this card.

Last week, I get my credit card bill from Chase. It says I owe a $7 finance charge. I called and told them that I don't understand why I have an finance charge if I paid off the balance. They gave me some lame, BS reason, so I said I wanted to cancel (again). She transferred me to an account specialist, who asked me why I wanted to close my account. I told her I felt as though I've been jerked around for various reasons and I just want to be done with them. Of course, I didn't actually care if I closed the card or not. I've had it for almost 5 years, and for a 25 year old, that's a big chunk of credit history. It would be better for my credit score to keep it open - although we don't plan on applying for credit again for a while, so it probably would have time to recover.

Anyway, the account specialist apologized and asked if I would consider keeping my account open if she refunded the finance charge and sent me a $25 gift card to one of the various places she listed off. Victory! I didn't want to close the account anyway. In fact, all I really wanted was for her to refund my finance charge. So I ended up getting a $25 gift card to a Darden restaurant (Red Lobster, Olive Garden, Bahama Breeze, or Longhorn Steakhouse).

I've been wanting Olive Garden soooo badly lately! We'll probably save the gift card for at time when we're driving home from SD so we can stop in Fargo and eat there!

So children, the moral of this story is: Always call your credit card company, even for the smallest thing. They want to keep you as a customer! It will most likely work in your favor.

Monday, August 30, 2010

Monday Weigh-In


I have to admit, last night I was dreading writing this post because I thought for sure I would have gained again. I didn't expect to lose anything, much less 2.4 lbs! I guess all the little things really do help, like not snacking so much. I haven't changed the things I'm eating at all, I've just been more mindful of my portions.

This brings my total weight loss to -5.2. If I was actually going to Weight Watchers meeting, I would have gotten my first 5 lb star today! Oh heck, I'll give myself a 5 lb star. :)

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Super Mom

That's me!

Or at least I felt like it last week! I spent Monday and Tuesday shopping for groceries/household items (most were VERY cheap if not free) and cleaning. I wanted to the house to be clean before I went back to work because who knows when I'll feel like cleaning again (if anyone ever feels like cleaning).

Wednesday was the first day of school. It went really well. We have a great group of kids, with the exception of a few. I do think those exceptions will be a lot of work though. We'll see this week when they actually have work to do. At any rate, I am now a working mama again.

Speaking of school, I didn't get that library para job. My mom (who is a library para) got an email introducing the new library para at the high school I had applied at. Oh well. It's not the end of the world.

On Thursday, I was a cooking machine! I made two lasagnas, one for supper on Friday, and I froze the other to cook at a later date (probably this weekend when my in-laws come to visit). Then I also made a tater tot casserole and froze it, and a batch of chili, which I just kept in the fridge because we're going to eat it today. I love making freezer meals! It's soooo nice to be able to come home from work, just throw something into the oven, and have a nice, homemade meal! Plus, then I'm not tempted to order something or go out.

This weekend, J is working, so I'm home with the munchkin. Just like old times, hehe. I feel like I don't get anything done when I'm home alone with him. Sometimes I don't even shower. But today, we had to run to CVS to exchange a 12-pack of Pepsi. The seal was not put on correctly on about half the cans, and they have no carbonation. I've never seen that happen before - weird. We also had to stop at the grocery store to get some saltines and oyster crackers for the chili we're having tonight.

A mother's work is never done!

Colossal Clearance!

First of all, I want to offer all you women out there a piece of advice. Don't take your husband shopping if you're just going for a few things. You'll end up with way more than a few things.

I needed to go to Target yesterday to get rid of some of my coupons before they expire, or before the items I wanted went off of price cut. I won't write about all those things because it's all stuff that I've blogged about before, I just picked up some more for the stockpile. But J and I decided to scour the store for clearance. What can I say? We both love a good deal!

We didn't find a whole lot, but the things we did pick up were REALLY on clearance!

You might be thinking, "Why on earth would you need 252 size 1-2 diapers, Rachael?" Well, I don't... right now. Hopefully I will in about a year or so though. For the price, I'll store them in the basement until then! Oh, the price...

Yes, you're seeing this correctly. $10.56 for 252 diapers. Plus I had a $3/1 MQ that I got in a sample from Vocalpoint (it's a site where you can sign up for tons of awesome samples). So I paid $7.56 for 252 diapers. $0.03 per diaper. That's unheard of!

With winter fast approaching, I'm sure we'll be needing these types of things soon. J likes things that dissove into drinks (Alka-Seltzer, Air Borne, etc...), so I thought he might like these as an alternative to nasty liquid medicine. In case you can't see the clearance sticker, here's a close up.

I can't imagine actually paying $10.99 for this. Do people actually pay that much? Evidently not, that's probably why it was on clearance.

We saved 75% on these two items! :)

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Days Off = Shopping!

Since Isaac was at daycare for the past two days, and I don't start work until tomorrow, I had a few days to myself! I spent most of it running errands and cleaning, but I did fit some shopping in, of course!

First, I went to Target on Monday morning. Let me tell you that Target is pretty dead at 8am on a Monday morning. I went right after I dropped Isaac off at daycare. It was fabulous! I felt like I was the only one there. I also went to Target today with my mom, and so I am going to lump these two shopping trips together, since yesterday's trip was so small (less than a dollar).

Suave (3 shampoo, 1 conditioner) - $0.14 each, for a total of $0.56
These were on price cut for $0.89 each, and I used four $0.75/1 Target Qs, making them $0.14 each. This is the kind of shampoo that James uses and I use it too from time to time, so I wanted to stock up! I printed two from each of our computers, and James so kindly reminded me today that we have a third computer, which I have completely forgotten about (the laptop he is borrowing from my brother) so I may have to print some more of these. I sort of doubt there will be any left tomorrow though. I bought two of them yesterday and the shelves were full. When I went today, there was hardly any left. That's why I had to get the blue kind instead of the coconut kind we usually get.

Vaseline Aloe Fresh lotion - $0.49
This is my favorite kind of lotion, so when I can get it cheap, I do. It's regularly priced at $2.99. I used a $1/1 manufacturer Q and a $1.50/1 Target Q.

Glade Tough Odor Solutions air freshener spray - $0.99
Glade Tough Odor Solutions carpet refresher - FREE
The spray was $2.99 and the carpet refresher was $1.99. I used two $1/1 Target Qs and one $2/2 MQ (from the 8/22 SS insert) to get both of these for $0.99. I could have gotten two carpet refreshers and paid nothing for both products, but I don't think we'd use two carpet refreshers. I wanted one for the upstairs carpet though. We kind of have a funky smell up there.

Chef Boyardee - FREE
Campbells microwavable cups of soup - FREE
The Chef Boyardee is on price cut for $0.80 each (or something like that), and I used two $1/1 Target Qs to get them both free.
The Campbells soup cups were on price cut for $1.50 each. I used two $1/1 MQs and two $0.50/1 Target Qs to get them both free. Perfect for lunches since I start work again tomorrow.

The rest are incidental finds.

I decided I wanted to make a few lasagnas to throw in the freezer for days when I don't feel like cooking, so I bought some cottage cheese at full price (the store brand, of course. It was $2.49) and some Parmesan/Asiago/Romano cheese in a shaker, which was on sale (reg. $3.54) for $2. I forgot to take pictures of those two things because they were in the fridge when I was taking picture.

We need some spaghetti sauce if I'm going to make lasagnas. This is our favorite kind, and they were on price cut for $1.50 each, plus I used a $0.50/2 Target Q and got them for $1.25 each. I guess that's not bad.

Then, as I was looking through my coupons, I saw a $1/1 coupon I had clipped from some insert for a Taco Bell dinner kit. I just happened to be in the taco aisle, right in front of the Taco Bell dinner kits. I saw that they only cost $1.97, so I used my coupon and got one for $0.97. I like having these on hand so all I need is the meat and cheese, which we usually have anyway.

I wasn't sure if I had enough lasagna noodles, so I decided to get these whole wheat egg noodles. I'll use them for a lasagna casserole, instead of using actual lasagna noodles. It's easier. They were $1.19. And I've been wanting to try tuna salad (for myself, James won't eat that), so I got a pack of Tuna for $0.84 (reg $0.94). My mom said the kind in the package is way better than the kind in the can.

And there you have it. I spent a total of $12.02 on ALL of this stuff! I saved $18.80 for a total savings of 61%!

And I'm not done yet... I also went to CVS yesterday. They have Pepsi products on sale for 4/$10. I jump at the chance to get a 12 pack of pop for $2.50. I usually hate buying pop because it's so expensive! I bought four, and used $3 ECB that I had from a previous purchase. So I got 4/$7, or $1.75 each.

And I'm still not done! I also went to Lane Bryant yesterday to look for some pants. I wanted some khaki Capri's, but I have a really hard time finding pants. I guess I'm shaped funny or something. The only pants that really work for me are their Right Fit line (I'm red), and they don't have any Right Fit Capri's or khakis. But I did find a pair of jeans I liked. And they had a sale, B1G1 50% off on all their jeans, so I decided to get two. The problem is, their jeans are like, $50. Even with B1G1 50% off, that's still $75 for two pairs of jeans! Well I needed them, and when I got to the register, the lady asked if I had any coupons. I mentioned that I have a ton of them, but they're all expired. Much to my surprise, she said "Ok, well I'll just use the complimentary promo code for you then." That promo code saved me about $25! With tax, it came to $57.something. Much better!

Nope, still not done. So when I got home, I looked on the Lane Bryant website thinking maybe they would have some right fit khakis. They didn't but I clicked the link to their sister company, Fashion Bug, and looked around. They happened to have some Capri's in my size, on clearance for $6.49! They weren't Right Fit, but they're made of a more stretchy material, and that's generally what fits me best. I thought for $6.49 I'd take a chance and bought two, khaki and brown. I really hope they fit!

Whew! That was a long one. I sure know how to keep myself busy! I also cleaned the house today!

Well, it's back to school tomorrow. Wish me luck!

Monday, August 23, 2010

Monday Weigh-In

Whew! I've been busy today! Today was Isaac's first day of daycare since school got out. I was afraid it would take some time for him to aclimate to it, but he jumped right in and had a fun-filled day of playing with his friends! He was so tired tonight that he fell asleep at 7pm! James changed him into his PJs without him even waking up!

I don't have to go back to work until Wednesday, so I had the day to myself today! After I dropped Isaac off at daycare, I went to Target (got some great deals that I'll blog about tomorrow, so stay tuned!), back home to get some pictures and stuff in the mail and let Gizmo outside, then Green Mill for lunch with my mom, then shopping for some pants, then home for a nap. After I picked Isaac up from daycare, we went to visit Grandma and Grandpa since James had a business dinner. Grandpa babysat while my mom and I went to Applebee's for some $2 margaritas. Yep, I was spoiled today. But believe me, I needed it.

Anyhoo, back to the weigh-in. I'd like to preface the results by saying I had a rough week. I want to make excuses and say that I've had a rough week (which is true, but not an excuse for bad eating), but when it's all said and done, my loss/gain is a result of my choices. You can tell this isn't going to be good, can't you?

I'm +1.2 lbs this week, for a total of -2.8. And I'm not discouraged in the least. I knew it was going to be a bad weigh-in. Those will happen every once in a while. I think the culprit is going out for lunch a lot. I was going out a lot thinking that in a few short days, I'll have to go back to work and won't have the chance to do it anymore. And I tried to curb the emotional eating, but it did get the best of me toward the end of the week.

But I really think that it will get easier for me to stick to it once I go back to work and get back on more of a schedule. So, I have high hopes for this week (minus the Green Mill and margaritas today, hehe).

Thursday, August 19, 2010

That's the Way that the World Goes Round

...One minute you're up, the next you're down.

According to John Prine, anyway. And Miranda Lambert. And I totally know what their talking about right now. I haven't had the greatest few days.

I mentioned how Gizmo was peeing/pooping in his kennel, so I brought him to the vet yesterday. When we got there, they weighed him, and he was 15 lbs, which is 4 lbs less than he weighed when he got his yearly shots two months ago. That freaked me out and I had all kinds of things running through my head while we were waiting.

After what seemed like forever, the vet came back and told us that he has an intestinal parasite. I can't remember the scientific name, but the street name is Raccoon Roundworm. He got it from either eating raccoon poop (most likely at the lake in July), or by eating a rodent that was infected (Gizmo is a Cairn Terrier, so that's not out of the question either). I guess it's easily treatable, unless it spreads too far and causes neurological damage (which I don't think it has , thankfully). I guess it's not that common here because I had to run across town to a clinic that had the treatment on hand.

Today, I talked to Isaac's pediatrician's nurse about maybe coming in to get checked out, since this Raccoon Roundworm is able to spread to humans (through Gizmo's feces, like if Isaac got some on his hand while playing outside and then put his hand in his mouth). She said that the doctor said it can't be identified through feces, only through a tissue sample, which they did not take from Gizmo yesterday, so she's not sure what to tell me. I guess she didn't think that's what Gizmo really had.

So I called the vet and explained this. The vet said, "I don't know how you identify it in humans, but in dogs you can find it in their feces. We saw the larvae in his stool sample." I figure the vet probably knows a little more about it, but it still leaves me wondering what to think...

Then I started looking it up on the Internet. Bad idea. The vet made it sound like no big deal, but lots of animals and even some humans have died from this infection. And I read that it's nearly impossible to detect, so even though this may have nothing to do with Gizmo's urination/defecation in his kennel, I'm SOOOO glad we brought him in. Otherwise we may have never known he had it until it was too late. And it freaks me out because how am I supposed to know if Isaac catches it?

I am just so stressed out about all of this. And on top of it all, I lost my wallet last night. I found it in my car this morning wedged between the passenger seat and the door, but it still didn't help my stress levels. And I go back to work on Wednesday, so I'm a little apprehensive about that, too.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Emotional Compulsions

Today I am stressed out. We've been having issues with Gizmo peeing in his kennel when we're not home, and it's really starting to wear on me. It didn't occur to us until yesterday that a dog peeing in a place where he has to sleep (which Gizmo has never done until a few months ago) is not normal behavior, and there could be something medically wrong with him. So today I'm taking him to the vet. When I made the appointment, the receptionist told me to bring a urine and fecal sample. That's easier said than done, but I finally got the urine sample this morning. Now I just have to wait for him to poop and go pick it up.

Also, I have a baby who is getting molars. Not the most fun I've had in a while.

I'm stressed. And what do I want to do? Eat. Eat very bad things. Why? Because that's what we women do when we're stressed. It's called emotional eating. But I can't. Why? Because I put myself on this stupid diet.

So instead, I want to shop. Why? Because that's what we women do when we're stressed. It's called retail therapy. And Gymboree has 30% off of everything right now. But I can't. Why? Because we're low on funds due to me not working for the past 12 weeks, and that is not something I'm willing to dip into our savings for. That would just be ridiculous.

I'm stressed and I have no outlet. This sucks.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Monday Weigh-In

Well, I weighed in this morning and I'm down 4 lbs!

I have to to admit, I totally didn't see that coming. I stopped counting points half way through the week. I still was using the points as a general guideline, but it's hard to figure the points out when you're cooking for the whole family. And James and I even had date night on Thursday, complete with movie theater popcorn and an uninhibited trip to Applebee's. So 4 lbs? I'm shocked.

Keep in mind that the pounds come off easily in the first week of a diet. I do not expect to lose this much every week, in fact, it would be unhealthy to do so. It will slow down now to 1-2 lbs per week if I'm good. And honestly, I don't expect to be good all the time. I need to cheat every once in a while to stay sane.

Oh, and I'm changing my water goal to half a gallon. I can do a gallon, but I'm peeing way too much. It's just not convenient.

Here's to hoping for another good week!

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Just a Quick "WTF?"

I went to Target to get a few things today. One of the things on my list was hamburger buns.

Here's what I found...
Yeah... those aren't hamburger buns. Those are hotdog buns. In a package that says "hamburger buns." Those would be some pretty odd looking hamburgers.

Most of them were that way. Although you can see the one in the bottom left hand corner on this picture has it right.

I was like, WTF?

Saturday, August 14, 2010

A Whole Afternoon of Shopping for $16

This morning I headed out to go to two garage sales. Both advertised that they had lots of boy clothes for sale. I left around 9am because that's what time the first one opened. I wanted to get there right away because usually when I go to garage sales, they tell me "We had tons of boy clothes but they all got sold right away." Toddler boy clothes are hard to find at garage sales! Everyone has girl clothes, but I rarely see boy clothes.

Anyway, while I was pulling out of my driveway, I called my parents to see if they wanted to come with me because the one I was going to was close to their house. My dad said they were going to go to some anyway, so he made up a list and we all went garage sal(e?)ing.

The two sales that I wanted to go to proved very fruitful! Most of the stuff I came home with, I bought at those two.

Here's what I found:
18 month Children's Place PJs - $0.50 each
Isaac suffers from a lack of jammies, so I bought lots of them today.

Winnie the Pooh sweat outfit - Grandma bought this one.
It's 12 months, but Isaac is tiny, so this will be perfect for fall.

3T Children's Place sweater - $0.50
Isaac won't be able to wear this for a while, but I think sweaters on little boys are absolutely adorable, and for the price, I'll store it until it fits!

18 months Children's Place t-shirts - $0.50 each
I found lots of Children's Place clothes today! And it's no wonder I bought them because I like that store. And I have a special place in my heart for boy's polos.

12 month Children's Place jeans - $0.50
These will probably fit him for a while. Like I said, he's tiny.

18-24 month Baby Gap PJs - $0.50
These look smaller than the tag says. I think he'll be able to wear it soon.

24 month Pooh PJ's - $0.50
I told you I bought lots of jammies. These are really cute.

12 month Leap Frog jammies - $0.50
These are adorable! The little frog feet say "Right Foot" and "Left Foot" and the hands say "Right Hand" and "Left Hand." So cute!

Boppy Newborn Pillow - $5
At the same garage sale I also bought some maternity pants for $0.50. I know what you're thinking, and no, I'm not pregnant. But we will start trying for baby #2 soon, and that's all I'm going to say about that. Anyhoo, I almost bought one of these when I was pregnant with Isaac because I've heard good things about them, but for the amount of time a baby would use it, I didn't want to spend $30 plus the cost of a cover. This pillow + cover was marked for $8 and I talked her down to $5. Totally worth it (I hope)!

Then we stopped at the farmer's market for some carrots and green beans. We've come to LOVE green beans in this house. Even Isaac gobbles them right up! I got two bunches of carrots and one bag of green beans for $6.50.

So I spent the afternoon shopping and got tons of stuff, all for $16! Have I mentioned how much I love garage sales?

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Fahrenheit 451

I finished reading this a few days ago, but I'm just now getting around to blogging about it.

Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury is essentially a story about the decline of literacy among humans. The main character, Guy Montag, is a fireman - except in this future, firemen don't put out fires, they start them. Also in this future, books are illegal. If someone thinks you have books, they call in an alarm on you and the firemen come and burn them, along with pretty much everything else in your house. But don't worry, the actual houses are fireproof - that's how they make them now.

In this future, people don't want to have to think, which is what lead to the banning of books. Instead of living room walls, there are large television screens where people watch short, mindless programs about nothing at all. After all, they don't want to have to think about it too much.

One day, Montag meets a mysterious young girl who has a lot of thoughts and ideas - something that is very unusual. It makes Montag realize that he is not happy in this thoughtless world, and wonders what is in these books that he's spent so many years burning, and might it change his life? So he takes a book home with him from a house that he burned one night.

Chaos ensues. His wife calls in the alarm on her own husband. There is a long chase, but Montag is eventually able to escape the city just in time to see it completely destroyed by a giant bomb dropped on it because a war has just broken out.

It really casts humanity in a dark light. After reading the coda at the end of the book, it's clear that Bradbury had written this book as a warning and he believes that this is the way the world is heading. And sadly, he's sort of right. He wrote about how textbook publishing companies write him to ask if they can publish his work in a textbook, but they censor it so much that he refuses to let them. They want to cut out anything with substance, anything with more than a three-sylable word, every "damn" and "hell" because, heaven forbid we corrupt any of the young minds that might read it. This is all very ironic considering the topic of the book they're trying to censor. Think about it - they want to cut out big chunks of a book about the deliteracy (and yes, I am fully aware that "deliteracy" may not actually be a word - that's ironic too) of humanity. Hmmm...

It makes you think. Of course, if you're reading the book for entertainment purposes, you're not part of the problem. :)

Monday, August 9, 2010

Day One

Today marks the first day of my diet. I weighed in this morning. Then I put my scale in my closet so I'll only weigh myself once a week. That will take some self-control in and of itself, but I think I'll stay more motivated if I don't stress about the number on the scale every day.

I was surprised when I weighed myself that I weigh only 1.4 lbs more than at my first doctors appointment when I was pregnant. That was when I was only 5 weeks along, so I use that as my pre-pregnancy weight. However, that was a different scale, and every scale I've ever stepped on has said something different, so that could be way off. And although 1.4 lbs is a negligable difference, I wear it so very differently now. I feel a lot bigger than before. More saggy and flabby. I guess being all stretched out will do that to a person.

I think I'm off to a pretty good start. I discovered that the cereal I like is only 3 points (including the milk), and I was surprised at the serving size. It's about the same amount of cereal that I usually pour into the bowl, so I was happy with that.

I decided that my daily water goal will be one gallon. I may not make it every day, but if that's how much I shoot for, then I'm sure I'll be drinking more water than I do now! I have a two-quart container that I can fill up and keep in the fridge, so my goal is to drink two of them every day. A few years back, I was drinking a gallon of water per day. I had to pee a lot, but it was very doable. When I think about it, I just head to the fridge, pour a glass, and chug it right then and there. That way, I hardly even notice I'm drinking so much water.

I think my main challange will be trying to figure out what to cook for supper, since I have to cook for James and Isaac too.

That's all folks! Tune in evey Monday for my weekly weigh in.

CVS - 8/8

I hate Extra Care Bucks. Hate hate hate. I had $10 ECB a while ago from a diaper deal that I did. Then CVS had less than thrilling ads for a couple of weeks, so I didn't shop there for a while. Then I stumbled across this $10 ECB that I forgot I had. I checked the expiration date and guess what? It had expired the day before. Just my luck. So the 6-year-old in me threw a tantrum and I swore to myself that I'd never shop there again because they're nothing but a bunch of big, fat, stupid heads.

Then yesterday, I broke my promise. Oh well, so much for being dramatic.

When I got there and ran my card through the scanner, I got four worthless coupons that I didn't need and one free $1 ECB! Pretty sweet!

Here's what I bought. This lot cost me $5.82 when all was said and done. And I used a gift card that I got when I transferred a prescription to pay, so I paid $0 out of pocket.

And here's the breakdown.

Xtra laundry detergent- $0.99
This stuff is dirt cheap. Even when it's not on sale. I've never used it before but I figured you can't lose for a buck!
Reg. $2.99
Sale $1.99 - $1/1 MQ (6/6 SS) = $0.99

All laundry detergent - $2.75 each
You can never have enough laundry detergent - especially when you have a toddler. So I though I'd stock up. I got the free & clear kind because that's what I use for Isaac's clothes. I bought the x2 detergent. The x3 super concentrated kind was also on sale, but I'll let you in on a little secret - the measurements for one load of the x2 kind, and the measurements for one load of the x3 kind are exactly the same. Sneaky, huh? Good thing we, the consumer, are smarter than the mucky mucks at All. Ha!
Reg. $7.49 each
Sale B1G1 free
$7.49 for two - two $1/1 MQs (here) = $5.49, or $2.75 each.

BIC Soleil razors - $0.17 each
That's right, I said seventeen cents each. This is my favorite deal of the day. I usually use the bottom-of-the-barrel cheapo disposable razors, so I'm excited about these fancy ones! How lame is that?
Reg. $6.69 each
Sale B1G1 50% off
$13.38 (for two) - $3.35 (B1G1 deal) - $6.69 B1G1 free MQ (8/1 SS) - $3/1 MQ (7/11 SS) = $0.34, or $0.17 each.

The bottom of my receipt tells me that I saved $25.53 off of their rediculously overinflated prices! That's 81%!

And not one of these deals required any ECB. I guess CVS has redeemed itself.

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Wal-Mart Coupon Policy

Last week, my mom tried to use some internet coupons at Wal-Mart. She was told by the cashier that they don't accept coupons that have been printed from the internet. The cashier then asked her "supervisor" and she said the same thing.

Well, my friends, I am here to tell you that that's a load of bull. This is yet another reason why I avoid Wam-Mart at all costs. They're stupid. Here is their coupon policy - directly from the horses mouth, and by that I mean their corporate website. It clearly states that they accept internet coupons. It might be a good idea to print it and bring it with you if you plan to use internet coupons at Wal-Mart, just in case you get a cashier with their head up their ass, which is very likely.

Can you tell that I'm not a huge Wal-Mart fan?

Friday, August 6, 2010

Big Plans

I'm going to start Weight Watchers on Monday. There, I said it and now I can't turn back. I figure now that my baby is over a year old, I really should lose the baby weight. Although, I really don't feel motivated. At all. So I'm going to just force myself to eat bland food and exercise. Can't wait.

I'm not actually going to go to the meetings, but I'm going to follow the program. I have all the books from when I lost a bunch of weight before my wedding. I plan to use my blog for my weekly weigh-ins. Of course, I'm not going to tell you how much I weigh, I'm just going to tell you how much I lost/gained. I need some sort of accountability if I'm not going to the meetings, so this is it. We'll see how long it lasts.

Also, I'm thinking I need to cut WAY down on my soda intake. I drink like, three pops per day. I am going to try cut it down to one and start drinking lots of water. I will have a daily water goal, I just don't know how much that's going to be yet.

So, I'm starting all this on Monday. And today I'm going to Paradiso (amazing Mexican restaurant) with Kristi, my sole co-worker, since we haven't seen each other in months. I better enjoy it, might be the last time I go out for a while... :(

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

The Afternoon In Pictures

I took Isaac outside today to play with his nifty little water table that he got from his aunt for his birthday.

I went to get it from the garage, which is where we store it while it's not in use. This is what greeted me.

There were two of them in the web, but I couldn't get a picture. And this picture doesn't do it justice. Their bodies were about the size of my thumb nail. I almost turned back around and said "To hell with it!" But it was such a nice day outside, I really wanted to sit outside while Isaac played. So I very carefully maneuvered around the spiders and managed to get the table out without any permanent emotional scarring.

I do not have a green thumb.  I have two pots of flowers that hang from shepherd's hooks in our yard. I water them daily. This is the extent of my gardening skillz. So, I decided to water them while Isaac played.

So I'm watering my flowers, minding my own business...

And the entire time, I have Gizmo at my feet begging and pleading for me to spray him.

So I did.

Most dogs don't like being sprayed with water. My dog is a freak. He loves it. He could chase the hose all. day. long.

And when he's done, he looks like a drowned rat.

Isaac thought it was hilarious though!

Monday, August 2, 2010

Target Escapades - 8/2

Guess what? I went shopping today! Are you surprised? :oP

Seriously though, I really haven't been doing much shopping lately. A few deals here and there, but there hasn't been much to spike my interest lately. Today I got a few good deals, and I thought I'd share.

Ok, I really like these things. Each one dispenses six globs of gel that stick to the side of your toilet and keeps it spic and span. Each glob lasts about a week. We have two toilets, so we go through these fairly quickly. And they're regularly about $4 ($3.94 to be exact), so I don't usually buy them unless I can get a good deal. Well, they were on price cut for $3.49 at Target, and I had a manufacturer coupon for B1G1 (from the 8-1 RP insert), so I got each one for $1.75. I can live with that.

Herbal Essences is my favorite shampoo/conditioner. But, these small bottles are regularly $2.99, yikes! This week they're on sale for $2.50 each, and I pulled a B1G1 manufacturer coupon from Sunday's (8-1) RP insert, so I paid $1.25 each. Yippee!

Only three more weeks until school starts, so I'm going to need some stuff for breakfast/mid-morning snacks. Target has a deal running where if you buy four select Kellogg's products, you get one free. I got two packages of Nutri-Grain bars and three 12-count packages of Pop Tarts. Here's the breakdown:

2 x Nutri-Grain Bars & 3 x Pop Tarts @ $2.39 each = $11.95
-$2.39 (one is free with Target deal)
-$1/2 Target Q for Kelloggs Snack Items (Pop-Tarts or Nutri-Grain Bars 8ct.) from the 8-1 RP
-$1/2 MQ for Pop Tarts HERE
-$1/2 Nutri-Grain Bars HERE
=$6.56 for 2 boxes of Nutri-Grain Bars and 3 big boxes of Pop Tarts, or $1.31 each.

Not bad, but this could be an even better deal if you have two of the Target Q's from Sunday's Red Plum insert. I only had one though. :( Still too good to pass up, since they were all less than half price!

I also bought some Charmin toilet paper (reg. $11.79, on sale for $9.99 - $1/1 Target Q (8-1 RP) and .25/1 MQ (can't remember which insert it's from, but I got it yesterday) = $8.74. I really hate buying toilet paper. It's so dang expensive! Even with coupons!

Also, if you bring in reusable bags to use, you get $.05 off your total per bag. I brought one in today, but for some reason, he took off $.10. For me, this is not really an incentive to bring a reusable bag. I do it more for the environment. Although we use the plastic bags to wrap poopy diapers in, so maybe I should get plastic bags...

So I spent a total of $21.19 and saved $17.71. I saved about 45%. I generally like to aim for a 40-50% savings, so I'm happy with this.

Happy shopping!

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Breaking Dawn & Farenheit 451

I finally finished the Twilight Saga! FINALLY.

If you remember my post in April about my New Year's resolution to read one book a month (you can find it here), which I failed by the way, you may be thinking, "I thought you were going to read Breaking Dawn in May?" And you'd be right. I was going to read it in May, but I was pretty bored with the last few Twilight books, and I sort of petered out. Then I saw all the Eclipse movie previews and felt like finishing.

I am SO glad I did! Breaking Dawn was by far the best out of the series. Seriously. I couldn't put this book down! Now I'm left craving more and there is no more! How cruel! (I apologize for my overuse of exclamation points.)

My good friend, Erica, just finished reading Eclipse, so we're going to see the movie tomorrow. I'm really excited! I heard it's a pretty good movie.

Another reason I'm looking forward to tomorrow is because I could use a girls night out! Especially after a weekend with the in-laws. James' parents came to visit this weekend. The plan was for James and his dad to install a new exterior door and a storm door. Unfortunately, his dad wasn't feeling well for the majority of Saturday (migraine, chills, upset stomach), and they didn't want to start the project if they couldn't finish it, so instead our new doors are leaning against the wall in the garage. Oh well, at least they got to see Isaac - that's really the important thing.

Don't get me wrong, I do like my in-laws. But sometimes, when other people (anyone, not just my in-laws) come into my house and do things their way, it can get on my nerves. It's nothing against them, it's just that sometimes I don't play well with others.

So, I'm excited to have dinner and a movie with a good friend! Woohoo!

And although I have failed my New Year's resolution, I still plan to continue reading. I only missed out on May and June. If I can read 10 books in a year, that's still probably a record for me!

Next up - Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury. I've been reading it, off and on, for about two weeks now. I thought it would be a quick read, but things keep coming up and I'm not able to read as much as I'd like. I'm about half way through, and it's pretty good. The reason I chose Fahrenheit 451 (which by the way, is "the temperature at which book paper catches fire and burns..." That gives you a small clue as to what the book is about) is because last year I had to help a girl read it for school. I figured, if it's now required reading in high school, I should probably be familiar with it so I can help students with it. I read a little of it with that student last year, but I wanted to read it all rather than just bits and pieces. Plus, James owns it, so I figured I'd just read it really quick. A few good nights of solid reading and I should be able to finish it. It's definitely different than the stuff I usually read. A change is nice sometimes!