Once a month I sit down and actually schedule time for me to spend alone with each of my three daughters. My son gets one on one time with me every afternoon when he gets out of school and so I try my best to set aside time each month to have mother-daughter dates.
Sometimes we go to the movie, sometimes shopping or running errands and most of the time the date involves going out to eat lunch or grab a snack but we always have a great time! I can focus on just them ….. they get my undivided attention. Since two of my girls are older and out on their own, it is also gives me time to give more personal advice to them now that they are trying to manuever the “real world”.
No matter what my financial situation is, I always make time for our dates. I usually set them well in advance but sometimes they are more spur-of-the-moment. In the past 7 years I have only skipped the dates one month (there was SO much going on at that time). I really do make it a priority so that they know they are important to me and that I DO want to listen and be there for them! All of my girls really look forward to the dates. Shelby is always asking when our next date is. Sometimes Louise or Coral will say “I’ll tell you all about it when we go out!” It is also very reassuring to me that no matter how geeky I look or act, they are not embarassed to be seen in public with me 😉
So Sundays is usually the day I go coupon shopping at CVS and Walgreens. I try to go at about 9 or 10 am so that I make sure I get all the deals I am looking for and they aren’t sold out yet (there is a coupon shopper in my area that likes to clean out the shelves – UGH!)
Today I got:
4 bottles Revlon Top Speed nail polish
2 packs Scunci snagless hair elastics
2 Suave deodorant
8 candy bars
1 bottle Tone bodywash
5 rolls paper towels
1 gallon of milk
4 bottles of Suave bodywash
2 bottles of Purex detergent
4 bottles of Axe brand bodywash
Before coupons: $100.29
After coupons: $20.01
Shelby likes to go with me now because she knows she gets some of the goodies too! That’s why there are only 7 candy bars in the picture 😉 She also claimed two bottles of the nail polish and a pack of the Scunci hair elastics.
Remember it’s all about combining sale ads with the coupons! At CVS you need to get one of their “reward cards” to get the deals but at Walgreens, there is NO card needed! Which is nice because then you can get some of the deals over and over as long as you check out with “separate transactions”.
I love couponing because it is a great feeling to know that I am saving a lot of money while still getting the things my family needs on a day to day basis. I never buy things we won’t use anyhow. Todays haul cost less than just buying 4 bottles of the Axe bodywash at regular price!
It really is a hobby that pays for itself!
Although it wasn’t planned, apparently this weekend is all about saving money doing some things around the house.
A few months ago I bought Shelby 5 new pairs of jeans. She then had a growth spurt and shot up a few inches and those pants are now highwaters. Ugh! Since there are only a few more weeks of school left, I decided to shorten them all. Two pairs are going to be altered to “capri” length and two others will become shorts. That should get her thru the summer and then I will hunt for more jeans in the right size.
Dane is over at a friends house helping him repair his roof. Actually they will be re-roofing after repairing the existing roof. While this isn’t saving us any money, it is a reminder that when you need to get something done that might be out of your area of expertise, it is a good idea to check around and see if any of your friends might know how to do the task you need to accomplish. Dane was a certified contractor for years and he knows what he is doing so his friend is getting years of experience, virtually free.
We have been busy painting the inside of the house. By keeping an eye on the “oops” paint at the Home Depot we have been able to paint the rooms for very little money. If you have the patience and are not too picky about color, this might work for you too. We stay on the lookout for the Behr brand paint that has primer built in. It retails for over $40 a gallon! The reason we want to use that paint is that it really covers in one coat. So far we have been able to manage to paint each room with just one gallon each. The cost per each gallon of “oops” paint is only $5! The kitchen is done and the living room is done. We are working room by room and not rushing it. We just got paint Friday for the kids room and also found a color for our room so this should be the end of searching for paint. In the end we will have painted the whole interior of the house for $15 ($5 per room and the gallon for the kids room was free because it had “expired”…..). We did not worry about painting the bathrooms because we liked those colors.
Today is my coupon shopping day for the grocery stores. I usually shop a few days a week. Nothing extreme but I do save quite a bit and I have a small stockpile that is growing. I don’t do “extreme couponing” like clearing shelves of all the deodorant or toothpaste in a store but I do pretty good considering that Florida does not double coupons (and I still do not understand WHY WHY WHY???). So, due to popular demand, I am posting the deals I got today!
I ended up with:
4 pounds of Oscar Meyer deli-style lunchmeat
3 tubes of Colgate toothpaste
4 boxes of Ronzoni pasta
2 jars of Prego sauce
2 bottles of K C Masterpiece bbq sauce
2 packages of Chinet napkins
4 (3 lb) bags of Whiskas cat food
2 boxes of Capri Sun
2 (2 liter) bottles of Dr Pepper
4 six packs (24 bottles) of Propel flavored water
3 boxes of Kellogs cereal
The total before coupons was $81.67
I paid, after coupons, $26.88
Not too bad! All it comes down to is watching the sales (I watch Publix, Winn Dixie, CVS and Walgreens) and matching up coupons to the sales. When items are buy one get one free because you are buying two items, you can use two coupons! This makes lots of items free (or moneymakers!)! I typically do NOT buy items I don’t use and I do NOT buy tons of any one thing (like 40 bottles of hot sauce – really? WHAT would I do with 40 bottles of hot sauce???) I also do a lot of couponing for friends and family and have a sort of “on the lookout for” mental list of items they regularly use that I buy for them when there is a great sale!
While the people on the tv show about couponing spend something like 40 hours a week on their deals, I spend a total of 3 hours or so. That is including shopping and clipping and sorting. I tend to clip all my coupons and keep them in a binder so I can see all of them and use the best ones to get the best deals. It also works better for times I am in the store searching for a certain coupon. Having them ALL preclipped works best for me. I just make sure I clip them while I am watching tv or something so I am multi-tasking 😉
I plan on posting more coupon info as I go along so be sure to subscribe to my blog so you don’t miss a thing!
Last year I tured 40. I dreaded it for quite some time. I feel like life is passing me by. I feel like I am at a standstill and I have made no progress, done nothing substantial. Day after day it is the same thing only different. Dare I say that I feel “unfulfilled”? That maybe I have no purpose in life, no passion to pursue, no interests that I can devote enough of my time to.
I had my first child at the age of 18. Pregnant just out of high school. I went from being someones child to having a child. I had no time for self discovery or to find out who I am or what I wanted from life. Two more children followed. Then my last child. My only son. He was diagnosed with Autism 4 years ago and life will never be the same. I have moved from being “Louise’s mom” to “Coral’s mom” to “Shelby’s mom” to “Ben’s mom. Mother of a child with Autism”. It is my current title. Everywhere we go, everything we do it comes up no matter what. I can’t escape it for a day, an hour or a minute.
So, I have been pondering my “purpose in life”. Is this really it? All that is planned for me?
Today I had Ben at therapy and the center we go to has a program for older, challenged children/young adults. There is one boy there in particular (almost a Man) who is just happy all the time. Talks to everyone. Puts his hand up so you can give him “knuckle bumps” and then he will ask a question to start a conversation with just about anyone. Today, after the pre-requisite knuckle bumps, he asked “How was your Mother’s Day?” I responded and he conversed with me for a few minutes, then moved on continuing his duties at the center.
Once I got home I was relaying the encounter to Dane. I was explaining to him that the young man at the center was just so happy to talk to people and would be happy with any job he got to have, even if it was at a fast food restaurant just emptying trash or whatever. He was just happy to be doing something. Anything. Just to be part of the human experience.
That’s when it occurred to me. Maybe that’s it. Maybe my purpose, everyone’s purpose, is just to BE. Be happy. Be productive. Be part of the human race. Stop searching and just BE.
This is not your typical rant about going shopping and how there are never enough parking spaces and the lines are miles long and their prices seem to be going up and they are carrying less varieites of numerous items. Nope. It is the opposite.
Let me start by saying that I know that there are millions of shopping devotees. I am not one of them. I hate shopping but I realize that it is a necessary evil.
The reason I hate shopping is that it is emotionally difficult to shop . I have four children (ages 22, 18, 11 and 7). Even when I am shopping by myself, temptation is around every bend. Oh! Ben would LOVE that superhero beach towel! Shelby would look SO cute in that shirt! I think Coral NEEDS new shoes! Didn’t Louise mention WANTING new sunglasses? Argh! It drives me crazy and breaks my heart at the same time.
It is hard to walk thru a store and want the things you see, and that your family could really use, but that you cannot afford. Especially now, with jobs and money the way it is, more and more people cannot afford to just buy things that catch their eye because they need more money for gas, more money for food, more money for everything. Prices are going up but income is not. It actually hurts to shop. I admit it. I am envious of those who can go in and buy whatever they want and not look at the price tags or keep track of what their total is going to be. How nice that is for them! I am not in that category. I just keep telling myself it will all be okay once my lottery numbers hit ……………
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Hello out there! I am new to blogging, so please bear with me as this is a learning process.
This blog is going to have some of everything! My life is busy and fast paced and I have varied interests (maybe a little ADD going on there!). Never a moments peace and there is ALWAYS something going on in my life! My brain never stops running and I tend to overthink things.
I have 4 kids, 3 ex-husbands, and 2 cats. Right now, my oldest two girls (22 and 18) have left the nest to venture out on their own so my younger two children (11 yo girl and 7 yo boy) still live with me full time.
Think of this blog as a giant grab bag of the contents of my brain (I should mention here that I am a proud, card carrying member of Mensa). Although I hold an A.S. degree in Legal Assisting / Paralegal Studies, I am currently a stay-at-home-mom helping my son try to recover from Autism.
Some of it will be good and some of it not so good and some of it may just be ranting and raving, but rest assured, it’s all me! Let the blogging begin!