Home > Archive: November, 2010

Archive for November, 2010

My new job/hobby!

November 28th, 2010 at 01:47 pm

My new hobby kept me hopping yesterday. After reading several couponing blogs and sort of dipping my foot in, I made an all out effort yesterday to get going on this.

I was a little more organized, but still have a ways to go.

My first stop was Bed, Bath and Beyond where I purchased "Your Baby Can Read" with a 20% off coupon for my granddaughter. It will be interesting to see if it really works. In the meantime at 2-1/2 she likes videos and books so this goes right along with her current favorite activities.

Then onto Walgreen's where a very helpful checker (who also takes advantage of Walgreen's rewards, reassured me that I was not an "irritating" customer as I warned her I would be. She also gave me the site she follows: which morphs into

My personal favorites are and probably because I live in Northern California.

Since my SIL needs shaving supplies in Afghanistan, I picked up the Nivea deal and some Gillette fusion blades (geez I am glad my husband does not shave). I had no idea how expensive razor blades are.

I did a total of 4 transactions at Walgreen's buying an assortment of stuff, piggybacking the Register Rewards each time. Total spent $44.85, savings $19.43. Plus I have another $12.25 in Wags bucks for my next visit.

Next was CVS where I had a $5.00/$25.00 to start with. I should have "mapped" it out a little better to maximize my use of Extracare bucks, but with my DH along and not adding purchases as I went along and not sure if they take off manufacturer's coupons before totalling, I did just 2 transactions. My first was for Starbucks Via. I had a $1.00 off coupon and a CVS $1.00 in Extracare bucks. Remembering you can only use 1 coupon per item and not being sure if Extracare bucks is considered a coupon, I threw a 99 cent bottle of Milk of Magnesia onto the checkout counter making my first transaction $3.05. My second transaction was for $34.67 with $17.00 in Extracare bucks back.

I got Listerine packs for free along with a tube of Colgate and bottle of Herbal Essence shampoo for free. I also found an incredible buy on one of the end clearance aisles: Secret Clinical Antiperspirant for 99 cents! This is what YD uses and I know I paid about $8.00 for it in the past. My receipt is showing I save $8.80 on each package. I also found Sure men's deodorant for 99 cents. DH consented to one. I got two other deodorants for DH for free from last week's ad. I have a couple on hand, so I think he is well fixed for about a year!

Um yeah, forgot to pull that 75 cent coupon off the Truvia. I had a $1.00 off though already.

After avoiding the checkout line at both drugstores, by the time we got to Safeway, DH was bragging to the checker about "my wife's new job". Notable purchases at Safeway were $5.00 off $15.00 worth of frozen foods (what can I say we love our ice cream) and Almond Accents which were on sale for $2/3.00. I had a Catalina for $1.50 off 3 and 3-50 cent off coupons making them 50 cents a bag. I also had a $2.00 off a meat purchase when buying Coors Light. DH found a package of stew meat marked 50% off to 2.57, making it 57 cents!

Okay it was fun, but by the time dinner was over and dishes were done, my fibromyalgia was so flared up that I had to take 1/2 pain pill and lay on a heating pad for an hour reading my latest Jodi Piccoult novel, checked out from the library, natch!

Since we only have Rite-Aid in my little town and shopping all at once is difficult physically, I need to plan my outings a little better. I do not know if DH was a help or a hinderance. I warned him to not talk to me or tell me to hurry up as this takes time. He was pretty good about it and he did carry the bags out to the car and into the house. I don't know how women drag kids along while coupon shopping. My hats off to them!

Ebay, Cragislist,, etc.....

November 24th, 2010 at 11:39 pm

Hey guys who are selling stuff. Why not go ahead and give us a link. It might be something we are looking for and HAPPY THANKSGIVING!!

Target again.

November 24th, 2010 at 11:36 pm

I accidentally bought the movie Matrix in blue ray when I was at Target the other day. We don't have a blue ray player and the purchase is not eminent, so I took it back today.

I had to run to town to my new hand therapist's office to pick up my elbow and wrist braces that were approved by my comp carrier.

Since my new hobby is coupons (or I am trying it anyway), I was ready with coupons for Target. My purchases were so low, I actually thought the checker had made a mistake. She told me right away she was new, when I mentioned I had coupons, and I told her no problem, I was very patient.

So I bought 3 Hasbro games, two 8 oz pkg of shredded Kraft cheese and a chunk of cream cheese.

Coupons were $5.00 off 3 Hasbro toys, $1.00 off 2 pkg of shredded cheese, and off one of the packages of cheese, another $1.00 a cheese and cream cheese. I also had a $3.00 off coupon for general merchandise given to me by Target several months ago. My checker, at the time she was doing my transaction, was having a conversation with the people next in line behind me. Of course she totally messed up my transaction and then told me I had to go over and stand in line at the returns. I was really unhappy and expressed my irritation (nicely since it was not their fault) to the employee in the return area. She gave me three $3.00 off coupons and this was my last one.

So my total came to $12.56, which was less than the 3 games alone would have cost me. So I am thinking if I take a little time befor shopping to glance at any coupons that I may use and print them, it is worth my time (especially since I do not have a job right now).

I turned my application in at the therapist office today too.

My husband is trying a new apple pie recipe:

He ruined the first caramel sauce, but his second attempt was yummy, very unusual.

I am making the pumpkin using our usual recipe from Bon Appetit several years ago in a Thanksgiving issue. We usually substitute yams, but this year we have fresh pumpkin from going to the local pumpkin patch with my granddaughter's play group.

I am hoping to get the leaf in the table tonight and get the china out and ready to set the table when breakfast is over in the morning.

Oh and I finally have a price book going. I actually paid $9.00 for a really cool version. (I am not that great at Excel). I really think this will pay for itself quickly.

It may seem counterintuitive to spend money on a price book when you are trying to save money, but I knew I would never do it without some guidance. Then I stumbled on that link and I am using it already.

I have been pushing myself a bit too hard lately and am paying for it. Need to cut back after tomorrow.

Sort of, kind of offered a job!

November 20th, 2010 at 04:42 pm

I visited a new hand therapist yesterday (as part of my ongoing comp injury/claim). Since I am a talker as is apparently the office manager, (who was filling in for sick receptionist), we got to talking and I mentioned I used to do medical billing. Are you looking for a job?? I said, "Well I do not want to work full-time". Her eyes lit up even more and she went on to tell me her part-timer was leaving to go back to school and here take this application and fill it out and bring it back to your next visit.

So I will pursue this. I really liked my hand therapist, who completely understood my workaholic ways, always wanting to be accomplishing something. After going back and forth about it I finally said, "Are you a Capricorn too". She laughed and said Yes! So she did understand me!

Therapist gave me some exercises for my cubital bunnel syndrome and trigger fingers, and has ordered up a couple of night braces for me. She thinks she can fix me up so I can go back to my workaholic ways with some modifications! So hopefully I will be able to garden next spring and will be able to get back to knitting and quilting and cleaning and organizing and all the other things I enjoy!!

On the frugal living front, I encountered a woman at Rite-Aid, who had a binder propped up in the seat area of the cart. I thought she was an employee going through and changing prices, but upon closer inspection I realized she was shopping. Being the naturally curious person I am, I asked what her binder was, getting closer to it.... she said it was her coupons. Her mother's women's group just had a speaker about using coupons and how to organize them. I have seen this method talked about on line, but never actually saw one. It was really cool, using baseball card sheet holders with tabbed categories making a very organized holder.

She told me it was very time-consuming and she was not quite sure yet if it was worth it. She did say if you could view it as a hobby, it would be easier. I can't even seem to get my desk organized, much less a coupon binder, but it is something to keep in the back of my mind when my organizing gene finally kicks in! I keep a handful of coupons in my wallet, and I do try to use them.

We still have $1300.00 left for the month for all expenses. So I think it has been a darn pretty good month so far.

Lastly, here is my dog Landon, suffering in his police uniform for Halloween. We and the poor boy are fighting fleas right now. We are vacuuming about 3 times a day, picking fleas off him 3 times a day, sprayed the floors, washed his bedding and got him groomed and dipped a few days ago. Now it is a matter of getting it under control. I will never skip Advantage again! ( I skipped it for several months actually).

I went to Target. I spent money.

November 18th, 2010 at 12:25 am

I cannot believe I did not post a picture of my granddaughter in her Halloween costume. This is me with her. She pressed her little face against me spontaneously. It was so sweet. She is used to getting her picture taken since her mom is a photographer.

I have been sick for about 10 days now. This is the third day I have been out of bed for more than 1 hour. Now it appears that K&A, who are on their way home from Washington, are sick.

I had two checks that needed to be dealt with an DH and I drank the last of the OJ this morning. Tissues are getting low too.

So I made lists, checked them, printed out coupons and off I went.

Stopped at our bank. Deposited my disability check and cashed another check from a friend who owed me money for a little work.

Then onto pick up DH. He had just let an employee go off on a break, so I ran across the street to Walgreens, picking up a few items:

Then onto Costco for OJ and Honeycrisp apples (the best in my humble opinion, well worth the extra cost:

Oh and Nutella! My first time buying it. Winco was giving out samples the last time I was there and it was so yummy. I am not sure how I will use it, maybe just eat it by the spoonful?

We went ahead and picked up DH's request for Christmas, the cast iron dutch oven. Impulse purchased "cookware" for granddaughter. It was a huge mistake not teaching our daughters to cook. We will not make the same mistake with granddaughter!

Then onto Target for a bunch of good buys. My impulse purchase was the movie Matrix. DH's Christmas gift he will get to open. He loves that movie. My gift to myself was Susan Boyle's Christmas album.

My last stop was at Rite-Aid to pick up more pumpkin and some Fiber1 cereal. They were out of both. A truck is supposed to come in tonight, so I will check back tomorrow. Rite-Aid is very close to my home in my little rural Northern California town.... maybe I will call first.

Anyway since I am 99% sure that I am not going back to work, my goal is to squeeze every penny until it screams. I know I bought a lot of "prepared" food at Target, but with my fibromyalgia, I need some shortcuts. There will be days that I will be lucky to get any food on the table or leave it for DH and it will be okay once in a while.

I did come home from shopping and put a stew in the oven. We watched Chopped last night on Foodnetwork and one of the mystery ingredients was baby turnips. EEK we have turnips in our raised bed garden we planted on 09/06/10. They are probably perfect little baby turnips. We never did thin them because things got crazy and then my diagnosis..... anyway I went out and sure enough, cute little turnips:

So here is our dinner, in our new dutch oven:

My favorite stew. It has a bit of bacon, apple juice, tomato paste and some fresh herbs from our garden (with the cute little turnips), carrots, mushrooms and red potatoes. Oh and a few bouillion cubes since I have no canned beef broth.

On the fibro front, my core exercises, the mega doses of vitamins (have not been on the treadmill since I have been sick) and not picking up my granddaughter and laying around have resulted in a fairly pain-free week. My back is bothering me now though from the shopping and cooking.

I will get up and put the groceries away and clean up the kitchen. The kids will be home tonight.

November 6th-Saturday

November 6th, 2010 at 03:31 pm

I have had my ups and downs over the last week. My new osteopathic doctor (who diagnosed me) agreed to disability for 3 months. So my income will be going up since I have only been on 3 hours a day worker's comp disability. I am saving every penny of the additional income towards 2011 Roth IRA.

I signed up for Safeway's new program. I have been pretty lax about finances this last month, after meeting our savings goal for the year. I am trying to get back on track.

However, I have been teaching YD to sew and we are opening an Etsy store with all that beautiful fabric. I keep saying we cannot buy anymore fabric until we actually sell something. If we don't sell anything, I have lots of little girls I can give cute peasant dresses to. YD made a new style yesterday that granddaughter wore yesterday. We don't have a picture of it yet, but it was similar style with a tie in the back.

Here is a sample:

My pain comes and goes. I am going to start pain tracking to see if I can relate food or activities that make it better or worse.

I have also started on homeopathic treatment of rhus (which is poison ivy, weird I know).

My pain pill has kicked in, so off to stretch and walk on the treadmill (I hate to admit it, but I think exercise is helpinig!)

Oh and one more thing, I made pumpkin scones last weekend that were yummy. Here is the link if anyone wants to try them:

Happy weekend everyone!