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More Shopping Deals

It’s Monday, and despite a busy weekend, I had coupons that were expiring today.  So, instead of putting up my feet and eating bon bons all day (which we all know is what semi-employed people do), I had to actually plan on getting dressed and showered (you can thank me for the shower).

I did the prep work last night and set out this morning.

My first stop was Publix, where I came home with this batch of goodies…

It doesn’t look like much, but I’m at the point where I have a stockpile of the “extras” and am focusing more on the essentials and anything that is nearly free.

Aunt Jemima frozen products –  B1G1 @ $2.69
Used: $1/2 mfg coupons (one per set of two) AND four $1/1 Publix store coupons (one per box) — remember…you can stack mfg and store coupons
Spent:  NOTHING! This was a MONEYMAKER of $.62

Pillsbury Grands! Biscuits – $5/4 ($1.25 each)
Used:  $1/2 mfg coupon
Spent:  $.75 each

McCormick Grinder Seasons – B1G! @ $1.99
Used: $1 Publix store coupons (one per item)
Spent:  NOTHING! My coupons made both FREE!

Ritz Crackers – B1G1 @ $3.79
Used: $1/2 mfg PLUS $1 competitor coupons on each box
Spent:  $.40 per box

Crackerfuls –  $3.59
Used:  Get 1 box of Crackerfuls free with the purchase of one box of Ritz (I used two because I was buying two boxes of Ritz)
Spent:  NOTHING! My coupons made them FREE!

The meat was on sale, but the bread wasn’t (the kids need sandwiches, so it was a must-have item).

In addition to the above coupons, I had a $5 Publix coupon (off of a total $30 purchase), which I handed my cashier before I gave her the other coupons.

Total before coupons: $64.39
Total after coupons:
$15.04
Savings of $49.35 or 77%

I ran home, put away the refrigerated and frozen items, and headed back out.  This time, my destination was Target, where I purchased the following…

I took advantage of some good deals.

Red Baron Pizza – 4/$10 ($2.50 each)
Used: $.75 mfg coupons (one per item) that I had cut off of the boxes of pizza I bought the last time they were on sale
Spent:  $1.75 per box

Gatorade – 3/$10 ($3.33 each…I only bought two)
Used:  $1 mfg coupons that were peelies (thanks to my mil for spying them this weekend and passing them along)
Spent:  $2.33 per six-pack

2-Liter Pepsi Products – $.89
Used:  $1/2 mfg
Spent:  $.40 per bottle

Now…my favorite buy…DOG FOOD!!

Thanks again to my mother-in-law who graciously shared her coupons with me.  Her grand-dogs thank her too.

Chef Michael’s dry food is on sale this week (makes this a better deal than last week) for $4.46
Used: $3 mfg PLUS one $1.50 Target coupon (stack a mfg with a store coupon)
Spent:  NOTHING! This was a MONEYMAKER of $.04

Chef Michael’s wet dog food is also on sale this week for $.84
Used: B1G1 mfg PLUS one B1G1 Target coupon
Spent:  NOTHING! Both cans were FREE!

Total Before Coupons: $33.54
Total Spent: $9.73
Total Savings:  $23.81 or 71%

Even though I’m still tired from spending the weekend in the sun, I feel energized after a good day of shopping and saving.

Traffic Jams, Soccer, and Knitting

It’s another weekend, and guess what I’m doing?

Sitting in a hotel after a day spent on the soccer fields.

We drove to Jacksonville after school on Friday.  We moved right along until a few miles outside of town, where we hit a major traffic snafu…

Ugh…what a mess!  We checked the GPS and saw that there were actually two areas of congestion…at 9:30 at night!  I like my roads to be in good shape, but this was the second weekend in a row of encountering heavy traffic!

After sitting in a near-motionless state for an hour, we finally managed to creep our way to the next exit, where we mercifully got off.  The GPS decided not to play jokes on me (unlike last weekend) and got us around this traffic via a neat little detour.

My favorite part of the trip is going over the bridge and seeing the lights on the buildings and other bridges…

We were relieved to reach our hotel and crawled wearily into bed.

Of course, now that soccer season has officially begun, sleeping in on weekends has gone by the wayside.  I was up at the crack of dawn to hit Target for some items I had forgotten to pack.

Don’t ask.

Just remember that I am AuburnChick.  There is no Easy Button for me.

Chicky’s team was scheduled to play at 9, and I thought it would be a pleasant morning.  I mean, I had my knitting…

That’s my latest mini-project…a baby hat for charity.  I’ll post more information about it after I finish.

The temperatures quickly climbed, and it didn’t take long until I had to put the yarn away.  Have you ever tried to knit when your hands were sweaty?  Not a pretty thing, let me tell you.

We cheered hard, and Chicky’s team won.

One downer was that one of Chicky’s teammate went down with an injury.  We are concerned that she tore her ACL.  The worst part about this incident is that the same girl tore her other ACL a year and a half ago and was just getting back into prime form.

Please say a prayer for her.

Between games, I ran to KnitWitz, a wonderful store located about ten miles from the hotel we were staying at.

I was crunched for time, so when I ran in, I blabbed quickly, looked around even faster, and grabbed up these delicious skeins of yarn…

The Berroco is identical to the skein I’m using for my current sock project.  I am growing concerned about yardage since the pattern I’m using has mega cabling in it.

I also picked out this…

As soon as I saw the colors, I fell in love with it.  The thing that pushed me over the edge with it was the softness.  Oh my gosh!  I cannot wait for this stuff to be on my feet!!

I made it back to the hotel just in time to take Chicky back to the fields for game #2.  Her team lost.  It was a scorcher, and the girls’ legs were done after the first game.  The opponent was playing its first game and looked much fresher.

At least we didn’t have any injuries this game.

After a delicious dinner at Carrabbas, we’ve settled back into our room.  We’re about to hit the sack and rest up for tomorrow’s game.

My Week in Pictures

Monday morning - the first day of school - Chickys plant looked sad to see her go - It actually was begging for water

Monday morning - the first day of school - Chicky's plant looked sad to see her go - It actually was begging for water

Pele was exhausted after the first day of school...

Pele was exhausted after the first day of school...

A day and a watering can later, the plant is much happier...

A day and a watering can later, the plant is much happier...

A playdate with Cooper

A playdate with Cooper

Cooper was very happy to have a new chew toy (Roosters finger)

Cooper was very happy to have a new chew toy (Rooster's finger)

Molly wanted Peles ball, so she climbed on top of him and decided to rest there

Molly wanted Pele's ball, so she climbed on top of him and decided to rest there

A fairly quiet week, I’d say!

A Hair-Raising Adventure

Today I had a bit of fun…and it involved color and hair…my hair, that is.

Oh boy, you’re probably wondering, what has Chicky gone and done today?

First, a little history lesson…

You see, many years ago, when the kids were little bitty things, I decided to have “fun” by highlighting my hair…on my own.

When I took the towel off of my hair, let’s just say that I almost had a mini-stroke.

My hair was platinum blonde…white almost.

I lived in an apartment, and my best friend lived on the third floor of my building.

I called her down, and she took one look at my hair and started laughing hysterically.

Then, she gave me her hairdresser’s number.

After explaining my hair emergency, the salon fit me in the next morning.

Murphy’s Law had a little fun with me…

Rooster decided to get sick enough that a visit to the pediatrician was in order…right before my hair appointment.

I donned a baseball cap and tucked as much hair under it as I could (and you know what a tough job this must have been given my massive amount of hair).  I was mortified when strands stuck out the front, and I blubbered excuses for my hair to a doctor who could not have cared one iota.

When I got to the salon, the owner sat me down in a chair and forced me to remove the hat.  How else was he gonna fix it?

I’m not sure if I heard snickering, but I think I definitely heard gasps.

He moved my hair this way and that and finally announced that he had located one small piece of hair that resembled, what he thought, my regular hair color.

Ugh.

I sat in his chair for two days.  The first day consisted of him re-dyeing my hair to a walk-around-able color.

The next day, he put in highlights and lowlights.

The total bill was $200.  For a stay-at-home mom with a bi-weekly food budget of $80, this was horrendous.

But, so was my hair.

Ever since then, I’ve stayed away from boxes of hair color.

Until today.

I love getting things for free and feel like it’s a crime to not take advantage of such an offer.

Enter in this…

Um, yeah…I know…it’s a box of hair color.

Hey, I’ve had over ten years to get over the other incident.

I got everything ready, deciding to use the English set of instructions.  Although I like challenges, this was not the time to see if I could sight-read in Spanish …

Next was my “before” photo, which I had to take by myself…

This is the kids’ bathroom (see the rubber duckies on the shower curtain).  I am so happy that I recently installed a removeable shower head thingy.  I was able to lean my head over the side of the tub to wet it.

I decided that since my hair is so thick and long, I’d put it in a shower cap, which I turned inside out…

I set the timer for 20 minutes.  I know that my hair is stubborn and needs more time to absorb the dye.

Then I rinsed, conditioned, and rinsed again.  Hair is, of course, darker when wet, so I can’t really tell a difference between the before and after photos…

The Mr. says the color is more like the second picture.

I’m hoping it will lighten in the next couple of days.

Coupon Queen (my mil) is trying to track down another $4 coupon.  I might try this again…with a lighter color.

At least it’s not purple!

More Free Stuff!

Who knew shopping could be so much fun?!

This week has been good for getting free items.  I thought I would share these deals because I honestly think you might want to take advantage of them too.

First of all, I was able to secure two bags of dry dog food and four cans of wet dog food…for FREE…

You guys…this is some preemo-stuff!  I mean…if you were a dog, wouldn’t you want to be eating Filet Mignon or Rotisserie Chicken?  Heck…I’m a human, and I’d like to eat this stuff (not the dog food, but the real human stuff).

Target sells the 1.5lb bags of food for $4.49.  This week’s RedPlum had a $3 mfg coupon.  Then, I went to Target’s Coupon Generator and printed off a store coupon for $1.50.  Remember that you can stack a store coupon on top of a mfg coupon.  Hence, the food was free.  Because I bought two papers last weekend, I did this deal twice (one transaction).

The paper also had a coupon for B1G1 Chef Michael’s wet dog food.  The Target Coupon Generator has a coupon for a free can of wet dog food when you buy one.  Essentially, it makes the one you’re supposed to be paying for with the other coupon free too!  So, stack both the store coupon with the mfg from the paper, and you’re set.  I got four cans after taking advantage of the deal twice thanks to that second paper!

The dogs were very enthusiastic about my find…

They stayed close to Chicky while she scooped out the wet stuff to mix in with their regular food…

My next free deal came yesterday, when I visited CVS.  Here’s what I walked out with…

Here’s how I did it.

This week, the double-packs of Kotex are B1G1 @ $1.49.  Print two coupons from this site (remember to hit the back button on your computer after it prints the first time and tell the computer to reload the page…it will print twice but no more).  Use one coupon per box, and it’s a money maker!!!!!

So I got those items and was given my receipt, which had coupons printed on the bottom of it.

One of the coupons was for a free package of CVS AA batteries!  No other purchase required!!

So, instead of exiting the store, I made a beeline for the batteries, picked out my package, tore the coupon off of my receipt, and walked out with that in hand as well.

Hooya!

Now, I also got a GREAT deal on Tylenol (Walgreens sale this week).  No, it wasn’t free, but what a deal…

These four boxes cost a grand total of $.98.

Tylenol is on sale this week B1G1 @ $4.49.  The 7/26 SmartSource insert had $2 mfg coupons.  You can also print $2 mfg coupons from here.  Print it twice!  Then, use one coupon per box.  It drops the price to $.49 for two, or $.28 per box!

Oh yeah, Baby!

Cha Ching!

I sure wish I could say that I was smart enough to figure out these deals on my own.

I wasn’t.  Thank goodness for Frugal Coupon Living!

The Red Plate

Last night we had a fancy dinner…chicken fingers and French fries.

Chicky got to eat her gourmet dinner on a very special plate…

This, my friends, is the Red Plate.

The Mr.’s aunt gave us this plate early in our marriage…perhaps the first Christmas after Chicky was born.

It came in a pretty box with a permanent marker.

The intent was that we save it for special occasions, serve the honoree’s meal on it, and write the date and specifics on the back.

A few days ago, I saw the plate’s box on the top shelf of one of my cabinets.  The image must have gotten stuck in my brain.

I remember briefly thinking that I had not used it in a very long time.  Chicky’s first day of her Senior year of high school certainly was worthy of climbing on the counter to retrieve it.

As I pulled it out, she chuckled (fancy dinner to be eating on it…NOT), and started reading through the events I had noted on the back.

Ahhh…the memories…

Please allow me to share them:

  • 11/13/95:  Chicky did not wet her bed all night & did not wear a pull-up!
  • 5/11/96:  Chicky learned to swim.  No more swimmies!
  • 1/6/97:  Chicky doesn’t sleep with a night light anymore!
  • 1/?/97:  Chicky had 1st dental appt yesterday!
  • 3/31/97:  Rooster threw away his pacifier!
  • ?/11/97:  Chicky learned to ride a bike w/o training wheels
  • 9/11/98:  Rooster wrote his name for the first time.
  • 10/21/98:  Rooster used the potty @ school.
  • 11/2/98:  Rooster learned to ride his bike without training wheels!
  • ?/28/99:  Chicky lost 1st tooth!
  • 2/5/99:  Rooster learned to tie his shoes!
  • 3/26/00:  Rooster’s first baseball game.
  • ?/?/00:  Chicky’s first basketball game.  2 baskets made!
  • 1/17/01:  Rooster mastered a very difficult speech whistle.
  • 1/20/01:  Rooster scored first soccer goal!
  • 6/13/01:  Rooster lost 1st tooth!
  • 10/30/01:  Rooster is dismissed from speech!!
  • 8/24/09:  Chick’s first day of 12th grade.

Although the dates of some of the events have worn off (I will shellac the back of the plate when Rooster leaves home), what can’t be erased are the memories.  These are small snapshots of my children’s childhood…each moment special and celebrated by the four of us.

Every time I have placed the plate in front of one of the kids, their faces have lit up.

I could tell that Chicky enjoyed the extra bit of attention.

Rather than putting the plate back in the cabinet, I am going to set it on the counter on a plate holder.  This way we’ll always have it at the ready.  I suspect that this will be a big year for extra special meals…even if we only eat chicken fingers.

Back to School!

The kids went back to school today.

Normally, I don’t get emotional; however, today is just a little different.

Today, Chicky starts her Senior year of high school.

As I drove home from South Carolina yesterday, I started thinking about Chicky’s journey.

I remember her first day of Kindergarten.  Parents were allowed to walk their children into class that first day.  Everything was so new…and so small!  Tiny tables and tiny chairs…all appropriate for the tiny bodies that would occupy them.

The second day of school was even bigger…car drop-off.  To reduce congestion, parents were required to drop off their children.  Ugh.  I was a mess.  Would Chicky find her way to class?

She did, and we all survived the day with her later telling me about her new adventures on the playground.

I am happy that she’s reached this milestone, but I also cannot believe how fast the time has gone.  You hear it so often when your children are young…enjoy it…it will go by so quickly.

It’s true.

I am keeping myself busy…doing “mom” things of course.  I can’t wait until the kids get home today.  I can’t wait to hear about their new schedules, the teachers, and who’s in their classes.

Back to school…back to the routine.

Although I’ve grown to despise the alarm clock, there’s a strange comfort in the known.

Photos From the Road

After nearly 20 hours in the car, Chicky and I are home.

Her team lost its first game and won its second.

The drive home seemed so much longer than the one going up.  But, once again it was a lovely day.

We started early…8am at the fields…

The temperature was much more pleasant than the day before, when we had sweat rolling down our chests under our shirts.  Yuck!

After the game, we hightailed it out of there, carefully making our way across four state lines.  Of course, we encountered road construction in several areas…

I was mindful of the speed limits.  Although embarrassed to be going so slow, I set the cruise control and was rewarded when I didn’t have to hit the brakes when I spotted a police car lying in wait beside the road.

I didn’t let the construction dampen my mood.  Although the drive was sooooo long, and I was soooooo ready to be out of the car after the first hour, I found myself thinking back to my youth as I traveled through each state…

South Carolina

South Carolina

Georgia - Hotlanta

Georgia - Hotlanta

Alabama

Alabama

I have more pictures from Alabama than the other states.  You see, I’m a little partial to this state…especially the part we drove through, having grown up in this neck of the woods…

Lake Eufaula

Lake Eufaula

Eufaula is a pretty town…the kind you picture when you think of the South.  It has a number of historic homes that grace a beautiful tree-lined road…

Driving under these branches reminds me of my childhood, when my sister and I rode in the back of the pickup truck as my mom and step-dad drove along back roads to get to this or that store.

The next picture is the very famous Shorter Mansion.  It is very similar in style to the house I grew up in…

Shorter Mansion - Eufaula, Alabama

Shorter Mansion - Eufaula, Alabama

The next picture is a stretch of road that runs between Eufaula and Dothan.  The green fields induce such a sense of peace within my soul.

Growing up in the country could be frustrating…especially when I wanted to go shopping and had to drive an hour or more for a decent store…but the open spaces gave me a sense of freedom.

I don’t know how to explain it, but it’s almost like you can really breathe when you’re out in the open.  Maybe it’s just being so close to nature…the landscape unmarred by the presence of massive amounts of buildings or subdivisions.  When you drive this stretch of road, you can actually see cows grazing in the fields.  These are scenes that I never tire of…

As I drove this stretch of road, I listened to “soft rock” and remembered the life of a classmate, who I just learned died unexpectedly from a heart attack…at the age of 39.

I remembered how he and one of my best friends (his girlfriend) walked around school with their arms around each other…ALL THE TIME.  Such innocence.  They dated for a long time but must have broken up some time after I graduated (they were a year behind me).

Such a sad story…that one…

Sigh…

Finally, I crossed the border into Florida…

Florida

Florida

We still had a ways to go, but I knew that we were done state-hopping.  For this weekend anyway.

We’ll be repeating this trip in a few short weeks.  It will be interesting to see how the colors change.

Pre-Game Rituals

Every athlete has a ritual he/she performs before a game.

The parents are no different.  We either busy ourselves with filling coolers with ice or caffeinate ourselves with Starbucks.

I have developed a unique pre-game ritual.

I go yarn shopping.

Because all of our games are played out-of-town, I have had many opportunities to find new yarn shops.

This weekend, Chicky and I are in South Carolina.  We left Friday for our nine-hour drive with one of Chicky’s teammates riding along.

Now, you’d think that after playing travel soccer for over ten years, Chicky would have this packing thing down pat.

Think again.

When we got to Chicky’s teammate’s house, I offhandedly asked if Chicky had packed her soccer bag.

She said, “Hmmm” before her eyes got big.

She had left it at home.

Thank goodness I asked!

We drove the ten minutes back to the house and found it waiting patiently in the garage, right where she had put it.

Lovely start to the weekend, eh?  We wound up leaving 45 minutes behind schedule.

The delay was a sign of things to come.

After hitting the highway, we saw this…

Construction.

More delays.

For lunch, the girls decided they wanted Chick-fil-A.  The GPS first took us to a hospital.  Maybe the employees can buy Chick-fil-A sandwiches there?  I don’t know.

We managed to get the GPS to lead us to another location…the mall…

No shopping allowed though!  We went straight in, grabbed our stuff to-go, and left.

We encountered more construction…forcing us to go 45 miles per hour.

I must have been the only person who read the traffic signs.  Everybody passed me, including an old man who honked.

Sometimes you fly solo when you follow the law (I’ve learned this as a Christian as well).

The rest of our trip proceeded without any more delays.  We eagerly watched the signs that told us how much farther…

Nine and a half hours later, we arrived at our destination…Columbia, South Carolina.

At least the weather was clear and sunny.  Perfect for the drive…

We were very pleased with the hotel and its proximity to great shopping and yummy eating.

This morning we arose at a decent hour…ready for a busy day.

First things first…dropping off the girls at the mall…

And then my pre-game ritual…yarn shopping!!

I only planned on visiting one store, although I had mapped the locations of two.

The first one wasn’t open when I got there…

So I headed to the other store…

This store was located in a beautiful section of downtown Columbia, and I had high hopes.

However, it was a little small, and the assortment of yarn just wasn’t for me.  The owner had lots of Noro, which I like but wasn’t in the mood for, and lots of another brand that I can’t remember.  But nothing hollered out my name, so I left without buying anything.

The girls and I had a quick chat on the phone, and we arranged for a later pickup than originally planned.

I was thrilled because I had an extra thirty minutes to shop.

Guess where I went?

Back to the first shop.

Now, I’ll admit that I really didn’t think there would be much in the store.  It was not located in the quaintest of areas.

Folks, do not judge a store by its location.

When I walked in, look at what I saw…

And…

And…

And…

The owner was sooo friendly, putting me right at ease and giving me time to love on her yarn.

Two yarns leapt into my arms, begging to be taken home.  I’ve got a soft spot for sock yarn, so I didn’t say no…

Oh boy, I could have stayed in that store for a long time, but I had to go pick up the girls.

We had to get lunch…my favorite…

And one more stop for my pre-game ritual…

One of the biggest Michaels Ive ever been in!

One of the biggest Michael's I've ever been in!

I didn’t buy anything at Michael’s, being a good girl for once.

And then it was time to head for the game…

More on that tomorrow or Monday.

My Week – In Pictures

My flowers are so sad...

My flowers are so sad...

To everything, turn turn, There is a season, turn turn...

"To everything, turn turn, There is a season, turn turn..."

This bee hung around for days on end.  Apparently Im not the only one who loves my sunflowers.

This bee hung around for days on end. Apparently I'm not the only one who loves my sunflowers.

Off to the next flower...

Off to the next flower...

Sunflower Graveyard (i.e. the Curb) - There are still a few live ones

Sunflower Graveyard (i.e. the Curb) - There are still a few live ones in my flower beds.

12 Free Bags of Dog Food -- My Favorite Buy of the Week!

12 Free Bags of Dog Food -- My Favorite Buy of the Week!

Cooper - Hes not mine...he belongs to the family that Chicky babysits for

Cooper - He's not mine...he belongs to the family that Chicky babysits for

Isnt Cooper just the cutest thing ever??!!!

Isn't Cooper just the cutest thing ever??!!!

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