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Monday, June 30, 2008

Keep the Change!

Recently a couple of banks have come out with what they think is an ingenious program called "Keep the Change" or something to that effect. I admit it's a clever idea, but not all that new. At least not new to me. I have been doing this for years all on my own. Now, I wish I could say I did this as a way to save, but the sad truth is that I stink at math(BIG time!) and am somewhat lazy when it comes to balancing my checkbook. So for over 18 years now I always round up to the next dollar. For example, if I made a purchase of 1.67 I round it up to 2.00 in my checkbook.
Sometimes if it will make adding or subtracting easier on me I will round up even further.

After a couple of years of doing this we had a rather hefty "Minus Account" as we like to call it. The reason we called it that is a whole other story, I don't want to tell just now! Anyway we started using this money yearly for our Christmas purchases. After Christmas it started building up again.

Presently we are living off of this account. We are struggling financially, and often dip into it to make ends meet. We have about 600 dollars in this account at this time.

So, all of this to say that I think BOA's idea is a great one, one I've been doing for years. If they give you interest on that change, it's even better than what I've been doing! On the other hand if you don't have a BOA account or one with another bank that participates in such a program, you can easily and successfully do this on your own! Trust me, you wont even miss the money(it's just pennies per purchase) and if not by this year, but by Christmas next year, you will have a nice little account to use for your purchases, or use this for a smaller "emergency fund" (those familiar with Dave Ramsey or similar plans will know what I am talking about)

This is an easy way to have a little money set aside for when you need it, and it doesn't hurt you at all to get it saved rather quickly. Give it a try!!

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Don't Try This At Home(or what went wrong with the new hydro-booster)

No, we didn't really blow up the car(yet). Did I scare you? But the new fuel cell isn't working quite as well as we'd hoped. Well, maybe in some ways it's working better, but needs some kinks worked out yet.

The first day we drove it and it seemed we were getting much better mileage. We didn't fill up so didn't have any real data to go off of, but we drove over 100 miles and the gas gauge hadn't moved at all. We were hopeful.

The next day my dear son used it to take his behind the wheel drivers test and the engine light went on minutes before the test(oops!) The Husband looked at it and from what I understand one of the tubes or something was too long and grounded, and the fuel cell wasn't working at all.

Husband worked on it a bit and thought all was well, until the next day the wiring all got burnt!(oops again) So for now it is disconnected until the weekend when hopefully he will have time to work on it. He is confident he knows what to do to fix it.

Not the best news, but not all too terrible either, but thought I should update before you all thought it worked even better than expected and we still hadn't filled up and that's why you haven't heard from us!

So, don't try our newest design/plan as shown in the recent video just yet. Give us a bit to fix the kinks and get back to you.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

The It's Its There Their They're Quiz

Okay, last one, I promise....Baby napped a bit longer than usual, and instead of cleaning the house, here I sit taking silly quizzes. Being the nerdy homeschooler I am, I can't help but take any that are even slightly educational. I am proud of this one, first time I ever got a perfect score on these types!

Be sure to let me know your results!!




You Scored an A



You got 10/10 questions correct.



It's pretty obvious that you don't make basic grammatical errors.

If anything, you're annoyed when people make simple mistakes on their blogs.

As far as people with bad grammar go, you know they're only human.

And it's humanity and its current condition that truly disturb you sometimes.



I'm Not a Dumb American...Are You??

Just another fun quiz. While I didn't rate "dumb" I should have done better, but oh well....

You Are Not a Dumb American
You got 7/10 correct.
You know a good deal about American history, but there's some basic facts you have wrong.
Time to go back to history class!
Are You a Dumb American?
http://www.blogthings.com/areyouadumbamericanquiz/

Pop over there and give it a try and let me know how you did!

Of Mice and Men....

Or almost men...in this case my 16 year old son. Today he officially became a licensed driver!!



I think I am more excited than even he is, as this not only gives him new freedom, but makes life a little easier on me as well! Here he is with his own car, he bought with his own money!






So, I suppose this may be considered a step towards manhood. Now, onto the mice!


The same son above has a pet snake that looks quite similar to this:




Well, Mr. Snake, otherwise known as "Reggie" needed his weekly meal, which consists of this:






Well, Dear Husband bought a mouse quite a bit too large for Reggie to eat. It just happened to be the day before my youngest sons birthday, and thinking I was being funny I handed the mouse over to him and said "Happy Birthday!"



The joke was on me, as Dear Son with big bright eyes said "Wow! Thanks mom!" and immediately fell in love with the rodent. When asked what he wanted for his "real" birthday gift he came up with a list of things to make "Lucky the Charmers" (yes, he named the thing) quality of life even better. (personally I think the thing should be grateful he wasn't dinner that night, but whatever)



So for his 9th birthday, Dear Son received this as his gift:

He was quite pleased, but not fully satisfied as he is convinced Lucky the Charmer(lucky he wasn't Sunday nights supper) needs even more goodies to be a fully fulfilled mouse he still wants this:
And this:





and last but not least, this:

Just how Lucky the Charmer went from being Reggie's Sunday Supper to the newest and probably most pampered family pet is still beyond me, but that's a typical day or two in the life of this crazy family.

All I have to say is that he is sure one lucky(and slightly pampered) rodent!!

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Made Some Changes to the Hydrogen Fuel Cell(video and photos!)

This weekend my husband had some time and parts to work on improving the hydrogen fuel cell in his Honda. While still not a complete conversion, we are hoping this will increase our gas mileage considerably more.


While I don't understand all the details(he's the hands and brains of the operation, I only brag about it!) the main changes were that he switched out the plastic tank on fuel cell(you can see photos of the plastic tank on previous posts) for a stainless steel one, and charged it negative. The center of the tank has a stainless steel rod with 2 1/4 inch stainless steel washers. The rod is charged positive.


Just what all this means I don't know, but from the observations it appears it is making more Hydrogen than the last. We drove it about 80 miles round trip today, but wont know the true gas mileage savings until we fill up again. I will be sure to post and let you know as soon as we find out. We should know by Wednesday, unless it works so well we don't have to fill up till Thursday or Friday!! Husband thought he noticed even more increased power while I thought it ran considerably smoother.


He is also talking about putting the other one in as well and running both for increased savings. I will be sure to post details if we do.


A friend(the other gentleman in the video) also put one in his car this weekend. I will be sure to let you know his results and findings as well.



Here is a little video footage of it producing hydrogen. A bit blurry and not best quality as we had a 16 year old with a low quality digital camera, but you'll get the idea.





video



Here are a few photos as well of the set-up:


Update on Ralphs New Double Coupon Policy(June)

I have bad news....I should have expected it....Our local Ralph's (Riverside County) just started a new rewards program, when I asked if this would change their double coupon policy like it did San Diego's, they told me YES!!

Starting June 25th Ralph's will only double coupons up to 50 cents. Meaning a 50 cent coupon will be doubled to 1.00, a 1.00 coupon is only worth a dollar.

This is highly disappointing after getting the letter from Ralph's themselves that I posted previously stating that this policy was only for San Diego County.

As much as I like Ralphs due to the clean stores and well stocked shelves, this new policy and rising prices, is going to force me to shop elsewhere.

In my area, we have Winco which has very low regular prices and accepts coupons, although they don't double them. But, after comparing prices last week, I think with coupons at face value combined with their regular low prices my savings overall will be greater than they were at Ralphs. There wont be free items, but overall I feel it will average out to better savings.

With the new policy at Ralphs I really don't think there will be many free and near free items anymore anyway. Their new rewards policy may be good, I don't know, but I am pretty sure it wont make up what I'll be losing with the new coupon policy.

Ralph's I hope you change your policy back soon, but until then, I will be shopping elsewhere.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Natural Pest Control





We have a terrible fly problem where we live. We keep the house reasonably clean, doors closed as much as possible with four active boys running in and out, and yet we continue to have this problem. It's bad, real bad. But I did find an interesting solution!


SAGE!


For some reason or another they really don't like the stuff! We use two different forms. One is Smudge which looks like this:


It smells like, well.....those funny smelling cigarettes some of you may have smoked in your youth(without inhaling of course!) Not necessarily what I want my house smelling like, but let me tell you, this works!!
I have had neighbors who thought we were smoking funny cigarettes when they walk in and smell it!


The other option is the essential oils.





This doesn't really smell good or bad. I am so used to it now I associate it with smelling clean, as I use it mixed with a little vinegar and water in a spray bottle on my counters, fridge, and other hard surfaces. I also mix it with my furniture oil spray. When the flies are bad I just mist the air with the water/vinegar/oil mixture. If they are really bad I will apply a little oil to my skin to keep them off of me.
We started off this season with bad flies again, but with faithfully using the above methods we have very few if any flies in the house.
Although the smell may take some getting used to, it is surely much safer than insect sprays you can buy in the store and much more pleasing to the eye than fly strips.
After a few week though the flies seem to start to build up a resistance to the sage, so we switch to lavender for a week or two then switch back. The lavender smells much better, but isn't as effective. It is quite effective on other insects though!

We have found lavender incense sticks as well as the oil. Just recently I found Smudge Sticks that are Sage AND Lavender. I plan on trying these ones soon.
So if you happen to be visiting my house and smell a funny smell seeping out through the windows, come on in, it's safe, we haven't picked up any new bad habits or anything, just trying to smoke out the household pests!

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Broke For Me Must Be Different....


I am becoming more and more convinced that broke for my family is different than broke for others here in America.
See, broke for me means our debt finally caught up with us. We are no longer able to make all of our monthly payments on time. Broke for me means that we just escaped losing our modest, small home by the hair of our chiney, chin, chins(thanks to my brother for helping us out there!)
Broke for me means until this debt is paid and I can afford our monthly expenses we no longer eat out, take martial arts classes, don't buy new anything. Broke for me means no fancy shoes or clothing. Broke for me means enrolling in a public charter school after 11 years of homeschooling privately because I don't have money for school books to continue homeschooling privately.
Broke for me means giving up the cable TV, land line phone, Netflix DVD Service, and more.
Broke for me means selling things I really don't want to sell, so I can maybe just maybe make ends meet this month.
Broke for me sucks!
Broke for others around me seems to be a bit different than what broke is for me. I don't understand it. They all tell me how broke they are, but I just don't see it. Their kids all have the nicest, newest 70 dollar and up shoes, not one pair each but several. They have brand new computers or neat accessories, new swimming pools, are taking vacations, buying new cars, wearing new clothes each week.
Sure, they may be selling a thing here and there as they are so broke(poor things) but yet they continue to buy as much or more than they are selling.
These people are so broke poor things, yet they are above couponing or just too busy to take the time to clip a few I guess. They are so broke, but while I am cancelling services they are upgrading, yet complaining how broke they are the whole while.
I just don't get it, I really don't. I guess broke for me is just different.
But I am not complaining, maybe just whining a little. Because broke outside the U.S. is way different than even my version of broke.
In my version of broke, I have a roof over my head, not one vehicle but one for each driving family member. While I may not be eating the food I prefer to eat, I do have a meal three times a day. We have water, running water at that!
In other parts of our world there are others who truly are broke or poor in the truest sense of the word. They are lucky for one meal a day, and they work harder than most of us do, just for that one meal.
Seventy dollar shoes? They are lucky if they have shoes period! Homeschooling, public school, private? They are truly blessed if they are even able to attend a school.
Health care? Forget about it...in those parts of the world people still die daily from diseases that are totally preventable or treatable because there just isn't any health care available.
Maybe my version of broke doesn't suck quite so bad after all. Not that others suffering should make any of us feel better, it shouldn't. But maybe it should be a wake up call! Maybe instead of those 70 dollar shoes this month you can give just half of that to an organization such as Compassion International.
No matter how broke I get, that is one monthly commitment I refuse to give up. As much as I may be struggling, the little girl we sponsor struggles even more. I am sure to her my broke is quite different than her broke and she would be quite confused if I dared try to tell her just how broke I was!

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Time To Take Matters Into Our Own Hands

Gas prices keep continuing to rise causing the cost of EVERYTHING to rise. It is becoming more and more clear that the government or powers that be aren't or can't do anything about it. It is time to stop waiting on them or anyone else to fix it all for us. We need to be proactive.

As far as gas goes, there is actually much we can do. I have already shared lots of information about HHO gas, it is up to you if you want to try it for yourself, I am not going to try to convince you. If for some reason you just don't want to try, there are other alternative fuels out there. I know several people who are running their vehicles on veggie oil, search the web and find something that works for you.

If you're still not convinced then how about getting a Motorcycle or Scooter? These can get 60-100 miles per gallon!! Obviously you aren't going to take a family outing with one of these, but you can surely use it to get to and from work.

Do you live close enough to work to ride a bicycle? What about car-pooling? I know people who are always looking for more people to add to their car pool group.

I'll be the first to complain about these crazy gas prices, but complaining isn't going to get you anywhere these days, but some of these ideas may.

What about the food prices? They are getting insane too! Not to mention not always too safe. Just this week there was a recall on tomatoes suspected to carry the salmonella virus!

There is a lot you can do about food, this is one of the easiest places to save. I have already shared lots on this blog about couponing. Coupons are especially good for toiletry items, frozen goods, and dairy products. What about fruits and veggies? A little harder with coupons, but you can grow your own!!

Even if you don't have property you can still grow a decent garden in containers. I do have property, but I also have a terrible rabbit problem, so I grow in raised beds, old wine barrels and anything else I can make a container out of. Do an Internet search for "container gardening" and see what you come up with. Not only will it be cheaper to grow your own, it will be much healthier, and certainly tastier. Have you noticed a store bought apple doesn't really have any taste?

I noticed decent bread was $4.99 a loaf the other day....what about making your own? Appliances like bread machines and Kitchen Aid Mixers make it easy for anyone to make their own bread! Again, healthier and tastier not to mention cheaper.

The same goes for pasta sauces, pancake mixes, pizza's, and more. Invest in a good cook book or two and try some new recipes! Better yet check them out from your library or check out PaperbackSwap.

Have you considered homeschooling? Think of what you could save on clothing, gas or bus fare, school lunches and all that goes with public or private school. If you're not comfortable trying homeschooling all on your own, there are some great public school at home programs, other wise known as virtual charter schools. Check out K12 and Connections Academy. Both give you all of the needed curriculum for FREE and in some cases even computers and printers, as well as licensed teachers, state testing and everything else public school students are entitled to. Some even have clubs, fun electives and most offer regular field trips with other virtual school students.

There is much we can do ourselves in these difficult times. I think it is becoming obvious it is up to us now and time to stop waiting on someone else to come fix it all.

Sunday Shopping


Sunday Shopping is turning out to be Monday, Tuesday and Wed. Shopping this week! I am trying to cut back on gas usage so the husband is doing our Ralphs coupons yesterday and today(he did GREAT last night!!) on his way home from work and I am doing all the non-coupon shopping tomorrow on our way home from the Doctors.

It was too late when husband returned last night to give any thoughts to pictures, but I sure wish we would have taken some, he did pretty darn good!

He spents $15.65 and saved $47.99!!! We got several free items such as a twin pack of Smart Start margarine(and I REALLY needed this!), Cat Food, Hand Soap, Power Aid, Windex Multi-Purpose Cleaner, and more. Most everything else was under a buck such as coffee and coffee filters, Feta Cheese, ice cream, sour cream, some frozen food items and more.

Not bad! Then he went to CVS and took advantage of the Coke products and spent a little over 5 bucks Out-opf-Pocket(we had some ECB's from last week) on 4-12 packs and even got 3 ECB's back. Too bad there is a limit of one transaction on these! I love my Cherry Coke Zero!

He'll head back out today on his way home and get 2nds on the freebies and coffee!

Sunday, June 8, 2008

Who To Trust?? Or Hydrogen Cars and Conspiracy Theories...

I will start by saying I trust in God first and foremost, beyond that these days it's hard to know who to trust. This post is a result of a question posted on a forum I frequent about which news sources are trustworthy and which aren't. The topic quickly changed to hydrogen ran cars, as a particular news source was claimed to be even more ludicrous than first thought because they ran a positive article on these cars, claiming it is indeed true you can run your car on water(HHO gas).

As I mentioned on said forum, I will be the first to admit said news source is probably the last place I seek out news as it is a pretty flaky source to say the least. But my point was that with me having some personal knowledge and experience with the topic at hand, I felt this particular article was fairly accurate and I was trying to make a point that just as you can't believe all the news you hear, doesn't mean there isn't some legitimate stories or features either.

Each news source is going to give their particular view on a story based on their own biases and personal agendas. This must be true as this source was making the maker of this particular water ran car out to be a hero, a genius, etc...while another news source used the same footage and made him out to be a nut case!!

Search out "hydrogen cars" or "water ran cars" on google and see what you come up with. For every positive story or link you find telling you that this is possible and people are doing it, you will find just as many telling you it isn't possible, and that those telling you it is are liars or nut jobs...

Whose telling the truth? Who do you believe?

I am not out to convince you one way or the other. All I can say is we've done it(a partial conversion) with supplies bought at Home Depot and a pool supply company. I have seen with my own eyes a car converted over 100%, done in a ordinary mans garage. So who am I going to believe? My own eyes, and the mind and good sense God my creator gave me.

I am sure there are hoaxes out there, and I am sure there are people trying to make a pretty buck off of you by fooling you. But I also know there are plenty of ordinary people out there doing this in their own garages and aren't' trying to sell you anything, only trying to educate you and let you know there is something different out there.

Which leads to the next question: If this is possible why aren't the car manufactures making these cars? Well, some are. In Iceland they manufacture hydrogen cars. Their government cars and civil service cars run on hydrogen. Why aren't we here in America? Good question. In Brazil while they aren't running off of hydrogen they are energy independent and running off of ethanol, not from corn, but sugar cane. Why aren't we? Good question.

There ARE lots of individuals here in America that have converted their own cars. Why isn't this more common knowledge? Good question.

Is it a conspiracy theory? I don't know, I am typically not big on conspiracy theories although I have been recently accused of such. But again, another good question.

Perhaps that is the point I am trying to make. Ask questions. Don't believe everything you see or hear in the media. Don't even believe me. Ask questions, research. The Internet is a wonderful tool, you may have to search a bit, but you will find answers that will help you form your own opinion.

I have nothing to sell. I have nothing to gain by trying to get you to research other fuel options. I do have much to lose, I have already been accused of being a nut, an idiot, or someone who must be on crack to believe such foolish nonsense. I have been told it is scientifically impossible. I am not a scientist, nor do I claim to be. But let me assure you it's not impossible, and I am not on crack, and I haven't been committed just yet, and I will be driving today in a car running partially on hydrogen saving several miles to the gallon. Laugh at me if you will, but I too am laughing each time I fill my gas tank and wondering why others wont take a few minutes of their time to research this stuff on their own and why they are so convinced it is a hoax, or impossible.

I get lots of private emails from others wanting me to link them to sites or do the research for them. I don't mind helping in the least, but it seems people are so dependant on others for everything. Because of this dependence they continue to pay unnecessarily high gas prices, and when they do start to question those prices and want to find alternatives, they want others to do the research or work for them. Trust yourself enough to be able to educate yourself. But do it soon, before the information is no longer freely available. Conspiracy theory? Maybe, maybe not, ask your own questions, do your own research and form your own opinion, then trust yourself enough to think outside the box and believe the unbelievable.

I will provide a few more links to get you started, but continue to search out more. Search out the positive articles AND the negatives, read both sides of the story, the truth is usually somewhere in the middle.

Are You Being Deceived?

Daniel Dingle

Stan Myers: I have many questions on this one and haven't formed an opinion just yet

GM Hywire

Browns Gas- this is usually what people are referring to when they talk of "water ran cars"

Geet Gas

Water 4 gas

There are so many more, I could link you all day, but I encourage you to do your own research and see what you come up with. For each one of these I linked there are several counter links telling you these are hoax's or scams. Form your own opinion. Search out other things you think may be related, such as first hydrogen cars, oil prices, federal reserve, world bank, try doing a search with a mix of two or more of these, search out peoples blogs.

There is much technology out there, not all of it completely new. Did you know the first hydrogen car goes back as far as the 1800's? Why isn't that widely known? Good question. Ask. Other countries are already successfully using alternative fuel sources and are energy independent. Don't wait for the car manufactures or oil companies to tell you it's possible, find out yourself.

Don't take this advice just for fuel sources, start to question everything from how you spend or save your money, to how you educate your children, to what news to believe and more. Be brave enough to think outside the box and not be told by someone else what is right or wrong or possible or impossible.

Saturday, June 7, 2008

I Still Don't Like Wal-Mart!



I have never liked Wal-Mart. I typically try to avoid it like the plague. I mean I REALLY, don't like Wal-Mart! It all started because our local Wal-Mart, which believe it or not is 35+ miles from me, is just so dirty and filthy. You feel dirty just walking through there. Their customer service stinks, and walking out of the store can make you feel like a criminal. The door people want to randomly stop you and look through your cart and receipt. It's not like the door alarm goes off when you walk through, half the time I don't even make it that far before they stop me! The bathrooms are totally disgusting....I've seen cleaner ones in the worse parts of TJ Mexico, and no, I am sorry to say, I am not exaggerating!

So I already didn't like this place when I saw the Wal-Mart Movie, and that just etched it in for me. I really don't get how they can make the money they do, and not treat their workers decently or keep their stores clean.

So why did I torture myself yesterday and go into a place I would rather not, and goes against my principals and better judgement? Well, as you know if you read my blog I have become addicted to couponing and finding a good bargain. I saw on some of the other blogs I frequent(see sidebar) that with coupons I could get many items I regularly use for free or near free. So I get my list, cut my coupons and head out to "that place." Did I save any money and get any good bargains? Not a chance!! I kid you not, nearly all the items that I had coupons for were not there. It's not that they were once there and sold out because the bargains were so good, there wasn't even a tag for them on the shelf although there were empty sections where "something" once was. Hmmm.....

It is kind of odd, that I had a coupon for a great deal on HP printer paper and with the coupon had three types to choose from. They had TONS of HP printer paper, I didn't even know HP made that many varieties. But they didn't have ANY of the three that were on the coupon. Hmmm....

Sadly, I found this the case in 90% of the items I went to "that place" for. Same was true with cearl. They had the particular brands I was searching for just not the one particular variety that would have been free with the coupon combined with the sale. Hmmm...

I did manage to get pickle relish, KY Jelly and baby soap for free, that's it! Yippie! I could have done that at Ralph's which is kept clean and I am treated decently. The cashier at Wal-Mart made me feel like I was a criminal or scum for daring to try to use coupons. I coupon often and have NEVER been treated like that or made to feel bad for using a coupon, EVER!

So, I learned the hard way, that Wal-Mart still sucks, and there is not much good that could come from a trip to that dreaded place. I also learned that I shouldn't compromise my principals for a good bargain, it's not worth it. I should have known better. It was probably a lesson I needed to learn, principals are far more valuable than a coupon or free item.

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Do You Ever Want to do This?

Yesterday I posted about how I thought more people must have recently taken up couponing as at Ralph's the shelves were near empty or empty of the sale and coupon items, which is quite rare for my local Ralph's.

Well at CVS, it was a little different. I was looking for the toothbrushes that were free after ECB's and there was a rather young mother and father buying very similar items of things I was about to get for FREE, and they were buying things they'd have to pay ALOT for! I was getting two toothbrushes for free, and she was paying over three bucks for one. I was getting free band-aids and she was paying for some.

This was really bothering me, not that it's my business how she shops or chooses to spend her money, but I think she didn't know she could be getting these things for free. I SO wanted to tell her, but A: I am a rather shy person by nature, and B: she looked rather rushed and I wasn't sure how she'd respond , and C: I was sure my husband would die of embarrassment if I approached her.

Have you ever wanted to tell someone who was paying far too much for an item that they could be getting it for free? Have you done it and what was the reaction? Gratitude? Annoyance?

How would YOU feel if a complete stranger stopped you in the store and offered shopping advice? Would you be annoyed or thankful? I am just curious...

I've Trained Him Well.....

No, not the dog, the husband!! There were a few coupon deals left I wanted to take advantage of so I printed up a Grocery Game list for both Stater's and Ralph's and gave him the appropriate coupons, and sent him on his way. Actually because we live 40 miles about of town it is a waste of gas money for me to make many trips to town, so I have started giving him a list and having him pick up the smaller items on his way home from work. Here's what he got:



At Stater's he did OK I thought, but the cashier was obviously impressed as she commented "Wow!! Someone has taught you how to shop!"


He spent $23.34 and saved $44.32. He got 10 2 liter bottles of Coke products for .69 cents each, 6 Knorr side dishes for .65 cents each, 4 Ragu Pasta Sauces for .49 cents each, 4 Mac & Cheese's for .50 cents each, 3 pkgs razors for .69 cents each and two boxes of Raisin Bran for $1.50 each, which is actually .50 cents a box more than I am normally willing to pay for cearl, but we are just about out and I've been too busy to make pancakes and such in the mornings.

At Ralph's I was pretty impressed, here's what he got there:


He spent a whopping $3.27 and saved $21.53!! He got for FREE: 2 Suave shampoos , a GUM toothbrush and another Adkins Advantage Bar. For a quarter each he picked up two more gummy bears, .99 cents for the snuggles dryer sheets(these smell SO good!), .99 cents for the Yoplait yogurts and about the same for the Gogurts which the kids just love to eat frozen.

So not too bad. He gets as excited as I do about these shopping trips now. He woke me up at 11:00 last night to show me the receipts and call me down to take photos!

If your husbands or older children aren't totally convinced that coupons are a great way to save money, send them on a few shopping trips and let them feel the excitement of saving lots of money and get the comments from the store clerks and they will quickly become convinced!!

Monday, June 2, 2008

Sign of the Times?

I am guessing the economy is starting to effect more people this last week or two as when I went to Ralph's yesterday to get my coupon items, this is pretty much what those shelves looked like!




Not the whole store mind you, just the shelves that held the great coupon deals. I normally shop at Ralph's because very rarely even on the freebies and other truly great deals are the shelves bare. This was a first for me as there were SEVERAL items that were sold out. And they weren't all totally great deals, some where just ok, but even they were wiped clean.

I am guessing that more people then ever are starting to coupon to make up for these rising prices of EVERYTHING!!

At CVS yesterday I had the exact opposite experience which I will try to post about after we wrap up school today....

Sunday, June 1, 2008

Sunday Shopping

Today wasn't too bad at all.....we got alot of needed items and a few goodies and quite a few freebies!

At Ralphs We spent $18.31 and saved $42.54 between coupons and club card deals! Here's what we got:



The FREE items were the four Promax Bars and Atkins Advantage Bar as well as the GUM Crayola Flossers and toothbrush along with the two Suave Hair Care products. We also got some gummy bears and worms for a quarter a bag! We stocked up on more laundry supplies, yogurts(the baby loves them!) and some of our regular grocery items. I have to thank Grocery Game for most of these deals!

We ended up at CVS twice today, which makes up for the lack of going the last two weeks I guess.

The first trip we took advantage of the the Pampers deal, some of the FREE after ECB deals and some other odds and ends. We paid $29.27 out of pocket and got back $17.48 in ECB's! I have to thank Money Saving Mom for these deals! I pretty much cut and paste her post from yesterday onto notepad, printed it and took it with me!




Then after shopping at Ralphs we decided to go back to CVS and get ourselves a Monster Drink as they were on sale and used our ECB's to buy some Clariton and Chex Mix. We paid $$2.97 out of pocket and got back $3.00 ECB's. Just the Clariton alone is normally $18.99!!



So, in all not too bad a day. I've done better, but I certainly could have done worse! Like pay full price for something you can get for free or near free!