I did it! So can you! Crazy Couponing January 14, 2011

Filed under: Uncategorized — spicemama @ 12:21 am
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All this for $8!

I realize I am not a pro here, but for my first trip out, I think I did pretty well.  I even got $4.50 in Register Rewards to use on my next trip! So really, I think that would mean I technically got everything shown for more like $3.50!

Now, this was a much planned out trip and unfortunately, I wasn’t able to purchase everything I wanted due to many items being out of stock such as:

Quaker Quick Oats (2 for $3 with in ad coupon + 2 $1 off coupons) = 2 for $1

Stayfree pads ($3 off in ad + buy one get one free) = 2 for .79 cents

Go Kids Vitamin Gummies (buy one for $5, get $5 Register Rewards) = FREE

It is not all a loss, I will hit up the other Walgreens nearby tomorrow and see if I can get those items there. I am also going to hit Rite Aid and Safeway tomorrow. Nothing super exciting, however the 80/20 ground beef is on sale at Safeway which is an awesome deal – I will definitely stock up.

I am really hoping that once I get in the routine of doing the couponing that it will go faster. Between cutting, sorting and writing out my detailed list for all three stores and then going to just ONE of the stores, I felt like I spent hours working on it. I imagine it will speed up. It was really fun to see the checker point out what great deals I was getting! I can see how it would become addictive to the people on the TLC show Extreme Couponing, but it really could become a full-time job if you let it.


So now I want to know, do you coupon?


Hunting and Gathering…Deals January 8, 2011

Filed under: Uncategorized — spicemama @ 9:58 pm
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So I made it to the dreaded grocery store today. Let me tell you, Saturdays are NOT the day to do grocery shopping! It is a madhouse out there. But I persevered – I hunted and gathered food for my family for the week. Doesn’t that sound so much more noble that “grocery shopped?” It makes me feel like perhaps I lived up to a bit to the Proverbs 31 woman.

“She is like a merchant’s ship, bringing her family food from afar.” Proverbs 31:14

Of course, if you go on to read further, it also says She gets up while it is still dark and prepares food for her family.” verse 15.

Ummm, yeah, no. Not here. As my kids would say “FAIL.” I am such a night owl, the only time I get up when it is still dark is if there is a sick child in the house.  I have always stayed up later at night than I should and slept later in the morning than a lot of moms I know. Thankfully, my kids are all pretty good sleepers!

However, years ago when we lived in California I used to get up at the ungodly hour of 5:45am almost every Saturday to go to garage sales. Insane!  But the love of a deal and perhaps a newfound treasure lured me out of my nice warm bed into the dark misty morning. I would strap my little ones (just had the older 2 at that time) into their car seats with their blankies, toys and breakfast and off we would go. I was usually home by 8:30am. Where we live now, the typical garage sale doesn’t even start until 8 or 9am. I still head out once in a while, but it doesn’t feel quite like the same hunt that it used to be.

Now I typically do my prowling at the Goodwill or on Craigslist. Hubby and I both have Monday’s off work, so occasionally we will have a “date” and go scout out other thrift stores in town. I am always on the hunt for a deal, and with enough patience – I usually find them. I have earned a reputation of sorts in my circle of friends as being able to get crazy good bargains. If someone is looking for something specific, just let me know and I will keep my eyes open! Betcha sooner or later I’ll find it!

I have to give credit for my bargain hunting nose to my mom. My mom always took me (and often a friend) to garage sales and thrift stores as a kid. When I was old enough and had my own job and money – one of my favorite things to do was go to the big Goodwill in the town 45 minutes away to scour the racks for name brands that everyone else paid an arm and a leg for. I still remember my first pair of Guess jeans. I bought them for $7 at Goodwill when they were selling at Gottschalks for $45! If I wasn’t hooked before then, I was now!

Thankfully, my daughters seem to have caught the bug. Recently, my 15 year old daughter was shopping with a friend. She found a shirt that she liked and looked at the price tag. I don’t even remember what it cost, but she said “that’s the bad thing about having my mom, I can’t make myself spend more than $5 for a shirt.”

Fail? I think not!

The Good Wife

10 It is hard to find a good wife,
because she is worth more than rubies.
11 Her husband trusts her completely.
With her, he has everything he needs.
12 She does him good and not harm
for as long as she lives.
13 She looks for wool and flax
and likes to work with her hands.
14 She is like a trader’s ship,
bringing food from far away.
15 She gets up while it is still dark
and prepares food for her family
and feeds her servant girls.
16 She inspects a field and buys it.
With money she earned, she plants a vineyard.
17 She does her work with energy,
and her arms are strong.
18 She knows that what she makes is good.
Her lamp burns late into the night.
19 She makes thread with her hands
and weaves her own cloth.
20 She welcomes the poor
and helps the needy.
21 She does not worry about her family when it snows,
because they all have fine clothes to keep them warm.
22 She makes coverings for herself;
her clothes are made of linen and other expensive material.
23 Her husband is known at the city meetings,
where he makes decisions as one of the leaders of the land.
24 She makes linen clothes and sells them
and provides belts to the merchants.
25 She is strong and is respected by the people.
She looks forward to the future with joy.
26 She speaks wise words
and teaches others to be kind.
27 She watches over her family
and never wastes her time.
28 Her children speak well of her.
Her husband also praises her,
29 saying, “There are many fine women,
but you are better than all of them.”
30 Charm can fool you, and beauty can trick you,
but a woman who respects the Lord should be praised.
31 Give her the reward she has earned;
she should be praised in public for what she has done.

Proverbs 31:10-31


Time to shop…

Filed under: Uncategorized — spicemama @ 1:40 am

Have you seen that show “Outrageous Foods” on the Food Network? Man it is making me hungry. Which is really absurd considering the weird stuff they have on there. At least it is somewhat motivating me to go to the grocery store. I hate the grocery store. OK, not the grocery store itself – but the act of shopping doesn’t thrill me.

I shop primarily at Winco. Winco’s prices are great, but man you sure have to work for it! I mean, think about it.

#1 You walk down the isles putting food in your cart as you go. Typically having to play bumper carts with people who don’t understand the concept of two lanes of traffic on an isle. It is just like a street people! Northbound on the right, southbound on the left – it really isn’t that hard! So you load up your cart while trying not to get mown, mowed, ??? down.

#2 You get up to the register and try to figure out which check out lane has the best checker with the least people waiting. You’re up. You now start UNloading your cart onto the conveyor belt. It goes along nicely with the checker speedily scanning your food and sending it on its way down the next conveyor to the bagging area. You then proceed to the end of the lane and TURN YOUR CART AROUND AT THE END OF YOUR OWN LANE. It would seem though that all the people who don’t know the proper traffic patterns on the isles also do not have the sense to do this so their carts are all willy-nilly in everyone’s way.

#3  Your now purchased food is ready to be bagged. You try to bag as quickly as you can because those checkers book it! They have 2 sides of the lane that they can check out. I feel like I am always in a race against the person across from me to see who can get done first. I usually lose. For one, I have 4 kids and a husband along with myself  that I have to shop for. That alone already puts my quantity of groceries above the average family (you should hear some of the comments I get when I purchase our weekly 6 gallons of milk). On top of that, I am quite anal about HOW I bag my groceries. I have a method. It makes perfect sense, and I am sure others do this or would benefit greatly if they did. I put all refrigerated items in the same bags, freezer items in same bag, fruit together, boxes together, cans together, etc, etc…

#4 Now, you have to make your way out (in the pouring rain much of the time in the beautiful Northwest) to your car and UNload your now bagged groceries from the cart and LOAD them into the car. All the while people are parked waiting with their blinker on to take your spot. I feel so much pressure to get done and get out of there. Interestingly enough – I saw one time a study they did on Dateline that showed that people who KNOW someone is waiting for their spot take like 30% LONGER to finish than people who don’t have anybody waiting. Crazy huh? Well, I am not one of those people.  I rush to get the heck out of the way.

#5 Finally, I get home and holler for the husband and kids to get the groceries. Since I did the shopping, they bring the groceries in the house. I think it is only fair, don’t you? So the kids mope skip happily out to the car and sing songs of joy as they bring in my bounty. Actually, they usually are thrilled to bring in the groceries so they can pilfer through and call dibs on whatever snacks I have brought home, since of course it has been ages or at least 6 days since the last time I went to the store and everyone is starving!

#6 Last of all, it is time to put away the groceries. Everyone usually chips in and puts away a different category of food (see how handy bagging the different types of groceries together is?). The shopping trip is now done.

Each item of food has now been handled how many times? Hmmm, let me count. Shelf to cart, cart to conveyor, conveyor to bags, bags to cart, cart to car, car to house, house to pantry. SEVEN times! No wonder I hate going to the grocery store – it is exhausting work.

I think I just lost my motivation. And my appetite.