Friday, September 26, 2008

Why I'm Loving Coupons

This morning before Pops left for his chiro appt. (yes! He's going to a chiropractor! So am I AND Paloma!) I headed to Walgreens as soon as they opened. I had some Walgreens $$ to spend (Register Rewards).

Here's what my transaction looked like:


2 Nabisco Oreos on sale for 2/$5

1 gal 2% milk for $2.79

2 Wrigley gum packs for $1.19 each

Joy dish soap for $1.79

3 boxes of cereal (Rice Krispies) on sale for 3/$7

Total b4 any discounts: $18.96 (not including tax)


- 1.04 for gum (Walgreens coupon)

- 1.19 for gum (buy 1 get one Manufacturer coupon!)

- .80 for Joy dish soap (Walgreens coupon)

- .30 for Joy dish soap (Manufacturer coupon)

- 10.00 (Register Rewards from previous visit)

Total came to $5.86 (including tax)

I used $4.17 from my Walgreens gift card (from my August Walgreens rebate) and got my grand total out-of-pocket down to $1.69!

Oh- and I earned $3 in Register Rewards for my next visit to Walgreens!

Thank You, Lord, for helping me navigate my way through the coupon world. May You receive ALL the glory!

A Tough Day at Home

This was a tough day. Specifically, it was a tough day being a mama to my kiddos.

I'm tired of the running, screaming, hitting, constant questioning, lying, grumbling, peeing accidents, crying, eyes rolling, bruises, dirty diapers, meals when no one is pleased, dishonoring speech, horsing around at naptime, pulling on my leg, breaking toys, slipping on toys, and playing the referee. And I really am tired of hearing the word NO.

So I fought. I prayed with the kiddos asking God to help me in my sin. I took a shower and used some of my sweet smelling bath treats.

Hear me loud and clear. I sinned greatly. In fact, the behavior I witnessed in them is what I see in myself. And I hate it so much when I see them following my lead. But follow me they do.

Kadin's eye rolling. Joshua's grumbling. Saraina's quick tongue.

But God IS at work. He is ALWAYS at work. I must choose to see and listen and obey. Even when I don't feel like it.

When I prayed with the kiddos this morning I remember saying something to the effect of, "Do you guys believe God will help Mommy?" I MUST believe He will help. So I recount His innumerable blessing and gifts and grace toward me and my loved ones.

Oh no. He never lets go! He never lets go of me. He never lets go of me through the calm and through the storm. Time to go put on that Matt Redman song, "He Never Lets Go." I need to remind myself of that amazingly wonderful truth!

What do you do to make it through those tough days?

Friday, September 19, 2008

Cooking Tip - Spreadable Butter

Okay, I've tried (pretty hard!) to switch to margarine from butter as a way of cutting costs. Let's get real. Margarine is REAL cheap and well... butter is NOT! I'm cool with margarine for making a quick grilled cheese sandwich and I use it a lot on the kiddos sandwiches because the boys are allergic to egg (i.e. no mayo) but when I started baking my own bread I found out just how much the real deal stick of butter can make!
But I've also not enjoyed having a nice, homemade slice of bread with a square of cold butter sitting, lonely and out of sorts in the middle of my treat. What's a cheap girl to do? Well, how about make my own spreadable, soft butter?!?!?

The original recipe I found was really quite simple. You can go HERE to see it yourself. But I was a bit nervous about it and tweaked it, not wanting to ruin TWO entire sticks of butter. Yes, I told you I was cheap!
I halved the recipe, eye-balled the oil and water amounts and decided at add honey to some of it. The result was a deliciously smooth, sweet spread on my wheat bread that can really help your butter last!

Let me know if you try it!

I Love FREE Stuff!

Since I began my venture into learning how to play the coupon / grocery game, I've been VERY pleased to save a wee bit of cashola by getting freebies. So far I've gotten:

~ a Betty Crocker mini microwavable dessert (which came in handy to give my Hubby after a late meeting - though he said it wasn't very good)
~ 2 mailings of free Kotex products
~ a mini Mr. Clean Magic Eraser (which has been on my list to buy but hasn't been on sale so I could stack it with a coupon!)
~ a Dora potty training kit by Pampers
~ Cascade complete
~ True Lemon and Lime packets (very good, by the way!)
~ Pull-ups Big Kid Central DVD

And those are just the ones I'm remembering we've received! All FREE and came with decent coupons!!!!

I'm looking forward to getting the following free stuff soon:

~ a Dark Chocolate Kashi cookie
~ Seattle's Best coffee sample
~ Huggies GoodNite sample
~ Pledge multi-surface wipes
~ Gorilla glue
~ Dagoba seeds for planting next spring

So, if you're like me and like trying new things and getting products in the mail all for FREE, check out THIS link. And THIS link is my main go-to for freebies and coupons. (Thanks, Eener!) You just may begin to LOVE checking the mail!

And, Father, thank You for providing that Mr. Clean eraser! You know that I've been wanting to get that crayon off our walls for some time. You truly are the giver of EVERY good and perfect gift. In Jesus' name. Amen.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

A Glimpse into Joshua

When time is short, why not post a video clip?

Here's a video that gives you a glimpse of how much Joshua loves his littlest sister. When the middle kiddos are snoozing, Joshua likes to spend time talking, reading, and cuddling with Paloma.

Talk about joy to this weary Mama's soul...

Monday, September 15, 2008

the Harvest

We are eating lots of tomatoes thanks to the Lord blessing our small attempt at planting a garden. Our big beefstakes are such a treat and remind us of God's sustaining power.

You see, the tomato plants are yielding much not because of what we did or didn't do but because of His mercy and grace alone!

And can I just tell you that these tomatoes are so reminding me that anything "good" I do or say or accomplish is all a gift from Him! No matter how hard I work at something, trying in my own strength to pull weeds, without God intervening my toil is not going to produce a good harvest.

Last night I was able to walk across the street and deliver some tomatoes to our Spanish-speaking neighbors. And though a language barrier still exists, the tomatoes spoke for themselves! How neat is that!

So, Lord, thank You for this tomato harvest. I remember the kids and I planting those tomatoes seeds on our dining room table in the winter and us praying for You to allow them to grow for Your glory. I do the same now for our kiddos. May each of them grow increasingly more aware of their sin and trust You alone for salvation. Remind me daily that just like these tomatoes, You alone created them, sustain them, and allow them to bring You glory.

P.S. If you live nearby and want some beefstakes, let me know!

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Not a Diver

I'm into saving a buck by playing the coupon game but I am NOT going "diving" for my food. Check out the below for what I mean by "diving" for food.

William saw the video and his comment was, "I don't have time to do that." Hmmm, so, Hubby, do you mean that you would go dumpster diving if we didn't have four kiddos???