Friday, December 28, 2007

By the numbers.


I have a 3 year old. When did this happen? Wasn't he a baby just last year? Time goes by so fast. It is so amazing when they start to become little people. We are having issues with potty training, he just doesn't want to use the potty all the time and getting him to poop in it, seems like the impossible dream. It will work out. He is just trying to assert some form of control.


The number of 3 Muskateers Mint bars I bought last weekend. If I can find them tomorrow, I may buy more. You may think that I am the mayor of crazytown based on that, but I now have $59 to spend at the grocery store and $50 of that is pure profit. It makes sense, even if it is crazy. Oh, I should add that I bought about 100 more of these prior to last weekend, so my overall total is over 300. Bet you can guess what everyone got for the holiday season.


The minimum number of additional containers of baby wipes that I have to purchase between now and 1/10/08. Difficulty: I can only buy in groups of 2 per transaction. I will probably buy more than that, but that is the minimum that I plan to pick up.


The total dollars made the last time I distributed my list. I sell off some of my excess to my co-workers for cheap. I do this at least monthly, but plan to try for a biweekly plan in the new year. I have a vacation to afford.


Missed toll on my way out to visit Felicia. I was told that I need to get an I Pass. I want to get one, but in this case, my tinfoil hat comes into play. I just don't like the idea that the government knows where I go. Not that I go anywhere interesting or have anything to hide. It just creeps me out a little. I will get one soon, but the tinfoil is still stuck on my hair so be patient.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007


A little background first. I belong to a website called Bzzagent. You sign up to try new products and tell people about them. Word of Mouth advertising or Buzz type of stuff. So far, I have been in a few campaigns, nothing spectacular but still kind of cool. I am in a KMart campaign because I live close enough to Rockford to qualify. They redesigned the stores in Rockford and are doing a campaign. I have to visit the in-laws, so I signed up for the campaign and they sent me a $10 gift card. So far this is the coolest thing I have gotten from the site until now.

My campaign package hasn't arrived yet, so I won't totally believe it until I see it, but I got into the new Sonicare campaign. According to the campaign materials, I will be getting this. Apparently, it retails for $179.00. I am totally excited, because as you all know, there is no way I would ever spend that on a toothbrush unless there was a gun to my head. (And even then it would be hard.)

Hopefully it will come soon and I can rave about how well it works. It had better be amazing for that kind of price tag.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

The rundown

So, things have been crazy for the last 2 months. At the end of August we went to see Thomas the Tank Engine at the Illinois Railway museum. We did this last year and Andrew loved it. This year he is really into Thomas, so we thought he would enjoy seeing all of the trains more this time. Actually, he really just wanted to sit inside of LEGO Thomas all day. When we tried to leave to go for our ride on Thomas, he sat down in the middle of the path and cried. I took a picture of it. He had to spend a timeout sitting on a haybale because he would not listen. He did enjoy riding on Thomas and he really loved LEGO Thomas. It wasn't a bad trip. He is just going through a stage where he is testing us.

The second weekend in September, we had a garage sale at my mom's house. All of my stuff sold incredibly fast. I brought out well over 100 bottles of shampoo and conditioner. It was all gone by Friday afternoon. It was seriously crazy. I went back home Friday night to get more stuff for Saturday. All in all, I made $900. It was a really good day.

The next weekend, I started back at Kuipers Family Farm. I work there every weekend September 15 - October 31. I generally take 2 days off during that time. This year my first day off was to attend a first birthday party for Felicia's son. That was a blast. Andrew barely left the bouncy house all day. The second was to take Andrew to the pumpkin farm to run around and play. This year, the weather was perfect and we had a blast. Last year, the day I picked was so cold and miserable that we just bought a pumpkin and left.

Now I have my weekends back, but with impending holidays I feel like I am being shot out of a cannon. One of our office employees at work retired this month, so I have additional responsibilities there. I am trying to go through my stockpile and make a list of things to sell off. I am reaching critical mass on dish soap. Trying to get my house back in order and trying to decide what we are doing for Andrew's birthday this year. I think the theme will be Thomas, but sometimes he insists he wants a Doctor Who party. (although, he says it more like "Docca Who")

I turned 33 in October or as I have coined it, started my Christ year. This is due to my husband telling a friend of ours who was considering giving up being in a band to give it until he was 33, because that was when Jesus did his best work. For my present, we decided to order Doctor Who series 1 and 2. The season sets for the new Doctor Who series on BBC. I caught a few episodes of it a few months back and now we are totally hooked. We are working our way back through the classic stuff too. Bonus, the current Doctor is totally hot. (and he is Scottish. His normal speaking voice is lush.)

Basically, I have been working a lot and trying to keep up with my couponing and my family. That is why my posting has been non existent. I will try to remember that my adoring public requires me to post. I will try to get some pictures up of Andrew and of my cereal stash.

Friday, November 09, 2007

Okay, okay already.

Yeah, I am a big slacker. I know.

But in my defense I was working 7 days a week for half of September and all of October. That and everything else in my life left me little time for blogging. I will post more over the weekend, but until then enjoy Spandau Ballet's "Gold". I heard this today on Virgin Radio and remembered how awesome it is.

Monday, August 13, 2007


My dad and stepmom were in town last week. They came up from Florida to bring my grandmother's ashes back to Wisconsin and to have a memorial service up here. My grandmother passed away in July. She was 94, lived a great life and was one hell of a lady. I will always have fond memories of her and not just because she could take her teeth out. (When I was little I thought she was the coolest because she could. I begged my mom to take her's out too.)

While they were in town, I used my 3 bereavement days and took Andrew to my Aunt Bea's house where they were staying. My stepmom cannot get enough of Andrew and decided that he was ready for potty training. We were planning on concentrating on potty training during Justin's break from school. Nana took him to the bathroom constantly and now he is almost potty trained. He still has a little trouble telling us in time, but if we take him frequently, his diaper stays dry. He even pooped in the potty for Nana. He was rewarded with an ice cream for that. I am glad to have him using the potty and really glad that Nana could be a big part of a milestone, since they are so far away.

If I sound unhappy, it might be because I had just stocked up on diapers. I have 3 packs of Huggies diapers and 6 packs of PullUps. Now to find someone who can use a sweet deal on size 5's.

Thursday, August 02, 2007

Are you ready to rock, St Louis?

Today Andrew got his first guitar. It looks big, but it is a smaller guitar made for kids (although it is for kids older than Andrew) The guitar comes to us via Andrew's Uncle Cooper. So now Andrew has his own guitar to use when rocking out with Daddy. Bonus: the guitar is red like Murray's. (For those of you not in the know, Murray is the red Wiggle and he plays the guitar)

Andrew also got a shaker at the music store the other day. He really likes the music store and when he and Justin were leaving he said, "Bye Rock n Roll!" Yep, he is his father's son.

Monday, July 23, 2007

My son, the Ninja

With the change to the toddler bed, Andrew is able to get out of bed on his own. There are some problems with this, one of them is that he is really quiet when he gets up in the morning. He has always been this way, but it scares me now. Yesterday morning I wake up at 7:15. Open my eyes and hear Hi Mommy! There is Andrew, sitting in my computer chair watching me. We have the monitors cranked to hear every little noise coming from his room and he still manages to beat us. He makes no sound. It is disturbing. I may need to sign him up for Ninja training, he apparently has the gift.

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Ready, Set, GO!!!!!!

My Pantene coupons came today. Now comes the crazy part. I have to try to find enough Pantene in the old style bottles to use them all. That is 60 bottles folks. Wish me luck, for I will be visiting a lot of WalMarts. (shudder) I will update as I get through the WalMarts.

DeKalb - They only had 1 bottle. Coupon is for $5 off 3, one bottle does not help me.

Elmhurst - 27 bottles. The motherlode!!!

Glen Ellyn - 2 bottles, again, this does not help.

St. Charles - 6 bottles, not bad, not bad.

Batavia - 12 bottles. Good haul.

So far, so good. Only 5 coupons out of the 20 left. I can live with having to eat those if necessary.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Recurring trends and not having CPS called on me.

Will CPS take my child away if I duct tape him to his bed? This was a question that popped into my head last night. My child finally fell asleep in his bed at 11:00 pm. He goes to bed at 8:00 pm. 3 hours of having to go in and tell him to stop playing and get back into bed. I was seriously contemplating busting out the duct tape. Tonight he actually went to sleep quickly with no getting out of bed. All I can think is "Thank ya Jesus" (this being said like a faith healer) This week has been full of fun with children, let's recap shall we.

Sunday we took down the crib and now Andrew gets to sleep in his big boy bed. He was angry because he doesn't want his bed to be a bed. His toddler bed is a choo choo train and he wants it to be a train for playing on. Sunday afternoon nap was a lot of him getting up and playing. Sunday night we were out at a friend's house and he got to run around catching lighning bugs, so he passed out in the car and never woke up when we put him to bed.

Monday was a trip. I got home from work and asked where Andrew was. I was told by Justin that Andrew had been sent to his room until I got home. I inquired why and was told he locked Justin out of the house. Here's that story. Justin went to put some laundry in the dryer, to do this he has to leave the apartment for a minute. He gets to the door to come back in and it is locked. He knocks on the door and Andrew lifts the curtain. Justin asks him to open the door. Andrew tries and can't, gives Justin the "I don't know Daddy" look. Justin tells him to unlock the door and let him in. Andrew says "No" and then pushes the curtain against the door so that Justin can't see him. Justin had to take the air conditioner out of the window on the front porch and climb in that way. Good thing we bought an air conditioner. Monday night, Andrew doesn't fall asleep until late. Apparently he doesn't realize that we can hear his counting chair when he gets out of bed and sits in it. Lots of going in and telling him to get back in bed.

Nothing much going on Tuesday. Tuesday night is the same as Monday. Lots of telling him to get back into bed, lots of him trying to stall. Good times.

He is such a little character. His vocabulary is growing so fast. But last night, I seriously considered that he might really be part monkey (and not just because of the fur on his back) and I might have to tie him to his bed.

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Do they make LoJack for people?

I had a horrible nightmare over the weekend about my child being taken. In the dream I saw the creep and was chasing them and screaming. I woke up panicked and 5 days later, I am still unsettled by the dream. This is all part of the paranoia that I have started to develop since becoming a parent. I have had dreams of him falling off a bridge and now this one. I know there are others that I can't remember.

The world that we live in seems more dangerous than when I was a kid. We used to go out and ride our bikes all over the place. We'd be gone for the entire day, sometimes taking snacks and not even coming home for lunch. We would stay out and roam the neighborhood after dinner until my mom called us in after it got dark. How do I give Andrew all the great childhood experiences without developing an ulcer? Luckily I have a few years before he can go out on his own, but it's coming. How do I make sure the paranoia will not rub off on him? I worry that it already has when we are outside and Andrew grabs onto me for dear life when the local homeless man walks by. (To be honest, we believe that he is homeless and he mutters to himself so he is kind of scary.)

I don't want to smother him, but I am worried about my sanity as he gets older. I already worry and he is never out of my sight. I think I need to revisit the doctor and resume the Prozac. Hopefully we can get pregnant again soon, so we can decide when we will be done having kids and I can look forward to long term Prozac usage.

I am sure that Justin would like me back on the Prozac too, right honey?

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

In the interest of sharing.

I thought I would share with you that my drag queen name would be Jackie Hale.

I envision some sort of Navy theme, with a cute sailor hat.

(Take the name of your first pet for your first name and the first street you lived on as the last name. Yeah I know the formula is the same or similar for other "names)

Friday, June 29, 2007

It is done.

My transition to complete dork has been completed. Following is the incident that signaled the change.

We were watching Star Wars last night. Well they cut to a shot of the Death Star. Andrew pointed to it and said "Moon". I calmly and instantly responded, "That's no moon, it's a spacestation."


We have so much time, and so little to do! Strike that, reverse it

This is gonna be quick, more to follow over the weekend or next week depending on how I feel. Vacation was good. We had a lot of fun. It was so great to spend time with Lisa and Bobby. Lisa has some pictures over on her blog if you haven't already seen them. Justin didn't clear off the card for our camera, so I have to get pictures from other people before I can really update with pictures.

We got back on Friday (the 22nd) at 2:30 am, I got up at 6 to go to work. I only lasted a few hours at work, went to my mom's to pick up Justin, Bailey and Andrew. Drove Bailey home and took a very short nap (15 min) at my inlaws. Drove us home, we had dinner, went to Jewel because I had coupons that had to be used that day for free milk and we were out, then came home and crashed. Sunday was spent mostly relaxing because I was beat.

Spent most of this week trying to get caught up on work. End of the month is here and I am a week behind. I seem to have a sinus infection or head cold. Feeling lousy, can't take a sick day from work until Tuesday at the earliest. Lets hear it for double doses of Advil Cold & Sinus.

I have only been doing the can't miss deals as far as shopping goes, and I have still managed to accumulate 40 bottles of BBQ sauce this week. Not to mention the moneymaking Boost and Glucerna cereal deals. Anyone know someone who likes or uses Boost? I am going to have my mom try the Glucerna cereal, if she doesn't like it I will donate it somewhere. If this wasn't such a monster moneymaker, I wouldn't have bothered. I generally don't buy things I won't use, well except the Just for Men haircolor and the Nice and Easy Blonde Root Kits. But those netted me a profit too.

Best shopping trip of the week was at Jewel:
12 Suddenly Salad
12 Kraft BBQ Sauce
8 Chex Mix
1# Nectarines
1# Bananas

Total spent $0.58

I think that is all for now, not sure because the sinus pain, pressure and congestion messes with my ability to think.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Florida here we come..........again.

We leave Friday morning for vacation if FL. We always go there because my dad and stepmom are there and want to see Andrew. This year there's a twist. My mom is coming too. Oh and we are taking Justin's 10 yr old sister. No problems with either of them coming along, but it will be weird to spend the day at Disney with my dad, mom and stepmom.

Thanks to my mom's timeshare, we will be staying at the Liki Tiki resort. Peep here to see a slideshow of how awesome this place will be. It is really close to Disney which will come in handy Saturday and Sunday. Saturday we will all be going to Disney. Sunday it will be me, Justin, Bailey, Lisa and Bobby. It is going to be so much fun going to the park with Lisa. We have been friends since the 8th grade and she is more a sister than a friend. The whole reason for picking this weekend to go to the park is for Star Wars Weekends. Justin made a comment last year about how he would love to attend, so I planned our vacation around it. Sunday he will have plenty of time to devote to it, since Andrew will be staying at the resort with my mom. I wish we were going next weekend though, I would love to meet Warwick Davis.

Andrew seems to be excited about the impending trip. He keeps asking for "BumpaNanaMickey" which is how he refers to my dad and stepmom. On Monday he took my hand and led me to the door because he wanted to go see them. He has recently connected with Mickey, so I think this time the park may have a big effect on him. My only worry is that it will be really hard to leave. It has always been hard for my dad to leave him, but this time Andrew may have a hard time leaving Bumpa.

We are taking my sister-in-law Bailey with us. I think it will be really cool to see the park through her eyes. She has never flown before and worries about flying because of 9/11. I hope that we can calm her fears and that she can enjoy the flight.

I raised spending money by selling off some of my stockpile. I made around $500. I called my mom and asked "Who's the crazy one now?" She always tells me I am crazy when I come home with 12 razors and 40 bars of soap. Don't worry, I still have 50 tubes or so of toothpaste. I didn't sell it all.

An example of the crazy taking over, I have decided I can't travel without my coupons. So I have been clipping everything from the last 2 months and will be getting a case for them. Hopefully I can find something suitable. We have a kitchen in our condo and I cannot pay full price anymore. So if I have to go grocery shopping, I need my coups.

I was going to post a link to or clip of Lazy Sunday (SNL skit) but I can't find a decent one. So I will leave you with this.
Mr. Pibb + Red Vines = Crazy Delicious

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

I've been tagged!

By Samantha (Mom in Guam)

"Rules"After posting these rules, each player proceeds to list 8 relatively random facts/habits about himself/herself. At the end of the post, the player then tags 8 people and posts their names, leaving them a comment on their blogs to let them know.

1. I am concerned about diabetes since it runs in my family and I am overweight. The only reason I am concerned is not because of the health issues, it's that I cannot imagine not being able to eat sugar in it's worst forms. Circus peanuts, PEZ, candy corn, I love sugar.

2. I hate our current toothpaste, but refuse to open a 2nd tube. I have over 100 tubes, but can't bring my self to have 2 tubes open at the same time.

3. I wish I liked melon. Andrew likes all forms of melon and it looks so good, but I just don't like it.

4. My childhood memories begin the night my dad left. It was the summer before I turned 6. That is the first clear memory I have, I don't remember anything about kindergarten.

5. I can only buy shoes at a special store. My feet are so wide that I have very few options and all of them are expensive. Even if I lose weight, they will still be superwide.

6. I have more name brand products in my house since I started couponing. I love knowing that we will always have food and toiletries. I will never pay for toothpaste again.

7. I am terrible when it comes to being a girl. I am completely useless when it comes to clothes and makeup. Seriously, I can't seem to find a lipstick that works, so I don't bother.

8. I love Barry Manilow. I just can't help it. When he comes on my iPod, I crank it up and sing along.

All of my blogger friends have been tagged, so I've got nobody to tag.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

I learned something this weekend.

I was in the shower and I decided to use my sample salt scrub from my Oprah tote. This stuff totally rocks. One problem though, I forgot I had a couple of cuts on my legs. I remembered this fact when they started to burn.

I rubbed salt into my wounds. I am a moron.

Thursday, May 17, 2007


Tonight the husband and I are going to a show. We are going to see Keane. I LOVE this band. I discovered them on Virgin Radio in March of 2004. I have been a massive fan since then, but haven't gotten out to see them. They came through in 2004 but I was 8 mos pregnant and standing around at a show was not gonna happen. Then we had an infant and were too sleep deprived to care. So this year, we are going to see them.

Things I love about Keane:
Piano driven pop
Gorgeous melodies
Tom's vocals
Word usage - Anyone who can use "dithering" in a song rocks, it's so very English

They are the perfect marriage for someone who is both an anglophile and audiophile. That is probably why I heart them so much.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Bringing the funny to the internets.

This comes from a great webcomic called xkcd.

Saturday, May 12, 2007

Comedy Gold, I tell ya.

I am checking out at Walgreens at 6am this morning and we (the asst. mgr. and I) hear a car horn blowing and think someone's alarm is going off. This woman comes up to the counter carrying a coffeemaker. She asks if it is her horn blowing, we tell her probably. She informs us that her dogs are in the car. We laugh and I leave.

I get into my car and look over at the dogs in question. They are 2 cute labs, big dogs. I watch them for a minute. 1 of them is sitting in the drivers seat, staring at the door to Walgreens. I then see the dog put it's paw on the horn and lean on it for like 5 seconds. Then it moves to the passenger seat and waits, staring at the door to Walgreen's the whole time. I sat there and laughed. I had assumed that the dog had accidentally hit the horn, but no the dog was using the horn to hurry it's owner along. Like "Hey, just get the stupid coffeemaker and let's go. C'mon. Silly humans!"

Friday, May 11, 2007

Major Score

I stopped at Walgreen's today on my way home. I wanted to see if they had any of the clearanced Aussie products. Here's the scoop. Walgreens is doing a deal where you buy 9 P&G products from a specific list of participating products and you get 2 coupons for $10 off your next order (so basically $20 in catalina coupons) I did this with Covergirl makeup, spent $16, got @ 2 $10 cats. The Walgreen's by my work had some Aussie products on clearance that worked. Total after using 1 of my $10 cats plus coupons was 3.64 and I got 2 more $10 cats.

Then I stopped on my way home at another store and hit the jackpot. Covergirl liquid liner on clearance for 1.49. I got 6 plus 2 blushes (free coupons for those) and a pack of Venus razors. Total after coupons was $0.37, and that is without using any of my $10 cats. The machine spit out 2 more $10 catalinas.

So my total out of pocket is $20, I earned $60 in cats and I still have $50 left to spend and the week is not over. I have 2 more stores to hit tomorrow.

But these go to 11.

The title of this post has little to do with the subject other than the number and it being funny.

11 years ago today, I got married. I had only known the guy 9 months. I had spent 3 drama filled weeks, yes I said weeks, planning a wedding during which time I also drove my car into a semi, completely totalling it and walking away with some bruises. That story is for another day.

I don't remember a ton about that day to be honest. It went by so fast. But the end result is all that matters. Eleven years ago, I got married to a fantastic guy. Sweet, funny and really smart. We have had some rough times, but on the whole we have had more good than bad. He is a fantastic father and husband. We are really very lucky. Last year for our 10th anniversary we were having some financial issues. We had originally planned to go to England for our 10th, and well that didn't happen. So he got Fish n chips for dinner and we watched The Prisoner. It was such a wonderful idea and we had a great time. He said if we couldn't go to England, he would bring England to us. If you are reading this honey, I love you.

I hope everyone out there is lucky enough to find someone great and has more sunshine than rain in their lives. Have a great day!

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Good day / Bad day

Today is a good day, today I get paid. I return my sample deodorant to New Dimensions today and pick up my check. I think I get paid $80 (I actually don't remember the amount) for using 3 different deodorant samples for the last 3 weeks and filling out a questionnaire. So why is today also a bad day?

Today is the last time I return a sample unless I get into a quickie study. As of June 1st there will be no new studies because Unilever is closing the facility. Who is going to pay me to wash my hair or put on deodorant? Who is going to give me coupons for free stuff for smelling things and telling them what I liked? Who is going to give me $40 to circle flyaway and frizz on pictures of hair? (Seriously, that was some of the easiest money ever) I will really miss that place.

Now to find a new revenue stream to replace it. Hmmmmm.

Monday, May 07, 2007

The Great Escape

We recently added 2 new members to our family. Their names are Romeo & Juliet (Mo and Julie) and they came to via The Princess. Turns out everyones favorite Moose is allergic. It took some time, but I talked Justin into it and we took them in. I couldn't imagine giving up Felix and if I had to I would want to know where he was going. This is why I wanted to take them. Everyone is getting along pretty well. There is still some agression occasionally, but for the most part it is working out. We have learned that they are total attention whores and love to be near us. I also learned something new this weekend. We have to watch out to keep Mo from escaping. Here is how it went down.

I am asleep, it is 2am Sat night/Sun Morning. Justin wakes me up to ask me where a flashlight is. I am really asleep, so it takes a couple of tries. Justin tells me that he was going outside for a smoke before going to bed and noticed that the back door was open. He stepped out onto the porch, turned on the light and saw Mo sitting on the edge of the porch. It is supposed to be screen in, but the last tenants destroyed it. So, Justin calls to Mo and Mo bolts around the side of the house. This is when he came for me and a flashlight. So I get him one and he heads out into the dark to look for the cat. Here I should add that Mo and Julie are both 4 paw declawed and we have a lot of feral cats in our neighborhood. So we are totally worried. I grab a can of cat treats and shake them in the time honored tradition of finding cats. Out pops Mo from under our patio furniture. I grab him, yell for Justin. We are totally relieved of course. Justin comes near Mo and Mo starts shaking. The only thing we can figure is that Justin scared Mo when he came out on the porch because Justin has become fond of the new kitties and pays them lots of attention.

Thank God cats love that "shakin sound"

Thursday, May 03, 2007

So excited!1!

There are reports that people are starting to receive their Oprah totes! I was one of the first 5000 and got an email saying I would be getting one. It is a tote bag full of freebies and samples and stuff. Everyone who has gotten one in the past says they rock. I can't wait for Justin to be home from school so I can call and see if my tote has arrived. This totally makes up for the CVS tote being out of stock everywhere.

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

This made me smile

This comes courtesy of a favorite web comic xkcd. I especially like the "Here there be anthropomorphic dragons"

Man it bugs me.

When I hear that people use "Every Breath You Take" by the Police as a wedding song, it makes me stabby. Seriously. This is not a love song, at least it's not about the kind of love I want. Listen to the lyrics people. It is about stalking.

Monday, April 30, 2007

A long, long time ago.....

I actually posted to this blog. The last month has been a serious blur. To start with, we were short a person at work for 3 weeks starting at the end of March. The solution to her absence is that I get to do her job and mine. I will be posting a lot about the last few weeks over the course of this week. But I thought I would post something for your amusement. A peek into the madness. The last time I posted pics of my stockpile it was just in my bathroom, but it has grown in many ways. We have purchased some storage supplies as you will see over the coming days. For now we will start with the pantry. This is a small cabinet with 4 shelves. It stands 5 ft tall and we have 10 ft ceilings (just to give you a frame of reference)

Warning images may disturb you and cause you to consider an intervention. Please note that we do have it under control. I give you the pantry.

This is the view of the entire thing. It is a thing of joy and beauty to behold.

This is the cereal portion of the stockpile. As you can see like cereals are grouped together. They are stacked with the expiration dates facing. This is for easier choosing of what needs to be eaten first. To the left of the cereal is a stack of Quaker Granola Bites. These little balls of granola goodness are one of Andrew's favorites.

This is a close up of the inside. As you can see we have a complement of salad dressings, rice a roni, pudding, pancake mix, tortellini, pb, jelly and granola bars. On the bottom is the Manwich and diced tomatos. There are roughly 14 cans of organic diced tomatos on the bottom shelf.

So, there is our new pantry. This has freed up other areas of storage for more stockpiling. Today I picked up 4 jars of pasta sauce and 9 toothbrushes for $1.45 oop. So, the space is going to be put to good use.

So if you feel like visiting, just remember to bring a bag.

Saturday, March 31, 2007

Laundry day gone bad.

I should use the term "Laundrypalooza", as a friend of mine calls it. I was thinking of calling it Laundrystock, because like Woodstock 99, there were some problems. Let's start the day.

My mom came out to visit and to accompany me to the laundromat to try and tackle my laundry issues. Since we moved upstairs the laundry situation has improved, but there is a backlog. My building has 4 apartments and one washer and dryer. The dryer is around the back of the building. To get there when we lived in the basement, you had to haul everything up the stairs, out the door, down the steps, around the building and back down the steps into the basement area where the laundry facilities are. This basement area is not accesible from the basement apartment. I also had new tenants open my door and bring their laundry in thinking my apartment was where the laundry was. So, we got in the habit of only doing what laundry was neccesary, so a stockpile grew. So today was the day I took everything out and washed it and my mom offered to help me.

So we are at the laundromat doing my 17 loads of laundry (the washers were not very big there). We are folding dry stuff when we hear a crash and look up to see that someone has hit my mom's car. The car crossed the street and hit my mom's car in the driver side door. We call the police. They arrive and we find out that neither of the people in the car have valid driver's licenses, only the passenger has an insurance card and it is expired, the car belongs to a relative and the girl who was driving has warrants out for her arrest. Needless to say, my mom is pissed. The cops cuff the driver and put her in the car. We are asked by the cop if they went anywhere to drop something after the accident and before the arrival of the cops. I didn't think about it then, but the passenger went inside the laundromat and used the bathroom. I thought he went to use the phone, I didn't realize there was a bathroom in there. So, they may have gotten rid of something. Who knows?

I have to say this was the most exciting trip to the laundromat I have ever had.

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Estate Sale Score!

A few weeks ago, my mom and I stopped at an estate sale. I got some things that I really like for an amazing price (tip: late in the day of the last day of an estate sale, things are cheaper but there is less to chose from.) So, following are pictures of 2 items that I got that I am really happy about.

First is my new artwork. They seem to be a printed line drawing with the color applied later. I have no idea what they are, but they are numbered x/200 and signed in pencil. They are dated 76 and are of 2 rather famous places in Quebec. One is the Chateau Frontenac and the other is the Rue Du Tresor. I think these are really cool and paid $1.50 for the pair. Now to have them framed, but for that I have a coupon. (Big surprise, eh?)

Second is a short, long bookcase. This is a perfect fit on a wall that isn't very large and if you place a deep bookcase on it, it will spill over into the doorway of Andrew's room. With a few pretty canvas bins, I think it will change that area from a toy eyesore to less of a toy eyesore. Since this is in our living room, I would like a slightly more adult solution to the toys than the current one we had. This works perfect and all for the bargain price of $2.00. That's right 2 bucks and it's not pressboard. It's not high quality wood, but it actual wood.

All in all, I am quite happy with these. With a little work and some good deals this summer, we may be able to upgrade the decor of our living quarters from early garage sale to upscale garage sale. The next project that I am starting is making some Roman shades for our living room.

Saturday, March 24, 2007

Dude seriously, I need to start eating breakfast.

I have entirely too much cereal after today. Here is the lowdown.

Friday night @ Jewel
8 boxes (16 oz) of MultiGrain Cheerios
Total spent - $2.20 (that is 0.25/box + tax)

Today @ Jewel
6 boxes (18 oz) Oatmeal Crisp - Maple Brown Sugar
2 boxes of Hamburger Helper Singles
0.84# of green grapes
2.47# of bananas
5 single serve bags of Pringles Minis (these are nice when you want to eat the whole bag of chips)
Total spent - $0.92

It's a good thing we really like the MultiGrain Cheerios. I have no idea what to do with the Oatmeal Crisp, I will probably put it on the list or donate it. I only brought 5 boxes home though. I gave one to my favorite cashier.

Got milk?

Tuesday, March 20, 2007


We got Police tickets and they are not in Stevie Wonderland!!!!!

Presale began today and we were able to get our tickets. Prices are a little much, but it's better than a scalper. Ours were $94/each. The show is at Wrigley Field and if you want to sit on the field, the tickets are $254/ea. That is entirely too much for me, unless it came with a bonus that included Stewart Copeland and my house.

I am so happy that I am no longer upset about forgetting some of my coupons this morning.

Thursday, March 15, 2007

It is the San Francisco treat after all.

So today's haul is:
26 boxes of Rice A Roni
Total spent $0.26

Recent brags:
8 bottles of Sunsilk leave in creme
1 bag (3#) of Organic gala apples
Total spent $2.14

26 bottles (16 oz) of Ken's salad dressing
1 pk Capri Sun Roarin' waters
1 pk hot dog buns
1 slice of watermelon
1.19# of bananas
Total spent $5.46

24 cans Muir Glen organic diced tomatoes (plain and seasoned)
4 boxes Frosted Flakes (14 oz)
2 boxes Pop Tarts (8ct)
Total spent $5.81

It has been a busy few weeks for us. I found out that Hilander grocery store in Rockford will double coupons up to 0.55. 2 like coupons per transaction. Since my in-laws are in Rockford, this is really good news. I plan to do some serious damage in the future. I have gotten some really great beef deals at Target lately. I got Diet Coke (ie my life blood) for $1 a 12 pk with the great coupons I traded for. Lots of great deals lately.

Andrew has become a major Blues Clues junkie. He sings along and really interacts with it. He now knows colors, shapes and lots of new words. Today's word was "another". Everyday is a new adventure and so much fun. Although his pronunciation is a little off. He pronounces circle as "hircle". We have to make sure any knives are far from the edge of the counter as he can now reach the edges. He stabbed some poor bananas to death today!

I got to babysit for The Moose this week. He is the son of The Princess. He slept for a good portion of the night and was so sweet when he was awake. He is such a cutie and I was totally happy to watch him. I also got to watch grown up TV while he slept which is a treat I rarely get to enjoy from 7-8 pm.

Basically, it has been a busy few weeks with lots of good stuff happening. Big movement on the financial scene. GI Bill has kicked in, this week is the last payment for my 401k loan that I took out last year, and now I think we can get down to setting and reaching my goal for this year. That goal is to become debt free. I plan to start using my credit card for expenses and to pay it off every month. I plan to up my 401k percentage and to put more into savings. I am not sure how much we can save up, but I think we can get a substantial amount saved up this year.

As you can probably guess from the beginning of this post, our grocery bills are going down. They don't call me Coupon Chris for nothing.

Friday, February 23, 2007

Sometimes people make me sick.

I frequent a number of message boards on sites dedicated to couponing. The people there are nice and friendly. I was reading a thread and one poster mentioned that he volunteers at a food pantry. He mentioned this in a post about how he is shocked at the amount of Peter Pan peanut butter with bad batch numbers has been donated this week. I am so appalled by this. I cannot begin to say how badly this sickens me.

For those of you who are not aware, ConAgra Foods has issued a recall on some batches of peanut butter due to a possible salmonella contamination. You can read the FDA release here:

The idea that people would donate possibly contaminated food to a food pantry is reprehensible. The batches that were recalled still have a long way to go before they expire and probably would not have been donated if they had good batch number. Why do people suck? Can somebody just tell me why?

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Back to basics

Okay, we now return to our regularly scheduled programming. Deals!

Today was a great shopping day at Jewel. For those of you not familiar, I will explain the Avenu thing before I tell you of my awesome deal today. Jewel has this thing called the Avenu, it generates special savings offers based on your particular buying habits. It is tied to your preferred card, although if they go by what I have been buying, then my avenu should be full of toothpaste and soap offers. I don't know how they determine the offers exactly, but I check my offers online everyday. (Sometimes the deals are for organic products for those of you who are into that and think Jewel has nothing to offer you) Lately though, my Avenu offers have been crap and have stayed roughly the same for a week. So today I check my offers and I find that they have given me something to work with. The Avenu offers come off automatically, so you can use manufacturer's coupons too.

Today I had 3 offers in my Avenu that I wanted to take advantage of. $2 off Ken's Steakhouse salad dressing (limit 6), $1 off Barilla Plus pasta (limit 6) and $0.80 off Hot Pockets (limit 10). The Ken's dressing was on sale for $2 and I had $1 off coupons so each bottle was -$1.00, the pasta was on sale for $1.50 and I had $1/2 coupons so each box was free and the hot pockets were $2 each and I had $1/3 coupons, I bought 6 and each was roughly 0.87 ea. So my total was:

6 bottles Ken's Steakhouse dressing
-2 Lite Ranch
-2 Zesty Italian
-1 Lite Country french
-1 Honey Mustard
6 boxes of Barilla Plus Pasta
-2 rotini
-2 penne
-2 spaghetti
6 boxes of Hot Pockets
1.25# of green grapes
Nestle Crunch w/ caramel
(for Justin)

Total came to $1.62

It was a great trip and I saved a ton of money. The overage from the salad dressing paid for the hot pockets. I can't wait to see if there is anything good in my Avenu tomorrow. Although, I need to go to Dominick's more this week. They are having a great sale, but I will save that deal for another day.

Friday, February 16, 2007

Brain dump

Okay, it has been a while since I posted, so bear with me as this is just going to be a dump of random things from the past few weeks. Let me start with:

THE POLICE!!!!!!!! - I am so going to see them. I don't care if I have to pay scalper prices. I will see them and I will have decent seats. I will do whatever it takes, seriously.

Mini reunion - This Monday we are having a bit of a mini high school reunion. I will get the chance to see some great people that I haven't seen in years, some that I have recently reconnected with. I am so excited to see everyone and am putting my bargaining skills to work for this one. As you all know from reading this blog, I am the Queen of paying Nothing for Something as Alice so kindly put it.

Bargains - Well, there has been a lot of bargains lately. Jewel tried to kill us with another P&G promotion. I had to contact their corporate office twice due to problems, but each time I was taken care of and have no complaints. Other than the deals in my Avenu have been garbage lately. Meijer is also running some good promotions. There is a new deal starting up at Dominicks that should be awesome. Since it started on Thursday, I still need to get everything together to make it worthwhile. It involves General Mills products and I have to buy some of their stuff for a rebate, so combining the 2 should equal a profit for me. As usual there are things to be paid to buy at CVS. Not as many deals there this week, but that is okay. I needed a slow week.

Freezer - On Sunday we purchased a small chest freezer. I am so excited about this. I have been waiting for almost a year for this promotion to come back around. Jewel had a deal last year where you bought a freezer for $150 and you received $150 worth of coupons for free frozen food. So, when I saw the ad last weekend, I was ready to go. The coupons are decent, about half of them have to be redeemed at Jewel, but the rest can be redeemed anywhere. If I do this right and pair the coupons with buy 1 get 1 free sales, I should be able to maximize them. I will probably trade some of them too. We are going to set up the freezer this weekend, as I am going to need it for a few things that I am buying this week. This is good timing, since it is Girl Scout cookie season and I have no room in my regular freezer.

Andrew - Andrew has had a bad cold lately, so he hasn't been eating much. Except for last weekend when he somehow ate poop, yes I said poop. I was so grossed out and I scrubbed out his mouth with a toothbrush dipped in mouthwash to kill germs. Poor kid, as I really scrubbed out his mouth. He is now obsessed with Blues Clues. He sings along and does the moves, except that he is not that good at them yet, so it is really funny to watch him.

Happy Valentines Day to everyone out there. We don't really celebrate it since Justin's birthday is the next week and we would rather make a big deal out of that. We do have good plans for this weekend. We are going to see Winger at the House of Blues on Sunday. Woo Hoo!!! Yes, I said Winger. Kip Winger is a very entertaining and engaging guy and not to mention TOTALLY HOT!!!!!!!! So that will be fun and then I am off work on Monday for our mini reunion.

Saturday, February 03, 2007


I got a deal tonight that will make even my green friends jealous.

I bought 9 pkgs (10 oz ea.) of Cascadian Farms frozen organic blueberries for $4.54 at Super Target. They were on clearance for $1.48 ea and I had $1 off coupons. Woohoo!

I think we will be having blueberry pancakes for breakfast tomorrow!

Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Location, location, location

If anyone needs me over the next 2 weeks, you can probably find me at the Jewel. They are doing another P&G deal and I have an obscene amount of coupons.

That is all.

Thursday, January 25, 2007

Got Breakfast?

Because I do! It has been a little while since I posted a Deal, so I thought I would let you in on what I have been getting this week. This is the 19 Bisquick Shake n Pours I picked up.

These were all basically free between coupons and store promos. I think I may have spent $0.50 total.

This is actually a CD rack that we are not using at the moment. It has become a temporary staging place for some things that I haven't figure out a place for yet. I need to get a pantry of some sort. Some of the items here are Oatmeal to Go, Lipton teabags, Jif and Skippy peanut butter and Smuckers jelly.

The tea bags were actually almost free, the Jif and Smuckers made me money after rebate and the Oatmeal to Go were 0.50 a box and I have rebate forms for some of them too.

Lastly, Quaker Instant oatmeal, this does not include the 4 boxes I sold, the 2 I gave to my mom and the one box that is open in my cabinet. So add another 7 boxes to this.

Most of this cost me between 0.05 - 0.30 a box. Total score.

Now, I know you think I am nuts. That's okay. I see you over there, Princess Consuela Bananahammock, shaking your head and making a list of who to call. Just grant me one favor, let me know when my intervention will be so I can make Oatmeal cookies.

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

They grow up so fast.....

Seems like yesterday that I had Gene Simmons of newborns. Now I have a little boy who goes to school. Yesterday was Andrew's first day of preschool. He goes on Tuesdays and Thursdays while Justin is in classes. The preschool is at the community college.

My kid has no real issues with us leaving him with strangers. At least he doesn't if it is with a pretty girl who shows him trains. They arrived yesterday, washed Andrew's hands and put his stuff in his cubby. Andrew got a little clingy when other kids started to arrive, but Miss Emily asked if he liked trains and that was all it took. He said yes (actually he says Eee Eee, kinda like a dolphin and that means yes) and they took off to play with toy trains. He didn't even care that Justin was leaving. The teachers said he did well, except for not wanting to nap. Miss Emily sat down and rubbed his back and he went to sleep. (Such a little operator)

He is the youngest in the class. They start at 2 and he just turned 2 a few weeks ago. I think this will be good for him. He needs more interaction with kids, but I just can't help wondering where the last 2 years went.

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

New friends and new hobbies.

Okay, so my new friend isn't exactly new, but Monday was the first time we met in person. We have been corresponding via email for a while, since we traded coupons a few months ago. We have been talking about getting together after the holidays for the past few weeks and we finally did. We got together to enjoy our new favorite hobby.......Dumpster Diving for coupons.

Okay, now do you have a good image of me in your head? For those of you who haven't seen me in a while, I am how shall we put it, a big girl. I am not small, even though I am short. I am working on that, but that is for another place entirely. So, think Oompa Loompa but less orange and more round. Got it, good.

Now, picture me next to a recycling dumpster that is almost as tall as I am. Now picture me standing on a plastic recycling bin, one foot wedged into a hole in the side that is there so the trucks can lift and dump it, and hauling myself into the dumpster. Getting out of the dumpster was another challenge because we did not think to bring the recycling bin into the dumpster. To get out, we piled a bunch of papers in the corner and I stood on them. They then collapsed so I am hanging onto the side of the dumpster while my feet slide out from under me. We make a new pile and I use it and a spot on the dumpster to kind of boost myself onto the lip of the dumpster. I get out and use a clever system (plastic bag w/ one end tied to a snow shovel and the other to the recycling bin) to send the recycling bin in for my pal so she has a slightly easier time and we can get the recycling bin back when she is out.

We sorted through the newpapers for coupon inserts and got quite a few. This is so cool because I hate buying a ton of papers. For those of you who don't know, this past Sunday was the biggest coupon insert weekend of the year. Over 250 coupons and some of them are really good ones. Since it was a newpaper recycling bin only, it's really clean inside. It was pretty empty so going through everything was pretty easy. We had a blast and plan to go again tomorrow. Hopefully the dumpster will have filled up. I will be bringing my papers with to recycle there and my stepladder to make getting in easier.

Wish us luck!

Friday, January 05, 2007

I heart Target.

Tonight I had fun cleaning out the Target clearance. The Target on my way home from work finally went to 90% off. WoooHooo!!!! The big deal about this is that I have been waiting for this particular store to drop. They have a ton of air freshener products in the regular area that are part of the Christmas clearance. I have especially been waiting for the Airwick Freshmatic refills. They are regularly 3.74. That is entirely too expensive for me. So, I want to stock up if I can while they are cheap. So here is what I bought today:

6 Airwick Freshmatic Refills in Harvest Spice (0.37/ea)
3 Airwick Decospheres in Harvest Spice (0.28/ea)
2 Airwick Scented Oil Refill 2 pk in Harvest spice (0.39/ea)
1 Glade Scented Oil Fan in Apple Cinnamon (0.66/ea)
1 Glade Scented Oil refill 2 pk in Glistening Snow (0.46/ea)
3 Glade Scented Oil 4oz Candles in Apple Cinnamon and French Vanilla (0.27/ea)
4 Febreeze Noticeables in Vanillas (0.79/ea)
5 Night Before Christmas board books (0.10/ea)
1 Bag of Assorted Gift Bows (0.49)
1 Lionel Richie Sounds of the Season CD (0.69/ea)
1 John Legend Sounds of the Season CD (0.69/ea)
1 Stocking Holder (0.99)
1 2pk of Gift boxes (0.19/ea)

Used 1 $1 off Febreeze Noticeables coupon and 1 $5 gift card
Total oop: $7.38

Looks like we will be smelling of Harvest Spice for a while.