Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Frugal September

  • I gave my husband a haircut.
  • I sold a bag of books for $28.50.
  • I redeemed points for a Barnes & Noble gift card and a Target gift card.
  • I won a gift card to a new local grocery store.
  • I got an office supply store gift card with a purchase of toner. I used the gift card to purchase a birthday gift.
  • My oldest child and I are taking a free ceramics class. It's a workshop on making bowls that will be sold at a charity benefit.
  • I took my son to free programs about animals at local parks.
  • My son is participating in free preschool classes at the nearby community center.
  • I used 2 new prescription coupons to save on my grocery bills.
  • I got my free flu shot.
  • My daughter was invited to a birthday party at a roller skating place. I sent a gift of art supplies that I had on hand.
  • We dressed up like pirates and got free donuts from Krispy Kreme. This was our third year! So much fun for my little ones. We combined other errands with the trip.
  • I used a coupon to get a discount on a replacement air filter for our heat pump. 
  • I swapped art and craft supplies at the supplies exchange room of a local artisans shop.

Saturday, September 27, 2014

Super Savings Saturday: Meijer, Kroger, Target, CVS, Sam's Club

Meijer:
smucker's fruit spread $2.50 -.75/1 mPerk
silk almond milk $2.59 -$1/1 mPerk
romaine $.99/#
bananas $.53/#
2 Gorton's frozen fish @3.99 -$1/2 Mperk
6 Kraft cheese @$2 -$1/$12 cheese purchase mPerk
2 coffee @5.49 -2 x $3/1 tearpad coupons found in store
lipton tea 1.42 -$1/1 printable coupon, -$1.50/$12 coffee/tea purchase catalina store coupon
hot dog buns 1.25
magnum ice cream bars $3 -$1.50/mPerk
Fructis leave in conditioner $2.50 -$2/1 mPerk
Eucerin lotion $1, -$1/1 coupon from doctor's office

Later in the week, I stopped in for more almond milk (I had $1/1 coupons), eggs, sausage, a bag of discounted green peppers and fruit.

CVS transaction 1:
2 bags chocolate @2/$4 after in-store coupon
2 l'oreal shampoo @2/$9 -$4/2 coupon
-$3 extracare bucks I got in my email
-$2.05 on a gift card
Paid $4.49, got back $5 Extracare bucks from shampoo.

Transaction 2:
3 detergent @7.79 buy 1 get 2 free
-$2/2 coupon
-$5 extracare bucks from transaction 1
I paid $1.37. So for $5.86 I got $34.14 worth of stuff. My son ate a whole bag of the chocolates. Heh.

Kroger:
5 packs zone bars (5 in each pack) @.79 (raincheck)
detergent 2.99 -$1 e-coupon
milk 2.77
cheerios 1.00 -.75/1 coupon
4 bags chocolate covered pretzels @1.25 -2 x $1/2 printable coupons
pantene 3.49 -$4/1 coupon
6-pack caramel apples 4.99
-$4 oyno
They seemed to have problems processing the raincheck right. My total was 3.59.

Target:
I got trash bags, disinfectant wipes and food storage bags with the household discount coupon. I used the beauty coupon to get hand cream, nail polish and a few other things. I also got pancake syrup, snack crackers and a new microwave, because our 1980 microwave finally bit the dust.

Sam's Club:
7 lipton k-cup packs of 54 each, for $.51! Yes, just $.51 for 54 k-cups. I think I'm set for tea for a long time now. I enjoy it with milk and honey in the winter.
2 Nesquik @6.34
2 pounds mozzarella cheese 6.68
3 pounds bananas 1.36

Book Review: Candy Aisle Crafts

Candy Aisle Crafts by Jodi Levine features ideas and instructions on how to create fun edible treats using items from the candy aisle at the grocery store.

Some of these ideas are pretty involved and go about the process in a way that I thought was time consuming. Instead of trying to melt hard candies, you can simply soften taffy and get the same results as she shows in some of the ideas.

For other options, I have never even seen some of those types of candies. There is no guide on where to find those candies or how to order them online.

Some of the ideas I thought looked like fun, like the cookie planets. That is one I would try out with my kids.

My other issue with the book is the binding. I feel that all cooking related books should be spiral bound so the book actually stays open while you're in the kitchen trying to follow the instructions.

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: The First Christmas Ever

The First Christmas Ever, with illustrations by Dennis Jones, is a short story for young children about the birth of Jesus.

This is a very short book and only takes a few minutes to read. The illustrations are nicely done and feature all the animals from the Biblical story. There isn't really any interpretation taken from the Biblical passage.

This book would be nice for advent reading or for a Sunday school room. I would recommend it for kids ages 2 to 5 because of its shortness and simplicity.

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, September 23, 2014

A Scary Sight

After taking my second grader to the bus stop, the younger two kids and I were going to grab a few things from Kroger and get gasoline before heading to the park for an educational program.

We got about two blocks from the store and all of a sudden there was smoke everywhere. Dark, swirling smoke, low and up high in the sky, and lots of people milling about. We turned to get out of the way and as I made my way onto a major city street, several ladder trucks plus fire engines and fire chiefs were blaring their sirens.

The surrounding streets were still closed hours later.

After we got back home, I found out that it was a large apartment complex with 42 units in the building. It was a 3-alarm fire and the building was a total loss. Nobody died but 10 were injured and one firefighter was hospitalized for exhaustion.

Being so close, getting the smoke in our vehicle and smelling it, was scary! It also makes you think about how things can change in a moment of time.

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Super Savings Saturday: Target, Meijer, Kroger

Target:
2 lipton tea @2.14 -2 x $1/1 printable coupons and -$1/2 Target coupon
4 up & up children's allergy relief @5.89 -5% cartwheel -.75/1 Target coupon
up & up diapers 14.44 clearance price, -$1 off a $3+ up & up item -5% cartwheel
up & up wipes @1.49 -5% cartwheel -.75/2 Target coupon
dunkin donuts coffee 2.34 (70% off)
-$10/40 up & up purchase

Meijer:
milk 3.28

Kroger:
I did the mega deal early in the week and got Huggies wipes and soft soap body wash. I also got bread for $.25 and donut holes for $.50. They were out of some items so I got rainchecks. Later in the week I got milk for $2.77/gallon, chocolate pretzels for .75 per bag, fancy bread for .99 a loaf, feta for .99 per package, Aleve for .62 and cereal for $.99 each.

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Book Review: Moses Leads the People

Moses Leads the People with pictures by David Miles is part of the I Can Read Adventure Bible Series and is a level 2 reader.

Although this is the same story about Moses we all grew up hearing, it is done in a very child-friendly way. Some Biblical stories can sound downright scary when you're a child, but the nice pictures in this book help to mitigate the fright so that children can see that God is in control no matter how bad things might seem.

I liked that the book had a page at the end describing the important people in the story and a small "words to treasure" section. My only issue was that the faces of the people seem to be more like caricatures. 

This would be a nice book for kids ages 3 to 6 or so. It's short enough to hold a 3 year old's attention yet accurate and detailed enough to not bore a 6 year old.

Disclaimer: I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for writing an honest review. I did not receive any other compensation. The opinion here is my own.