Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Book Review: Goodnight, Ark

Goodnight, Ark written by Laura Sassi and illustrated by Jane Chapman is a children's book about the story of Noah's ark. While this story has been told in many ways, this offers a few changes from the usual story.

I like that the animals were scared during the rain and thunder and came to the room of Noah. The book has a nice rhythm when read aloud.

However, I noticed a few odd things in the illustrations. An umbrella hanging on the wall? Boxer shorts on the clothesline? Cans of food with pictures of tigers on them (what the... ??? canned tiger?) Rubber rainboots? I am pretty sure that several thousands of years ago, there weren't umbrellas or rubber rainboots.

Otherwise, this book is very nice and would be a great bedtime story for kids ages 2 to 4.

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: $10 Great Dates: Connecting Love, Marriage, and Fun on a Budget

$10 Great Dates by Peter & Heather Larson and David & Claudia Arp offers couples ideas on ways to have fun together without busting the family budget.

This book is centered around themes such as outdoor dates, out on the town dates and bucket list great dates. I did not think the ideas here would really appeal to me or my husband that much. First of all, we don't have anyone to watch our kids for free, so any date is going to cost us a lot more than $10!

This book would be best for those who do not have young kids requiring a babysitter. It's also definitely geared to those who live in a city. I think there are many ways to enjoy an inexpensive date with your spouse but the ideas here just were not practical for me.

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. 

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Book Review: Dad Is Fat

Dad Is Fat by Jim Gaffigan is a very funny and very honest insight into a busy dad's life in a small NYC apartment with five, yes five kids. Did I mention he has **five** kids in a two-bedroom apartment? Because I have 3 kids in a 4 bedroom house. And he has FIVE kids in a 2-br apartment. With no yard. No basement for storage. One bathroom. No garage for toys/bikes/equipment.

I have been entertained by his comedy shows so I expected no different from the book. If you're a parent with a couple or more kids, you'll definitely get the humor here. The writing style is very casual and easy to relate to. Even if you only have 1 kid or perhaps you just spend a lot of time around kids, this book will make perfect sense. Just be warned that you may laugh out loud.

Disclaimer: I received a free copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for writing an honest review. The opinion here is entirely my own.

Saturday, August 16, 2014

Super Savings Saturday: Meijer, Target, Kroger, Rummage Sales,, CVS, Giant Eagle, Amish Food Store

Sundown vitamins marked down to 1.54, used $1/1 coupon
Nature Made vitamin D 2.89 -$2/1 mPerk
2 kiss my face lip gloss @.77 -2 x $2/1 adjusted down
2 Covergirl outlast @2.49 -2 x $2/1 coupon
boy's shirt $4 -25% mPerk
green beans .88/#
2 Vo5 Salon shampoo @.74 -2 x $1/1 coupons adjusted down

Giant Eagle:
4 Dole fruit shakers @$1, used 2 x $1/1 and 2 x .75/1 doubled = free
5 boxes General Mills cereals @5/$8, used 5 x .75/1 coupons
6 Kool-aid jammers @6/$10, used 2 x $1/2 and 2 x .50/1 coupons
colgate toothpaste $1, used .50/1 doubled = free
3 Kraft dressing @3/$3, used 2 x .75/1 = free
I paid 4.79.

Amish Food Store: My in-laws stopped by and picked me up coconut and baking powder. The cost was $6. I earned a $100 gift certificate through the healthy living program offered by our medical insurance company. I used it to purchase a cast iron dutch oven that will replace a worn out Calphalon pan, a gift for my daughter, a gift for my son and four skeins of yarn.

Kroger: I bought 4 gallons of milk at $2.77 per gallon, 2 packs of buns @$1 -$.60/2 e-coupon, 2 packs simple wipes .99 each after coupon and mega discount, 2 packs Kraft cheese @1.24 after coupons and mega discount and 1 bottle shampoo .69 after mega discount and coupon.

CVS: 4 packs huggies pull-ups @8.99 -4 x $2.50/1 coupons -$4/20 purchase -$4 extra bucks from last trip. Paid $20.16 and got back a $10 CVS giftcard.

1 multipack Sheeba @5.69 -$2/1 mq -cartwheel
20 cans sheeba @.52 -buy 10 get 10 free q
10 cans sheeba -buy 5 get 5 free q
12 cans sheeba -4 x buy 2 get 1 free q
bag dry cat food $7 -$1/1 tq -$1/1 mq
12 cans Iams cat food @.55 -2 x $1/6 mq
Was 41.43 of pet food before discounts and coupons -- $27
Paid $~14 plus tax for the pet food.
I also got:
8 packs of motts to go applesauce @1.99 -4 x $1/2 printable coupons (darn, I missed a Cartwheel offer on it! :(
2 packs fruit snacks @1.75 -.50/1 coupon, got back $5 giftcard for buying 10 participating items
4 boxes Betty Crocker potatoes @.95 -2 x .50/2 printable coupons
3 yes to lip balm @2.99 -4 x $2/1
yes to cucumbers towelettes 5.99 -$2/1 mq -$1.50/5+ yes to Target coupon, -$2/10 target beauty coupon
2 schick razors @6.69 -2 x $3/1 mq -2 x $2/1 Target coupon, got $5 gift card back
2 St. Ives body wash @3.99
1 St. Ives lotion @5.99 -$3/1, -$3/10 St Ives purchase, got back $5 gift card
2 packs old el paso taco shells @1.14 -2 x .75/1 coupons
4 market pantry fruit smoothie mix @1.92 -5% cartwheel -2 x 1.50/2 target coupons
4 up & up facial care @.99 -4 x .75/1 target coupons -5% cartwheel
grapes 2.99
romaine 2.99
potatoes 3.69
2 packs carrots @1.50 ... -$3/15 fruit/veggie/deli/bakery purchase target coupon
4 bags frozen veggies @.89 -5% cartwheel

Saturday, August 9, 2014

Super Savings Saturday: Meijer, Kroger, Target, Giant Eagle

2 Skippy peanut butter @5.69, -30% Cartwheel - $.75/2 coupon
Skippy singles 2.29 -free when you buy 2 skippy peanut butter
2 Old El Paso taco shells @1.14 -2 x .75/1 printable coupons
Suave .94 -$1/1 coupon I got in the mail
2 packs of fruit pouches @$2 - $1/2 Target coupon and -$1/2 manufacturer's coupon
4 frutarre bars @3.89 -buy 3 get 1 free -2 x .50/1 Target coupons - 4 x $1/1 manufacturer's coupons -5% cartwheel
4 boxes magnum ice cream bars @3.49 -$1/2 Target coupon -.50/1 Target coupon -4 x $1/1 manufacturer's coupons -buy 3 get 1 free -5% cartwheel

8 Crystal light @1.99 - $8 off when you buy 8, -4 x $1/2 peelie coupons
cinnamon rolls 2.09 manager's special, -$2 bakery item mPerk
lemon cake 3.49 -$2 bakery mPerk
2 cracker barrel cheese @2.69 -$2/2 catalina
4 Kraft singles @2.99 -$1 off each for mega discount savings and -2 x .75/1 printable coupons
4 Philadelphia cream cheese @1.29 after mega discount and -2 x $1/2 printable coupons

Giant Eagle:
5 boxes General Mills cereal @5/$8, used 3 x .75/1 printable coupons doubled,  .85/1 doubled and .50/1 doubled
2 Illy Issimo iced coffee drinks @$3, used 2 x $2/1 printable coupons
20 Yoplait yogurt @.50, used 1 .50/8 printable coupon, got back $2 on your next order coupon
2 disney vitamins @bogo, used $1.50/1 and $1/1 coupons
4 Dole fruit shakers @$1, used 2 x .75/1 (doubled adjusted down) and 2 x $1/1 printable coupons to get them free
4 Jello pudding mix @.50
2 Cool-whip @1.69 -2 x $1 off when you buy 1 cool whip and 2 Jello
6 Kool Aid drink pouch packs @$2, buy 5 get 1 free, used 6 x .50/1 coupons
2 Oral B toothbrushes @$1, used 2 x .50/1 printables to get these free
I paid $18.34. I used the $2 catalina to buy 2 bags of frozen snap peas and paid $.50 after the coupon.

The park had another free farmer's market for kids who come for the reading and physical activity and learning programs. This time we got zucchini, cucumbers, peaches, strawberries, cantaloupe and bananas. Some of the produce was overripe and a little bit had mold on it but we were able to eat the majority of it.

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Book Review: God Shows the Way

The Berenstain Bears: God Shows the Way by Stan & Jan Berenstain includes three books within one cover. These are the favorite bears that you'll remember from your own childhood.

The illustrations are just what I remembered. Each story includes an important moral lesson although these three stories are more focused on being Christian, including praying during difficult situations and depending on God to get through what seems impossible.

I liked that these stories were gentle, used easy to understand language and depicted credible situations that a child could easily relate to. I think this book would be good for kids aged 4 to 7 and it would make a nice gift or addition to a book collection in a church nursery.

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, August 2, 2014

Super Savings Saturday: Kroger, Meijer, CVS, Walgreens, Target, Half Price Books, Amazon, Vitacost, Sam's Club

Half Price Books:
The kids turned in their July reading sheets and got their summer bucks coupons. They got some books and activity sets with their coupons and I just had to pay $.51 out of pocket.

2 packs Crayola markers buy one get one free @3.49
composition book .69
bag of yogurt pretzels (cost of taking my 7yo with me)
I redeemed 5,000 points, finally got my stupid cards fixed after calling them... paid $.48 in tax.

CVS: Actually from the previous Saturday. I just got the free roll of paper towels.

Pie 3.49... this is what happens when I go into Kroger hungry and pies are half off! It was a salted caramel almond pie that we'd had samples of on a previous visit and it's heavenly.
Sour cream 1.69

I received my subscribe & save shipment that included a bag of lollipops, a bottle of bbq sauce, coconut oil, Kraft mac & cheese and Scrubbing Bubbles shower cleaner.

I got a $20 off a $50 purchase plus free shipping. I ordered two large tubs of their coconut oil plus one large tub of almond butter. Total cost $30.33. Price per ounce on the coconut oil much less than amazon's subscribe & save.

bread, fruit, veggies, milk and I picked up prescriptions. I had store rewards that paid for my purchases.

Sam's Club: Allergy medicine for my kids.

I used the $5/20 meat purchase coupon to get chicken nuggets and chicken breast.

While out and about, I dropped off crocheted squares for charity at the knitting store.