Friday, January 30, 2009


I have been on a decluttering mission.

This is something that is very difficult for me, because I grew up with a Mom who was a strong believer in "it might be useful one day", and because of that, I guess I learned to hang on to things. I am also sentimental. That means that I keep everything that my daughters touched, even if it is rubbish. OK, I'm not *quite* that bad. But still, things have definitely been out of control here.

Later this morning, I will take several boxes of items to the D.I. I have also been busy sorting through clothes that my children have outgrown and have donated many of them to a friend in need, my SIL, and again, the D.I.

I have put together a small collection of new or gently used toys for another friend to shop from this afternoon. Her husband lost his job a couple of months ago, and their daughters birthday is on Monday. I know she is planning on buying a couple of gifts "no matter what", but I am hoping she might be willing to supplement from our overabundance of toys.

What is amazing to me, is how much is still left. I'm not sure that I see "clutter" as a blessing, but it must be, because we have so much of it!

Sunday, January 18, 2009

I Clipped, I Shopped, I Saved!

The other day I started to share one of my grocery shopping adventures with you. I promised I'd be back with pictures, and as usual, that never happened.

So, first... a picture. The picture that I am about to show you contains the items purchased during that ONE DAY of fantastic, glorious, and exhausting day of shopping.

Pretty amazing, huh?

Well, the story continues a little bit. As I mentioned before (or maybe not), one bonus of this sale was that for every $30 in participating products that you bought, you received $15 in coupons off of your next shopping order. These kind of deals result in an incredible amount of savings!

Basically, the list below contains everything that I have purchased from Albertson's (where this sale took place) from January 7th through January 17th. I am now out of coupons to cash in, so this is a pretty good example of what one good sale can do for your pantry. There are a few day-to-day groceries (food you have to replenish every week), but a large portion are items that we will use more slowly over the coming months. I would say that it's a safe bet that I have a "year's supply" for many of these items, and many more items are probably well-stocked for the next 6-months. Except diapers... I think I only have a 8-10 week supply of those! Scary!

Here we go (I tried to divide it into very loose categories to help you visualize it a little better):

12 packages of Lean Cuisine frozen dinners
12-ounce package of ham (lunch meat)
12-ounce package of turkey (lunch meat)
5 pounds of potatoes
4 pounds of cheddar cheese
4 cans of Betty Crocker frosting
3 packages of Hamburger Helper
3 packages of Tuna Helper
3 packages of Jolly Time microwave popcorn
3 pounds of bananas
2 packages of Bisquick
2 packages of Betty Crocker blueberry muffin mix
2 packages of Yoplait Kids yogurt (6 per package)
2 gallons of milk
2 dozen eggs
2 pounds of apples
2 grapefruits
1 pound of butter
1 loaf of Sara Lee Del-ite-ful bread
1 package of Dasani bottled water (24-pack)
1 bottle of Pace picante sauce
1 package of Mission tortillas (24-count)

24 boxes of Quaker Instant Oatmeal
6 packages of Cheerios
3 boxes of Kellogg's Rice Krispies
2 packages of Honey Nut Cheerios
2 packages of Multi-Grain Cheerios
2 bags of Malt-O-Meal Cereal
1 box of Kellogg's Frosted Flakes
1 package of Golden Grahams

6 bottles of Suave shampoo
4 packages of Crest toothpaste
4 Oral B toothbrushes
4 packages of Halls cough drops
3 boxes of Kleenex
2 packages of Degree deodorant

16 boxes of Quaker Granola Bars
10 packages of Fruit Snacks
3 packages of Twizzlers

13 packages of Pampers diapers (that's 662 diapers!)
1 package of Pampers Baby Wipes (180 count wipes)

3 packages of Charmin Bath Tissue (9 Mega Rolls per package, equal to 36-regular rolls per package)
5 packages of Dawn Dish Soap
2 package of Bounty Paper Towels (8 Giant rolls per package, equal to 12-regular rolls per package)
2 packages of Mr. Clean Erasers
1 container of Cascade Dishwasher Detergent

2 packages of LED Christmas Lights

TOTAL: $236.73
SAVINGS: $522.49 (without coupons or sales would've cost $832.37)
180 items for approximately $1.31 an item!
*** I define an item as "1 package" or 1 pound of fruit/veggies. So a package of 40 diapers counts as ONE item, as does a package of 6 containers of yogurt. But 3 pounds of bananas counts as THREE items.

If you're still not impressed, consider the fact that there is very little on this list where any one item could be purchased for $1.31, even at Wal-Mart.

Also, just for fun, this is my favorite receipt for the week! I included these purchases in the list above, but wanted to break it out for you here. Wouldn't you just die if you could walk out of the store with this many groceries AND know that the store had to PAY YOU for shopping there? I did. I totally did!

3 boxes of Kleenex
1 gallon of milk
12 boxes of Quaker Instant Oatmeal
12 boxes of Quaker Granola Bars
3 boxes of Kellogg's Rice Krispies
1 box of Kellogg's Frosted Flakes
2 dozen eggs
6 bottles of Suave shampoo
3 packages of Twizzlers
2 Degree deodorant
1 12-ounce package of ham (lunch meat)
1 12-ounce package of turkey (lunch meat)
3 pounds of bananas
2 pounds of apples
2 grapefruits

Total Cost: $1.61
BONUS: The store rang up my cereal wrong, so they said that according to policy, I get the cereal for free. So, they gave me $6.88 in cash. I made money on this receipt! Talk about dyin' and goin' to heaven!

SO... would you like to start couponing too? I wrote this guide a little over a year ago, but I think it's still pertinent. Let me know if you have any questions or if I can help to clarify anything! It's a little overwhelming at first, but YOU CAN DO IT!

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Living In Chaos

Sara and Rebecca asked if they could play with their doll house this morning. I am not sure why they felt like they needed to ask for permission (I am not that restrictive), but I played along and said "OK."

They have been busy setting it up for the past hour or so, and begged me to come and see it. They said, "It looks like our house sometimes!"

I go to look.

The house is in total chaos. Various household items are strewn across the floors, in the wrong rooms, or in the right rooms but in the wrong places. Furniture is arranged in the most awkward positions within each bedroom. Beds are either lopsided because they are standing partially on the floor and partially on top of something else, or the beds are completely upside down.

OK, I admit it. Our house is pretty bad. But for the record, not ONE of our beds is completely upside down.

Wednesday, January 07, 2009

My Mind Is Spinning

I spent a large portion of my day shopping. I will post more details tomorrow. I realize that some of you probably don't care about my shopping trips AT ALL, but because this was a HUGE shopping trip, and because I love a good deal I have to put it on my blog. It's a part of me. Seriously.

I spent about $170 (including taxes).

We piled all of my "deals" on the kitchen table when we got home, and it was an incredible sight. We took pictures, and yes, I will post those too.

If I hadn't had coupons, my total would've been just shy of $500.

I still have another $35 in free money to spend (coupons that are valid on my next shopping order).

My big purchase? DIAPERS. Over 500 of them, in fact (10 smallish packages). (Yes, I am well aware that they won't last long.)

Again... more details tomorrow (after my next shopping trip...).


Monday, January 05, 2009

Blog Updates

Yeah, I know. I haven't been around much. I want to post more, but... something always gets in the way. Like maintaining my immaculate home, or cooking wonderful delicious dinners, or neatly folding all of our laundry... or Facebook.

(Um, if you know me AT ALL, you will know that FACEBOOK is the correct answer.)

But I *did* update all the kids blogs, so I thought you might appreciate the links... especially since Sara's blog now contains the long-awaited video for her brief appearance on the morning news.

Sara Mackenzie

Rebecca Nicole

Matthew Jayden

  Graphics by and Copyright © 2001 Point of Focus