Saturday, October 10, 2015

Super Savings Saturday: Target, Meijer, Giant Eagle, Fresh Thyme

I got 6 bell peppers $1 each, 2 caramel apples $1 each, a bag of apples at $.49/#, 1 package of mushrooms $1, 2 bags of pretzel sticks $1 each and a gift for $4.99. I used $15 mPerks reward and a $1/10 produce coupon and paid $1.72.

I went back later in the week, because I have pinkeye and needed to get eye drops and an antibiotic for bacterial bronchitis. During that trip, I got:

sticker book $1
2 doz eggs 4.99
2 mints @.95
popcorn kernels 1.99
2 frozen potatoes @2.69 - 2 x $1/1
2 bags mashed potato mix @$1 - $1/2
6 soda @$1 - 3 x $1/2 coupons
2 yogurt @$1
cake mix - free for buying 10 participating items
8 combos @$1, used 4 x $2/2
lettuce .98 - free item coupon
yarn 2.79
hooks 1.99
frozen veg 2.00 -$1/1 and -$1 off any frozen dept coupon
2 pillsbury crescent rolls @$1 -$1/2
tea bags .99
yoplait whips $1 - free item for buying 10 participating items
I paid $1.90 after my $5 mPerks reward and a $20 pharmacy coupon. I got back a $1 onyo from the soda. I found a $5 onyo in the parking lot.

Fresh Thyme:
I got 4 bags of 5# potatoes .49 each, 1 green pepper .39, 1 bunch kale .88 and a small bag of apple rings from the bulk food/snacks. I paid $4.59.

Target: I went one time but did two transactions. On the first, I got:
3 playtex pads 3.99 each, used $3/2 and $1/1 coupons
3 colgate enamel health toothpaste 2.99 each, used 3 $2/1 coupons
kids' toothpaste 2.52 -$.50/1 coupon
St. Ives body wash 3.97 -$1.50/1 coupon
1 minute rice 1.79 - 30% cartwheel
simply balanced pizza 5.39 -5% cartwheel - $1/1 coupon -$1/$5+ simply balanced purchase
I used a $5 gift card from last time, plus I brought my own bags and I used red card and paid $14.71. I got back $5 gift card when you buy 3 playtex items and free $5 gift card when you spend $15 on personal care.

Transaction 2:
pickles 2.14-5% cartwheel
4 minute rice @1.79 -30% cartwheel, -4 x $1/1 coupons
4 aveeno @ 3.97 - 4 x $3/1 coupons
2 suave @2.89 -10% cartwheel - bogo coupon
simply balanced pizza 5.39 -$1/1 and - $1/5+ simply balanced purchase coupon
quaker oat meal 2.50 -$1/1 coupon
I used my gift cards from the previous transaction (total was $5.82). I got back another gift card for $5 for the personal care products purchase.

Giant Eagle:
I got 4 packs of pillsbury biscuits, bananas, broccoli stir fry blend, 10 yoplait, 2 gallons of milk, 5 boxes of granola bars, 1 loaf of bread and 1 jar of jam. I paid $16.53.

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Book Review: Owls

Owls: Our Most Charming Bird by Matt Sewell is a fantastic book for anyone interested in wildlife, birds and great pictures. This book features colorful paintings of dozens of species of owls. Along with each picture, there is a one page description of the owl's looks, behavior and habitat.

While I wouldn't use this as a field guide, I would use it as a non-fiction book to read with kids, as it's easy to understand and the pictures are simply stunning. The book was written by an ornithologist, which adds an excellent element to its educational value.

You really get a feel for the personality of each creature, and that is what I liked the most about this book. I've only seen a few owls in the wild in my life, despite having grown up in a rural area. This book increases my appreciation of these beautiful and curious beings.

Disclaimer: I received a free copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for writing an honest review. I did not receive any other compensation.

Book Review: She's Almost a Teenager

She's Almost a Teenager by Peter and Heather Larson and David and Claudia Arp is a book for parents about conversations to have with your daughter now rather than later.

This book is very bibically based and is profuse with quotes, scripture and prayer. That said, the topics of the talks in this book include boys, tech, money, body, friends, academic and also, faith.

What I really liked the most about this book was that it pushes us as parents to really think about each child as an individual and to NOT compare two siblings or friends or even yourself as a child. Comparisons are the thief of joy, and every child has different gifts. As a parent, I know it's hard not to compare, "Your brother could spell pharmacy when he was 2. Why can't you spell birthday and you're 8?" Ha. So I have some work to do!

While I didn't like all the preachiness, there are some good nuggets in this book.

Disclaimer: I received a free copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for writing an honest review. I did not receive any other compensation.

Book Review: Streams of Mercy

Streams of Mercy is a historical romance novel by Lauraine Snelling. This story is about a recently widowed woman who returns to her hometown after living abroad. She make a life for herself teaching high school and working at the city's paper.

However, an old flame starts to capture her heart while at the same time, a new man in town also sparks her interest. The new guy gets called away, leaving her to deal with her feelings and wonder just what her calling is supposed to be.

I liked the character development in this book and the relationships between Anji and her two sort of suitors. This book was easy to get into and quick to read, even though it's close to 400 pages long.

Disclaimer: I received a free copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for writing an honest review. I did not receive any other compensation.

Saturday, October 3, 2015

Super Savings Saturday: Kroger, Meijer, Target

Target: I got 2 DiGiorno pizzas and 1 box of Nutrigrain breakfast biscuits. I used cartwheel, manufacturer's coupons, 1 Target coupon, I brought my own bag, I used up a gift card balance and then paid $4.18 out of pocket.

Kroger: I made 2 trips. On the first trip, I got 2 private selection bread marked down to 1.49, so it was .49 each after mega discount. I also got 1 additional loaf of bread priced 1.99, so .99 after mega discount, 1 pack of buns .99 after mega discount, 1 pack hot dog buns .88 and 2 bags of mini bagels 3.99 / buy 1 get 1 free. I paid 7.83 for that trip.

1 Advil jr. 4.94, used $3/1 mPerk and $1/1 store pain reliever coupon
apples 3.69
grapes 1.62
3 Halloween candy @1.99, used. .75/3
potato chips 1.99 - free chips store coupon
4 fiber one bars @1.49 when you buy 6 participating items, used .50/1 on each
2 Oreo cookies @2.65 when you buy 6 participating items, used .75/2
salad mix 2.99 -$1/1 mPerk
20 yoplait @.50, used $1/10 mPerk and $1 off any dairy purchase coupon
Strawberries 2.50 -free when you spend $10 on Yoplait
-$1 off $10 produce purchase coupon
I also got a few non-grocery items: 6 wood blocks for kids Christmas gifts to their grandparents (they will decorate them), 2 sewing kits marked down to $1 (included pincushion, scissors, thimble, tape measure, thread, seam ripper...) and 3 packages of "knitted by" labels for .40 each.

On a second trip, I got:
2 lipton tea clearance 1.42, used $1/1 printable coupons
8 always liners @2.79, used 8 x $2/1 coupons, got back $5 oyno for spending $20
3 frozen broccoli @.79
3 pepperoni @.99
popcorn 1.99
6 natural choice deli meat @3.29 -6 x .50/1 coupons
10 yoplait yogurt .50 each, used $1/10 mPerk
dressing 3.00
2 flour tortillas marked down to .29 for each 10 ct pk
I used a 5% reward coupn and paid 37.52.

Thursday, October 1, 2015

Book Review: The Plans I Have for You

The Plans I Have for You by Amy Parker and illustrated by Vanessa Brantly Newton is a book for kids about what their God given purpose in this world is.

Although this could be a really heavy and burdensome topic for a child, the author tells it in a way that makes it kid-friendly. They use the bible as a reference book in both the story's words and pictures to show kids that God has had a purpose for them since their birth.

It is up to them to figure out that purpose and go for it. I really liked the pictures, even if some of it might have been a bit sexist in having the boy be the doctor and whatnot, but still. This would be a fun book for the 4 to 6 year old age group.

Disclaimer: I received a free copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for writing an honest review. I did not receive any other compensation.

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

September Decluttering

  • A bunch of my bras wore out all at once! I'd already purchased replacements as clearance, so the 3 broken bras went in the trash.
  • I went through my son's closet and took out two coats he doesn't need. They are being donated to a refugee organization.
  • I went through my oldest child's room and removed clothes that are damaged or don't fit.
  • I also went through my son's clothes and removed items that didn't fit.
  • I went through my own clothes and tossed out a few heavily worn items like socks that were thread bare. I put 4 pairs of shorts and 11 shirts into the donation bag.
  • I went through random stuff and put items like tote bags and kids' accessories into the donations.
  • I went through my youngest child's dresser and took out summer clothes that won't fit next year... stuff that barely fits her now. She's 90th percentile on height/weight.
  • My oldest child and I swapped craft supplies at the artisan's shop exchange room. I dropped off 4 bags of stuff and came home with about 1 total bag worth. What I got was knitting supplies like double pointed needles and circular needles to help with my new hobby!
  • We set a bunch of stuff out on the curb, mostly toys from our 3 season room. They were items the kids either played with inappropriately or unsafely or would fight over or just didn't play with at all / outgrew. About half I had "curb shopped" myself, about one quarter had been received as gifts and about one quarter we bought secondhand.