Thursday, November 30, 2006

Deal of the year!!!!

I recently had a procedure done, but I am doing okay with no real recovery problems so far. The procedure I am speaking of is the dreaded "Cashendectomy". The process of removing a large sum of money from my checking account that is spent on an uneccessary item. I have spoken of this before.

The item this year is the XBox 360 Platinum bundle. At a retail of $399.99, this a major expenditure. But come on, you do see the title of the post and knowing me as you do, dear readers, you must realize that there is no way I am paying that much. We purchased 2 items, The Xbox and a Vonage phone adapter. Our out of pocket was $280. We have $150 in rebates to submit, bringing our total down to $130. I know that you are wondering how we did that. Well, I will tell you. Microcenter (Disneyland for Geeks) was having a special where if you buy a 360 you get a $100 rebate, they also had a promo that if you sign up for Vonage, you get $200 off your purchase of $199 or more, and there are 2 rebates for the phone adapter making it free.

I generally will not sign up for a service in order to get a discount. You end up spending more for the service than the discount and this is true with the Vonage service, it is a year contract. The only reason I agreed was because we were planning to sign up for Vonage in January. We have a cable modem already and we do not have a home phone. We are strictly cell, but wanted to finally get a house line again. So, why not jump on it now and get the $200. Halo 3 will be coming out soon and when that happens Justin will be climbing the walls to get one. So this way we save a bunch of money on something we would eventually be buying.

I was tempted to make him wait to open it until Christmas. While the thought of torturing him that way is mildly appealing, it is just too mean. So, I will be wrapping the box for under the tree and he has promised to act surprised for photos. Luckily, I still have a few little surprises for him this year.

Monday, November 27, 2006


Well friends, I am pooped. I think that the hectic schedule of the last few months has finally caught up with me. After shopping on Friday, I just kinda felt tired. I know that some of you are not surprised and neither am I. It has been a crazy couple of months.

So for the recap, Thanksgiving was at my in-laws. It was a fun time, but it usually is. I spent most of my time going through the ads. Andrew was a good eater and especially enjoyed the sweet potatos. We went home and my mom came over to spend the night so we can get up early and do our shopping.

Black Friday. Wow, you would think that they were giving stuff away with the lines of people. Walmart was a circus. I only needed a few things there, so my mom waited with the cart and I waded in and got the stuff I wanted. We headed to the grocery side for a cinnamon roll, got those and headed for the checkout. We didn't have to wait more than a couple minutes in line. That side of the store was dead. The lines at the registers down at the other end were huge, but the grocery side was empty. Sometimes I really wonder about people.

At Walmart, I realized that my debit card was in my other pants, so after we left Walmart, we stopped at my place to get it, then off to Target. The line there was insane. I mean, down the building and around the corner. We waited in the car and at 6 am, just walked in without waiting. Got what we wanted and were off. This was the way the day worked out. No real waiting in line.

We went to Elder Beerman (think JC Penny), Walgreens, CVS, Home Depot, and Kohls. It was fun, I spent like $250 and got a lot accomplished. I got a ton of stuff, but still am not finished. I would list everything, but some family members read this and I don't want to give anything away. The best thing was I made my Mom a believer in my crazy CVS stuff. She bought a bunch of stuff and only paid $12. I use her card to get stuff and let her spend the ECBs. She was amazed. I got $177 worth of stuff at CVS for $6 after ECBs and coupons ($97 in ECBs spent) I also got $16 back in ECBs from stuff bought that day. So, I think that was a good trip. It was mostly toys.

The lady at Walgreens messed up one of my coupons so I had to ask for it back. It was for a free box of Tampax. I have 8 of them and need to use the ones that expire in Dec., so I thought I would use one while I was there. She scanned the coupon, but never entered the amount, so it didn't credit me the 4.29. So, I asked for the coupon back. She looked at me like I had 2 heads, but after explaining it twice she did give it back. So, I paid 4.29 for a box of Tampons I really don't need. I will be keeping them, since I have 2 rebate items on that receipt and have to send it in. I chalk it up to the cost of the game. Not that I am happy about it. I might still return them, I just don't want to screw up the $15 in rebates. (Sometimes Walgreens will reject a receipt if there is a return attached to it.)

I did get Andrew a Christmas romper that says HO HO HO on it and his holiday outfit. It is a cute red sweater vest with a moose on it, with a plaid shirt and brown cords. Trust me, it is so cute. I bought a couple of bras for myself. They were on sale for 13.97 and had a buy 2, get one free coupon. So 3 Vanity Fair bras for $28.

Saturday, I mainly sat around and read a book. I just really needed to unwind. Sunday, we went to my in-laws to see some relatives that were in town. Had a good time. When we left Andrew said goodbye to everyone including the pizza. Bye, Bye Peepa.

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Making a list and checking it twice.

Well boys and girls, it is time for my absolute favorite holiday of the year. Yes, you guessed it.

Black Friday! (how could it be anything else.)

Every year my mom and I get up at the buttcrack of dawn to wait in the cold with the rest of the loons for stores like Walmart and Target to open. By 1:00, we are generally asleep on the couch, but until then, it is a frenzy of bargains to be had.

Each year is a carefully crafted schedule of stores to hit with precision timing. This year is no different. I really appreciate Walmart and Target staggering their opening times, as this will give me the ability to acheive my goals without any problems.

There is more that goes into Black Friday than meets the eye. Comfortable shoes are a must. My mom was talking about how she needs to start walking on the treadmill to prepare. This year I am implementing a new procedure with the addition of Poise pads. Since having a child, the urge to pee hits like a freight train. Fast and furious. There is nothing worse than doing the pee-pee dance while in the checkout line. I know this is probably TMI, but come on, you know that this has happened to you. Full cart of groceries and all of a sudden, BAM, you have to pee so bad you are afraid to take a step for fear of wetting your pants.

Anyone.....just me?......okay then, moving along.

This year, with the addition of CVS ECBs and coupons, I fully expect the bargains to be great. This year we will be branching out to new territories, the big question is which direction to go. Rockford or Geneva. Geneva has a Meijer and the CVS that I usually shop at. But Rockford has Old Time Pottery and a bunch of CVS stores. I guess we could head to Rockford and I could go to the Geneva CVS store later in the day or on Saturday. I guess we will have to see what ads there are in the Rockford paper and decide from there.

All in all, I expect this to be a great day as usual. Every year we dread getting up early and fear that one of us will have to ride on the roof because we can't fit everything into the car. Last year was a close thing. The car was packed. This year we are taking my mom's new car, which is bigger than her old one we took last year. By noon, we will be having lunch and laughing about the insanity of the day. We really do have fun!

Happy Thanksgiving to everyone and happy shopping to anyone joining us crazies out there on Friday!

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Picture pages

As I sit here bored at work, I figure hey why not post some pictures. So here are some shots of the boy from over the weekend.

Mommy's little rocker!

This is what happens when you realize your son is in his room being very quiet. Too quiet.

Wipe fight!
We had fun throwing the wipes at each other.

Mmmmmm. Brownies.

Worn out after all the fun. (That is my jacket he is laying on. He has taken to carying it around with him)

Monday, November 20, 2006


Okay, this post might make me seem like a horrible parent. There are times when I feel like I am not a good parent because my kid LOVES TV. I mean, really loves TV. So much so, that he insists on having a video running in his room at all times. We put the Baby Einstein DVD's on repeat in there. Then the TV in the living room is tuned to PBS Sprout all day. I told you this was going to make us sound bad. The TV is on all the time. If we turn it off, Andrew will stand and point to it and tell us "TV on". In our defense, we do impose some limits. He doesn't get to watch it in bed. Sleeping time is for sleeping.

Now, I need to explain some things. He does not sit there and watch TV all day. We play with cars and balls, we color, we sing, dance, play Daddy's bass guitar, we read books. In short, we do a lot of stuff that has nothing to do with the TV. But it is there, in the background. Sometimes, he will grab his juice and go sit in his beanbag chair or the couch and watch TV for a little while. So, on the average, he probably watches about a hour, maybe two hours a day.

So, we are eating dinner last week and Andrew starts playing with his corn. He picks up a piece and tells me "1", so I think cool he is learning his numbers. He picks up another piece and says "2". This continues all the way to 5. I am stunned and so is Justin. We didn't know he could count to 5. Recently, we switched the Baby Einstein DVD in his room to the counting one. He has been enamoured of the tiger in it. Absolutely loves the tiger. Looks like it worked. I will say that we read him books with numbers in them. We tell him the names for everything. In general, all the things you are supposed to do.

Although, after 5 he told us the next piece was 8, so there is work to do.

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Houston, we have testicles!

Apparently the pediatrician was wrong. So was the ultrasound. I learned a lot about how testicles work today. I am a girl, what do I really need to know about testicles.

The urologist said that ordering an ultrasound to check for undescended testicles is stupid. You come at the kid with a cold probe, in a cool room, with his pants down and the testicles retract. I knew about testicles retracting. The old cold water joke and all.

We thought his testicles had dropped, but took the pediatrician at her word. I am glad that she is thorough, but you would think that she would know a little bit about this. Maybe he wasn't on the ball the day she checked him. (Sorry, couldn't resist the bad pun)

So, there will be no nuts for Christmas this year. He already has them.

More of the same.

Okay, the Jewel P&G promotion ended last night. So here is the rest of the tally. Add this to the previous post and you will get the total purchased at Jewel this week.

21 Crest Whitening Expression Gel Toothpaste
10 Crest Pro Health Toothpaste
8 Cover Girl eye pencils
2 Gillette Fusion shave gel
2 Max Factor eyeshadow
2 Cover Girl nailpolish
4 Del Monte diced tomatoes
4 Del Monte corn
4 Del Monte carrots
4 Del Monte green beans
2 College Inn Beef broth
2 Black Angus Chuck Pot Roast (1.5 lb)
1 Pork Loin Roast (4 lb)
1 Red Rome Apples (1.5 lbs)
1 Family size Tyson chicken tenders
2 Jewel trash bags (10ct)
2 Oscar Mayer Bologna
1 Arm & Hammer cat litter box deodorizer
1 Jewel ketchup (46oz)
1 Jewel apple juice (64 oz)
1 Scott toilet paper (6 pk)
1 can tomato soup
1 Appliance light bulb
1 Memorex DVD-R (5 pk)
6 Kelloggs limited edition cereal bowls (clearance score!!!)

Total oop: 16.96
Total savings: 156.90

Now here is where it gets fun. I went through all 18 receipts, and added up the total that actually came out of my checking account. I used a gift card to pay for some of this, so the numbers are skewed. I also used the $10 I got from one of the stores when the coupon didn't print. So add up the last post and this post as far as the amount of stuff I bought and check out my total.

Total spent from checking: 26.13

There are a couple of things to factor in. I still have a $10 coupon for my next Jewel purchase and I will be getting a $10 rebate from Del Monte. So subtract $20 from that and you will get my actual spent money.

Total actual spent is $6.13.

Think I did okay?

Saturday, November 11, 2006

And now for something completely different.

Yeah right. Just where do you think you are. I know this may be hard to believe, but I have only been to CVS once this week. (insert horrified gasp here) You may be thinking, but Chris, what about the deals. Well friends, this week the deals are at Jewel. It is a good thing because woman cannot live on Kotex alone. So here it is, my week at Jewel:

3 Crest Toothpaste (various)
15 Crest Pro Health Toothpaste
11 Glide Dental floss
5 Cover Girl Nail polish
4 Max factor eyeshadow
1 Gillette Fusion shave gel
1 Always pads
3 Hungry Jack Potatos (2 scallop and 1 augratin)
3 Pillsbury Flour (5lb bag)
7 Pillsbury Brownie mix
23 Pillsbury cake mix (variety of flavors)
1 Apples (3lb bag)
2.15 lbs of red grapes
2 Campbells Broccoli Cheese soup
1 Jewel Apple Juice
1 Box of flat toothpicks
2 Sargento shredded swiss cheese
3 Diet Pepsi (20 oz)
6 Diet Pepsi (12 pk)
1 Diet Coke (12 pk)

Total oop: 29.93
Total savings: 201.06 (preferred savings and coupons)

Add to this the fact that the Procter and gamble promotion did not work the first 2 times I tried it. Promo is buy 5 items, get a coupon for $10 off your next purchase. So, I had to go to the service desk those times. So I rec'd a $10 gift card and $10 in cash that are not factored into the above totals, and I have a $10 off coupon for my next order. The P&G promo runs through the 15th and I have 25 crest coupons coming. So next week should be really great also.

I did however get burned on the Walgreens deal. The first time I did not get the $10 off your next purchase coupon. It is a good thing the comtrex works so well, or they would have gotten that back. I did make it work twice, so I have 2 $10 off my next purchase coupons to use. The big way I got burned was that my coupon order has not arrived yet. The order mailed on Tuesday and the last time I ordered from them it came really fast. So now I will have 20 Comtrex coupons for a promotion that ends today. Oh well, I guess that is the chance you take in this game. It is the missed opportunity that gets me, not the $2 I spent on the coupons. The Crest coupons should more than make up for it.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Pictures of the madness

So here they are. Some pictures of the stockpile. To start you off, it is a box of Pantene Ice Shine shampoo and conditioner. There are 18 of each. This box is sitting on top of my cabinet until I determine what I am going to do with it.

Next we have a shot of the top shelf of my bathroom closet. The Kotex is 3 layers deep to give you and idea of how much is in there. The Playtex is 2 layers deep.

What else can I say but Toothpaste!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

A close up on the feminie hygiene sector.

This is my other cabinet. The top left is shampoos and conditioners. Top right is styling products. Bottom left is Hand soap, hand sanitizer, and deodorant. Bottom right is lotion, body wash and bug spray.

So there is a sampling. I have added 9 battery operated toothbrushes, 3 manual toothbrushes, more kotex and lots more toothpaste since these were taken, but I think you get the picture.

Monday, November 06, 2006

Drumroll please.

Here it is. Prepare to be amazed. The CVS final for October.

45 Pantene Ice Shine - 21 shampoo, 23 conditioner, 1 mousse
31 Colgate Max Fresh Toothpaste
30 Kotex Ultra Compact Pads
21 Colgate Sparkling White Vanilla mint
18 Garnier Fructis styling products (gels, mousses and creams)
17 Playtex Sport Tampons
12 Carefree Pantiliners
11 Samy haircare products
10 Aquafresh toothpaste
10 Oral B Crossaction Power Toothbrushes
10 Aleve (20 ct)
9 Spree candy
6 bags of Halloween candy
6 candy bars (misc)
6 Revlon 12 hr Single Eyeshadows
6 boxes of Gas-X (10 ct)
6 Dove Advanced Hair Care products
5 Halloween sippy cups
5 Bayer Low Dose Asprin (20 ct)
4 Grape Nuts Trail Mix cereal
4 Colgate Sparkling White Cinnamint
4 Poise Pads
4 2l of Diet Coke
4 12pks of Diet Pepsi
4 Snickers pumpkins
3 Robitussin (4 oz liquid)
3 Advil PM (20 ct)
3 bottles ACT restore Mouthwash
2 bottles Benefiber chewables (36 ct)
2 Loreal HIP Foundation
2 Advil Cold & Sinus
2 Schick Quattro razors
2 pks of Pampers Easy ups
2 tubes Johnson & Johnson soothing vapor cream
2 pks Huggies Pull-Ups
2 One A Day All Day Energy
2 One A Day Weightsmart
2 Purell Hand Sanitizer (8 oz)
2 CVS Babywipes (160 ct)
2 Small storage baskets
2 Pumpkin potholders
2 Pumpkin kitchen towels
1 Pumpkin placemat
1 Halloween magnets
1 Halloween activity book
1 Fall tablecloth
1 Fall jar candle
1 Sunday Tribune
1 Pocket pack of tissues
1 Crest Pro Health Rinse (trial size)
1 pk Pampers Cruisers
1 Fixodent Free
1 Scott Toilet Paper (12 pk)
1 Bic Comfort 3 Advance razors (4ct)
1 Bic Comfort 3 Womens razors (4ct)
1 2pk pregnancy tests
1 Dayquil caplets (20 ct)
1 Tylenol Go-tabs
1 bottle Johnson & Johnson Calming softwash
1 Advil trial size (6ct)
1 Advil Liquigels (20ct)
1 Robitussin Cough Drops
1 Fresh Step Cat Litter (14 lb)
1 CVS trash bags (20 ct)
1 Underbed Storage box
1 Single serve CVS Pedialyte
1 Gold Emblem Cashews (Single pack)

Total oop: $107.41
Total coupons used: $376.23
Total ECB spent: $577.77
Total ECB earned: $962.31

And somehow I feel like I could have done better. I still have 2 Playtex sport coupons that I couldn't use because nobody has those in stock. I think there is something wrong with me. The final count for toothpaste is 66 tubes. I ended up with around $277 in profit. That is after I deduct my oop. I have almost $400 in ECBs to spend in the next month. Needless to say, it is going to be a CVS Christmas. They are starting to get some cute stuff in for the holidays, including some of the toys I want to get Andrew.

Next post I will put up some pictures of the stash. We did have a minor Kotex avalanche, but not to worry, the Sherpas got everyone out safely. Now, I will be devoting the next 2 weeks to Jewel and Walgreens. Wish me luck.

Thursday, November 02, 2006

It not the news we wanted.

Well friends, the ultrasound revealed that Andrew's testes are still in the canal. There is no amount of running that will make them drop. He could run to China and they would still be in the canal. So we will be seeing a urologist in 2 weeks for evaluation and determine what we will be doing. It is mainly a chance for the urologist to confirm and see Andrew before we schedule him for surgery.

It is a very simple procedure and doesn't involve any major organs. The worst thing is that they are going to have to knock him out. If he were an adult, they could do this with local anesthesia. But there is no way a local will work with a toddler. I am sure that everything is going to be fine. It is not the news I wanted, but it could be much worse. Everything other than the fact that they are up in the canal is fine, good blood flow, everything is healthy.

So it will be a threefold for presents this year. Birthday, Christmas and the gift of Testicles.

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Argh, it be Halloween...

Here he is in all his pirate glory. Argh, he be wantin' candy! Actually, before we went out trick or treating, we were eating M&M's and Andrew was trying to get Justin to give him one. Justin was in the process of asking me if it's okay to give him one, and Andrew is looking at Justin with him mouth open, pointing to his mouth. As if to say, place candy here, now. It was amusing.

Here he is trick or treating with Daddy. He was not really into trick or treating, although he does like the candy. I don't really think he quite gets it. I guess that is understandable not even being 2 yet, and he has a cold. So he wasn't feeling all that great. We only went to about 5 houses. Hopefully next year will be exciting for him. His costume is totally cute and the jacket is a size 6, so he will be able to wear it for many years of dress up play. Something to add to the crazy hat of mine he likes and the purse he took to carrying around for a while. He looked like a little German lady off to the market, with his hat and his purse. It was hilarious.

The ultrasound is tonight, so I will let you know tomorrow what we find out. Hope your Halloween was fun.