Monday, December 31, 2012

2012 In Review

Wow, I can absolutely not believe that 2012 is ending.  It was by far one of the fastest moving years of my life filled with a lot of positive change and blessings.

Let's see:

I turned 29 and did not have a mental breakdown at the big 3-0 inevitably coming my way for the next birthday.  Cross your fingers for me this year.

 I moved in with my sweetie, we celebrated our first Valentine's Day together, and I met 50 Cent. "I'll take ya to da candy shop..."

Mom and I went to see Elton John at PNC Arena in Raleigh, and I also met Richard Petty at the SE Petroleum Show in Myrtle Beach, SC

Matt turned 29 on 4/20 so I threw him a birthday party at our house and our families met for the first time.  This is when Matt got the best gift ever (other than me); a brand new grill.  I'm an awesome girlfriend.  And sometime during this month I met his Mom's side of the family (the entire family at one time).  They loved me of course.   Oh and I also met Roy Williams at a trade show I went to on UNC's campus. 

Mini road trip with Matt's family for Blaine's college graduation from High Point University, went down to Wilmington for my annual Memorial Day Weekend extravaganza with Myron which included a night spent fondu'in it up (yes I made that word up) at The Little Dipper.  Matt, Blaine, and his cousins entered the Hog Days BBQ competition in Hillsborough.  Ashley and I came to look pretty and be supportive.  (they didn't place but it was fun and our ribs and BBQ were delicious! - in the words of Blaine "it was rigged I tell ya"

 Matt and I took our first weekend trip together to the beach - complete with a trip to The Little Dipper of course, as well as dinner with my friends at Oceanic, and Matt met my Wilmington partners in crime for the first time.

I celebrated my 1 year anniversary at work

I was present for the home birth of my niece Gracie Boo who was born 8/14/12 at 11:52 am weighing 8lbs 4oz and measuring 21 1/4" long.

I celebrated my 1 year anniversary with my love Matt by taking a private tour of Duplin Winery and then followed that by late evening reservations at Nanas in Durham for a wonderful romantic dinner.  I went back down to Wilmington for my annual Labor Day Weekend extravaganza with Myron complete with another trip to The Little Dipper.

Brought home a new addition to our family came - Bear Faison-Hodge a 1 yr old male chihuahua, I joined my first fantasy football league at work.  Not only was this my first time, but I was the only female.  Everyone has to have the token female in the league.  I sucked major donkey butt and came in last but I had a few good players that everyone kept wanting to steal from me.  Everyone in the league sent me a trade request at least once during the season for Ray Rice.  "No you can't have Ray Ray!"  Apparently I have emotional attachment to my team and have a hard time trading them - unless they are injured and then I have no problem dropping them.  :-)

Put up the Christmas tree really early because I was soo excited about the holidays.  I had an on site photo shoot with my love so we could have decent photos of us to frame and give for gifts.  You're welcome.  We're so cute how could you NOT want our photo somewhere in your house?  We also spent our entire Thanksgiving weekend sick with a stomach virus - good times.

I went under contract on my first home purchase, I joined WW, and I made my first smoothie ever, and my Christmas was the best one yet.

In summary, it's been a great year full of many laughs and blessings.  I've put together a photo montage of the last year in no particular order to commemorate the memories of the year (most already mentioned above) for your enjoyment.

I can't wait to see what next year will behold.  I invision getting used to home ownership, decorating one room at a time until the new house is complete.  I also see healthy choices and more pounds lost, and well, who knows.  If the entire next year was planned out ahead of time it would be boring.  I don't want to know what's coming next just yet.

Happy New Year everyone.  Spend your evening tonight and time tomorrow with friends, family and those you love the most.  Treasure each moment and each day you are blessed with next year.  Don't think about what you DON'T have and spend time being grateful for what you DO have.

That is all.


Sunday, December 30, 2012

Great Deals & Pounds Lost

OK, for those that don't know I joined Weight Watchers on Friday.  I have gone over many options to help me in my journey to be healthy and consulted with my doctor and this is the decision that I reached based on the fact that it's not so much a diet but a life style change.  I don't have to restrict myself from eating anything but it does make me more aware of what I'm eating and the quantity in which I am eating it.  

Anyway, the reason I'm telling you this is because without this background information then the recipe and information below would seem random.  Don't get me wrong, I know my blogs tend to fall on the random side of the spectrum from time to time but generally I bore everyone with the coupons/savings/deals I found during the week with maybe a Pinterest project or recipe thrown in there from time to time.

Don't worry I got a great deal today at Kroger that I will share momentarily.

Back to my point...

Because I joined WW, as I mentioned I've been paying a lot more attention to what is in the food that I'm eating and what type of foods & snacks I need to try to add to my day to day life that I wasn't doing before.

So this morning I made myself a real breakfast and I also made a smoothie for the first time in my entire life for a snack (seriously, I've never made a smoothie before)

Anyway I made the recipe up as I went along but below is what I did and the WW Points+ Value it is (for those interested)

Cubed/Crushed Ice(eyeballed the amount so maybe 1/4 - 1/2 cup?)
Jif All Natural Creamy Peanut Butter (1 Tablespoon) 3 pts
1/2 of a medium size banana 0 pts
1/4 cup (I think, I also eyeballed this too) of Vanilla Almond Milk 1 pt
Total WW Points+ = 4 pts

Blend until smooth and serve cold of course


 It was sooooo good by the way!

As a couple of side notes:

  • Pacific Organic Vanilla Almond Milk came from Whole Foods and it was only $1.99.  This was the first time I have tried that brand and it was really good so I will be buying it again for my next trip to Whole Foods.
  • The Hamilton Beach single serve blender/mixer thingy-ma-jig that I have pictured above sucks major donkey rear end.  It sounds like it is going to die when I use it.  It takes forever to blend the ingredients, and the motor smells like it's burning up as if it is going to burn itself up in a suicide attempt because no one understands it.  Basically my mini blender is an emo 14 yr old that wears black eyeliner and wants to randomly start practicing the Wiccan religion for no apparent reason.  I bought this about a year ago and only used it once so I can't find my receipt to take it back nor the box it came in.  (This is more of an FYI Before You Buy type deal here - you're welcome by the way)
To make this recipe even more delicious, next time I might do 1/2 tablespoon of peanut butter and 1/2 a tablespoon of Nutella instead to add a hint of cocoa to this.  Don't worry, if I do experiment with that combo I will be sure to blog about it as always.  Maybe tomorrow?  Who knows.

Also, today marks day 3 on WW and I'm down 2 lbs.  You are only supposed to weigh yourself once a week but I cheated and did it again today.  I'm only supposed to lose 1-2 lbs a week so I guess that's pretty good progress.

Ok moving on... 

And now for your utter enjoyment since you can't contain your eagerness and excitement...on to the deals of the weekend:

Kroger is having an awesome sale on various items throughout the store.  Basically if you buy any 5 participating items you instantly get $5 off your purchase.   Participating items in this deal happened to be Aussie & Herbal Essence hair care products.  All Herbal Essences shampoo/conditioner/stylers were on sale for $2.79 and were a part of the Buy 5 Promo.  Since I purchased 5, I got $5 off at the register meaning the sale price was then $1.79 each.

But wait, it gets better my friends.  I had 2 $1.00 of purchase of 2 coupons and 1 $1.00 off purchase of 1 coupon so I spent a total of $5.95 and got 5 of my hair gels (which are normally $3.00 a piece) meaning each one was only 1.19 each!  Whoooohooooo!!!!!!!!!!!!!  Best deal I've gotten on my hair gel  in quite a while.

Also, I found a great deal on Annie's Salad Dressing.  This particular flavor was on close out for $1.79 which is a great price even without a coupon.  This brand isn't the cheapest.

Another exciting development from today is that the word on the street is that the next Harris Teeter Super Doubles Coupon Event is scheduled to start 1/2/13!  I just got two copies of the most recent P&G coupon insert so that is great timing.  Hopefully this will turn out to be true but my sources have never lead me wrong thus far.

Let's see what else...

Oh yeah, I will now leave you with my new song obsession.  I heard this on an episode of ABC's Nashville and have been in love with it ever since.  Apparently the version I've been listening to over and over again is not the original as the song on the show is a cover of The Civil Wars - If I Didn't Know Better, but I'm in love with both versions now because it's an awesome song...check it out.  What I like the most about it is that it doesn't sounds like everything else.  It seems like every song out now sounds exactly the same.  I hate that.

The Civil Wars - If I Didn't Know Better
If I Didn't Know Better Cover (ABC's Nashville)

Until next time...

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Adventures With My Love Muffin

Today my Love Muffin and I spent some quality time together.  He even went with me to Target while I did some sale/coupon shopping.  He deserves a medal for that, but to his advantage I wasn't on a full psycho coupon lady shopping trip today so he didn't have to suffer too much.

Today's best deals:

Save $3.00 off the purchase of 3 Febreeze Products:
The holiday scented Febreeze Set & Refresh air fresheners were on clearance for $2.54 each.  I bought three at $7.62 - $3.00 off coupon = $4.62 ($1.54 each).  I love these things so I was very excited about that.

Save $1.00 off the purchase of 1 Febreeze Candle:
Also on the clearance end cap I found one of the smaller Febreeze holiday scented candles on clearance for $1.79 - $1.00 off coupon I had = .79 cents, also very exciting because I love candles :)

Save $2.50 off the purchase of 2 Tampax Pearl Tampons (16 ct or higher):
$4.19 each - $2.50 off two = final price of $2.94 per box

Moving on...

After our Target trip we then went over to the Asian Market.  I've never been to the Asian Market before but it was a rather neat place (minus the smell).  They have literally FRESH, like still swimming in tanks and frozen on ice with heads seafood items so naturally it doesn't smell like roses. 

I saw eel today on this trip.  I wouldn't eat it before and I definitely won't eat it now that I've seen it slithering in a tank but it was rather cool either way. 

I also have to admit that I was really overwhelmed because I didn't know what anything was and a lot of the items naturally I could not read because I don't speak the language but thankfully we ran in to a gentleman that looked very at home at the Asian Market.  His cart was full of stuff so I just assumed he knew what was good so I probed him with unsolicited questions while he shopped because that's how I roll.  He didn't seem to mind though.

After a brief talk with this guy (let's call him Dumplin' Guy) we left with edamame, ponzu sauce, a gluten free tai peanut sauce, bok choy, sprouts, mushrooms, and wonton wrappers.  Also after talking to Dumplin' Guy we decided that we needed to add a wok to our kitchen equipment list. 

Luckily for us we had a date night planned at Southpoint Mall (which was our next destination of the evening) so we decided we were just going to window shop and see if we could find one we liked. We went in to Williams Sonoma to look around and ended up finding a flat bottom double-handled wok for only $24.95. 

and now we are the proud new owners of our own wok.  Isn't she pretty...

After this we braved the crowds at Bath & Body Works to take advantage of the $6 Wallflowers sale they were having.  Matt was not amused at the craziness nor the fact that I spent the amount of money that I did on simple air fresheners but he just doesn't understand!  They are so worth it and that's like over 50% off normal price and you know how I am over a good deal.

Ok moving on, next we went to a new store I'd never been to before called Sur La Table. 

To put it mildly we were like kids in a candy shop.  It's much like a Williams Sonoma only better.  It's heaven.  I don't know what was more exciting, the matching measuring cups and spoons we got ($12 total) or the fact that they have an employee demonstrate the espresso machines, explaining how each one works and then they will brew you a cup of espresso to try.  Matt and I found a darling $400 espresso machine that we are in love with but I'll put that on the list of kitchen items that we can't afford right now along with the Kuerig coffee maker, a KitchenAid stand mixer with assorted attachments, and the assorted branded $100 6" Chef's knives Matt drooled over.

We then ended the evening by going to the movies to see The Guilt Trip with Barbara Streissand and Seth Rogan.  It was really good, although I'm not sure how I felt about the ending.  It was a great date night movie and the previews we saw for upcoming movies mean we will be spending many more future date nights at the movies.  Quite a few good ones are coming out.  My top two can't wait to see movies are the two new Melissa McCarthy movies: one with Sandra Bullock (The Heat) and one with Jason Bateman (Identity Thief).

Sidenote: I also saw This is 40 earlier this week and it was hilarious!  I love any movie with Paul Rudd.  His dry cynical sense of humor makes me drool with laughter (even when no one else is laughing).  It ironically also has Melissa McCarthy in it...  Anyway, the movie is hilarious but there is a lot of cursing but that seems to be how the comedy movies are these days.  Since I have a dirty inappropriate and dry sense of humor it doesn't bother me that much, but just a heads up if you are wanting to see it. 

So in summary: the Asian Market is cool, we now have a wok, I love Sur La Table, we have expensive taste in kitchen machinery and accessories, I got really cool measuring cups/spoons for the new house, I got a lot of awesome deals today and most of it was on air fresheners, and there are a lot of good movies coming out soon I can't wait to see.

Oh and date night with my Love Muffin was awesome as always.

That's all for now.  Until next time...

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Weekly Coupon Trip

My coupon book is dwindling down.  There have not been any coupon inserts in the newspaper for the last two weeks.  I'm going through withdraw and really don't like to see my notebook so empty. 

I also actually had quite a few coupons that expired this week that I wanted to take advantage of so today I stopped by Harris Teeter.  I did not follow my own set of couponing rules before I got there.  Typically I would have already gone through the HT weekly sales paper online so I would know what I wanted to get before I got there, and I would have already set a menu for the week as well.   However I did not do that this time.  I didn't really need too much this week so I figured I'd get the items I did need (with or without a coupon) and then whatever sales they had that matched up to the coupons in my book I would use if they were good deals.

This week HT has a lot of items that are BOGO and quite a few of these items matched up to the coupons I had left.  I got quite a few items for less than a dollar per item which was awesome.

Mt Olive Bread & Butter Pickle Chips: BOGO: $2.75 (1.37 each) - .50 cents off one coupon (x2) = final price of .37 each (I had two copies of the .50 cents off coupon which of course doubles!

Pepperidge Farm Baked Naturals Crackers: $2.50 - .50 cent off coupon (x2): $1.50

Golden Grahams Cereal: BOGO:  $1.64 per box (did not have a coupon, but that's an awesome price even without a coupon)

Betty Crocker Cookie Mixes: 2/$4 - .40 cents off 1 (x2)  = final price of $1.20 each

Glass Plus: $2.89 - .35 cents off 1 (doubled to .70 cents off 1) = $2.19

Dole Mandarin Oranges: on sale 10/$10, - .50 cents off two (doubled to $1.00 off two) = final price of .50 cents per can

Dole Fruit Cocktail: on sale $1.25 each - .50 cents off two (doubled to $1.00 off two) = final price of .75 cents each

Triscuits: on sale BOGO at $3.15 ($1.57 each) - $.50 cents off 1 (x2) = .57 cents per box (I had two copies of that coupon)

Fruity Pebbles: on sale 2/$4 - bought one box at $2.00 - .55 cents off one (x2) = final price of .90 cents!

Prego Pasta Sauce: $2.39 each - $1.00 off two coupon =  $1.89 each

Campbell's Gourmet Bisque Soup: on sale 2/$5, I bought one at $2.50 - .75 cent off coupon (x2) = $1.00

Pepperidge Farm Bread: on sale BOGO ($1.99 each) - $1.00 off two coupon =  $1.49 each

Jimmy Dean Delights Canadian Bacon, egg and cheese english muffin breakfast sandwichs: on sale $5.97 - .55 cents off 1 (x2) = $4.87 (not too bad, these are usually expensive and I never buy them without a coupon)

California Pizza Kitchen White Pie: $6.99 - $1.50 off 1 coupon (that I received at the register with my receipt from my last trip to Harris Teeter) = $5.49 (ok price but I've done better at Kroger when it was on sale and I had a coupon to go along with the sale)

Smart Balance Butter: on sale for $1.34 - .50 cents off coupon (x) = final price of .34 cents!

Immaculate Buttermilk Biscuits: $1.92 each - $1.00 off 2 coupon = $1.42 each

Immaculate Crescent Rolls: $1.50 each - $1.00 off 2 coupon = $1.00 each

Armour Meat Balls: BOGO (I bought 4 packages) = $1.82 each

Total spent today: $63.12

Total saved today: $62.71

Basically my entire grocery cart was 50% off with the sales and the coupons!  Who hooooo!

I didn't have to get too much for meals for the week since it's the holidays and we will be eating away from home for most meals.

Also, for those of you that didn't see my status message on Facebook yesterday, I found the cutest winter jacket on sale at Old Navy:

It was 60% off (without a coupon) so I paid a total of only $15.97 for this coat.  I'm so excited about it.  However unfortunately it makes me look like the Gorton's Fisherman due to the shade of yellow that it is, but I don't care.  I can still rock it and look cool.  Don't hate on my style! :)

That's it for the awesome deals I got this week.  I heard the next coupon insert isn't supposed to be until 12/30 when P&G puts out their monthly insert (can't wait!)

Friday, December 21, 2012

My Thoughts on This Horrendous Tragedy...

I've debated on whether or not I should write this post for days now.  Mostly because the entire situation is painful, heartbreaking, and unfathomable.  But also because I feel like after the events of last Friday at Sandy Hook Elementary School that too much focus and attention has been set on "gun control" and the political debates of harsher gun laws. 

In my opinion (and you know I am VERY opinionated) people who don't own guns don't understand why anyone would want to own them and people who do own them don't understand why any one WOULD'NT want to own at least one.  The debate on guns is not exactly my main point or focus here.  Like I said way too much time and attention has been put on that issue in the media and anyone who believes 100% of what they hear in the media is an idiot themselves if you ask me. 

Let's not forget the news is not news anymore, it's entertainment, they tell you what they want you know, and leave out important items and facts that do not go along with the side of the issue they want you to bite in to and believe as the gospel itself.  Oh, it was on CNN, CBS, ABC, etc etc, so it has to be true, right?  (eyes currently rolling in my head as I type this).

With this in mind, I'll simply just ask this; does anyone remember what our country was founded on and what our ancestors fought so hard for?  Anyone?  It goes beyond gun laws and the politics behind it, to bigger issues such as our freedom and our future.  But I could go on about that in and of itself for days. 

It is truly heartbreaking that all those innocent lives were lost and the lives of those protecting these children like they were their own.  Don't mistake this blog as a means of taking away the pain, names, and faces of the innocent victims.  I pray every night before I go to bed to heal the hearts of these families.  No parent ever thinks they will out live a child.  It doesn't matter how old your children are.  The pain from losing a child is completely heart breaking and a parent is quite simply never the same after that.  I can't even powerfully put that in to words with as much effect as intended because I have not gone through something like that.  However, I know a few people that have though and a brief description of what they felt the day they lost their angel to heaven, or how they feel every morning when they wake up or even years later on the anniversary of their angel going home to heaven will make your throat close up with overwhelming grief and the urge to want to take their pain away, even if you never got the chance to have your life touched by their angel no matter how young or old their angel was.

With that said, I want to remind everyone of what the real issue is regarding this and the many other shooting tragedies that have recently occured.  The issue is there is a limited awareness of mental illness and not only a limited awareness of it, but there is shockingly limited and under funded programs to help people with mental illness. 

You are delusional if you think "guns kill people".  That is about as ridiculous as saying cars kill people.  If you think that harsher gun laws are going to solve the problem then I can assure you that you will be sitting here months or years later looking at the face of additional victims from other tragic events in the future because it's not the guns that killed these individuals, it was the mentally ill person with the gun.  How they got the gun is irrelevant.  If anyone wants anything in this country regardless of whether it its illegal or not trust me there are ways to get it.  How did the prohibition era work out? 

I'm not saying that the government is GOING to take away our gun rights, I would imagine they will try to restrict certain areas (mainly related to automatic weapons specifically) but anyone that pays attention to what is actually going on in our country can tell you that it wouldn't be a huge surprise if they tried.

Below are some links you should check out if you have time.  One is an article on FoxNews which I have to say has some extremely valid points regarding the mental illness crisis in our country.  Like I previously mentioned I understand you can't 100% always believe what you hear and read in the news but if you don't think this article is factual I encourage you to research this issue.  The Mental Health Care Crisis is REAL.  As we speak budgets are being cut in local government offices and departments resulting in limited resources availability and in some cases an end to certain resource programs.  Seems the answer to dealing with the mentally ill has become jail because there are no other resources available.  Anyone remember Dorthea Dix Hospital?  Yeah, it's no longer in existence much like so many other mental health care facilities.   

Why Can't America Care For Mentally Ill

I then encourage you to talk to, read about, and learn about the parents of children diagnosed with mental illness.  And when I say children I don't just mean anyone under the age of 18.  I mean parents with children that are all ages (children, teenagers, adults) that suffer from some type of mental illness.  Educate yourself on these issues.  If we all made a committment to try to do more for awareness of these issues and donate funds for causes to provide mental health services it would be a small but significant step in the right the direction.  If we all did it imagine how impactful it could be. 

I am Adam Lanza's Mother

Lastly I encourage you to fully educate yourself on the overwhelming prevalence of Autism spectrum disorders.  To fully understand what Autism is, and what Aspergers Syndrome (a form of Autism) is before you label someone, make fun of someone, or attempt to think you know what they are capable of.  I find it atrocious that in many articles written about last week's tragedy that the label Asperger's syndrome was used to describe the shooter.  There is minimal linkage between Asperger's Syndrome and extreme violence.  This in and of itself further perpetuates the misconceptions that exist regarding spectrum disorders.  Individuals with Asperger's are not a harm to society and quite honestly you probably already know numerous individuals with Asperger's, you just aren't aware of it.

This mental health care crisis is real and something needs to be done.  Harsher or more restrictive gun laws are not going to alleviate the issue.  The harsher the laws become the more American society will revolt.  Taking our rights aware does not solve the problem.

Today and through the holidays I will pray and cry tears of joy that my friends and family are safe and able to spend the holidays with us.  I will pray for the friends and families of the innocent victims to take their pain away even though I know it will always be there.  I will pray that mental illness will become a topic that everyone will educate themselves on and that this tragedy will inspire us all to become more active so that we may all be advocates for services, funds, and programs that can assist those suffering from mental illness and the families and friends that love them so. 

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Weekly Coupon Deals & Other Tid Bits

Well it is Sunday, so that means it is time for my weekly coupon deal update. 

Try to control your excitement, I know it will be hard. 

Anyone reading that are avid couponers like me should get enjoyment out of my weekly posts because it gives you a heads up on where you should use the coupons in your purse, file folder, glove compartment, recipe box, shoe box, floor board of your car, or wherever else you may store your coupons - to each their own. 

This week I shopped at Kroger however I broke cardinal sin #1, which is thou shalt not go to the grocery store even with coupons in towe without a shopping list and menu plan for the week.  It took me twice as long at the store because I broke this rule but I quite honestly had no idea what I wanted to make this week.  Somehow I was able to mentally plan a menu while in the store and so this week menu consists of:

Sunday: California Pizza Kitchen Margareta pizza with side ceasar salads
Monday: chicken stir fry with mushrooms, zucchini and squash with brown rice and steamed broccoli.
Tuesday: baked pork chops with roasted garlic & olive oil couscous and green peas
Wednesday: crockpot chicken drumsticks with wing sauce, corn, and baked ranch red potatoes
Thursday: chilli
Friday: TBD
Saturday: TBD

Anyway, back to my point...So behold this weeks deals...

Skintimate Shaving Cream: On sale 2/$4 - $1.50 off 2 coupon = $2.50 ($1.25 each)

Edge Shaving Cream: on sale 2/$4 - $1.50 off 2 coupon = $2.50 ($1.25 each)

Hellavu Good Jalapeno Cheddar Dip: on Managers Special for .50 cents each because they were near expiration date - .55 cents off 1 coupon = FREE (I had two coupons so I bought two and both were FREE.99)

Smart Balance Butter: on sale 2/$3, I bought one at $1.50, then had one .50 cents off 1 coupon which doubled to $1.00 off = final price of .50 cents

Sundown Fish Oil (1000mg): Regular price = $6.99, on sale BOGO, I bought one at $3.49 - $2.00 off one coupon = final price of $1.49

Birdseye Steamfresh Frozen Vegetables (peas & corn): On sale 10/$10, I bought two at $1.00 each - .50 cents off two coupon which doubled to $1 off = final price of $1.00 (.50 cents per bag)

Cascade Gel Action Packs: On sale $4.37 each - $1.00 coupon = final price of $3.47 (not too bad this was a 20 ct bag)

The trip this week wasn't a huge coupon haul but I did make use of the sales deals with the coupons I had.

Also, I don't know about ya'll but I'm still anxiously awaiting the next Super Doubles event at either Kroger or Harris Teeter but I'm thinking it will be after the New Year before the next event...the anticipation is killing me. 

Also no good coupons came out this week.  What's that about?  My notebook is getting rather slim.  Anyone that lives in my area that does not use the coupons in their weekly Sunday paper or the ones that come in the mail please send them my way (I will forever be grateful and you'll be my new best friend - it's a win win if you ask me).

One more side note:  The best part of my shopping trip today was the elderly man that was in the frozen foods aisle.  He was so excited to see Edy's Ice cream on sale 3/$10.00 (that stuff is expensive so I'd be excited too if I were him).  Anyway, I noticed while taking in his excitement that I had a coupon in my book for $1.00 off the purchase of 2 Edy's Ice creams so I gave it to him so he could save a little more.  It made me happy to give it to him because I new that would really make his day.  I could just imagine him sharing the news "not only was it on sale but I saved an additional dollar because some crazy lady I don't even know gave me a coupon".  Merry Christmas Grandpa!

That's all for this week.  Anyone have any good deals they want to share?  Or better yet, I'd love to hear tales of good deeds.  It's that time of of the year and I encourage you to spread the blessings in your life with others.  My church is calling it "You Got Christmas'd" - it would be such a powerful gesture if each one of us Christmas'd a random stranger during this time of year.  You never know how much that could mean to someone or how much that little gesture could influence their mind, heart and fill their spirit so they to will be inspired to pass it on. 

I know my coupon giving was just a small drop in the bucket of this so when the time is right and I find the opportunity someone in the Durham area is going to get Christmas'd.  Knowing me it will probably be in the line behind me at Starbucks.  Just keepin' it real.

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Weekly Shopping Trip

Today's trip was not planned so I didn't go in with a menu in mind or anything specific.  I knew I needed a few key items my Love Muffin did not obtain on his recent trip to Harris Teeter so I leisurely went after watching back to back chick movies on FX.  (Easy A, 27 Dresses, and now The Proposal as I write this up is Step Brothers and The Other Guys)...anyway as I watched movies I cleaned out my coupon book of all the coupons that had expired.  Sadly I had quite a few.

As I walked out to door I grabbed my coupon book just in case and I'm sure glad I did because I got some good deals today.  I will share with you below.  Some of the deals I got did not involve a coupon but was just a weekly sale item at Harris Teeter that you just need your Vic card to take advantage of. 

1 Gallon of milk at Harris Teeter is currently on sale for $2.97 (regular price of $3.99+-) which is pretty good considering the price of milk right now.  (not pictured)

Morton's Kosher Salt - Regular price $2.25 per box - on sale 2/$5 - 2 .55 cents off coupons which doubled to $1.10 off each = $1.40 each  (Matt cooks with it - I honestly don't know the difference between regular salt and kosher salt but he's got enough to last him a year now, you're welcome honey)

Olay Body Wash - Regular price $4.49 on sale for $3.99 - $1.00 off coupon = $2.99 (stock pile was running low for me, although we've got five body washes in various scents and brands stockpiled for my Love Muffin' - Moma's got to smell good to ya know)

Kellogg's Golden Crunchy Nut Cereal (not pictured) - on sale 2/$5 so 1 box = $2.50 (didn't have a coupon but that's not a bad price that cereal is expensive but oh so good)

1 Box of International Delight individual coffee creamers Creme Brulee flavored (Qty: 24) - Regular price $3.35 on sale for $3.00 - $1.00 off coupon = $2.00

Archway Ginger Snap Cookies - regular price $3.49, on sale for $3.00 each - $1.00 off coupon = $2.00 total and they are just as good as my favorite Ginger Snap cookies from Trader Joe's.  

1 bottle of Bailey's Coffee Creamer (Caramel Mocchiato): on sale for $2.00 each - $1.00 off coupon = $1.00 (this stuff is like crack, I just made a fresh pot of the Harris Teeter brand French Vanilla coffee and added a tablespoon of this to my cup...mmm mmm good)

Arizona Diet Green Tea (large cans) = on sale BOGO at .99 cents each.  I purchased 8 cans for a total cost of $3.96 = .49 cents each (my favorite deal of the day by far because I love Arizona Diet Green Tea!)

Another great deal today that did not involve a coupon but rather just using your Vic Card:

Buy 1 Degree Men's Deoderant get 1 Men's Clear Scalp Shampoo for FREE.99:
1 Degree Men's Deoderant = $2.99
1 Men's Clear Scalp Shampoo = regular price of $7.00, on sale for $4.99 - $4.99 offer = FREE.99

So I purchased a $2.99 item to get a $4.99 item for free - that's freakin' awesome

Another too good to be true find today:

I use a spray gel made by Pantene that is usually always sold out at stores or if they do have it it's almost $5.00 a bottle.  However today while at Harris Teeter I noticed that they actually had some and they had marked them down on clearance (I'm assuming because they are not going to sell it anymore)

The regular price is/was $4.49 each, marked down to $2.47 each - $1.00 off two coupon I had = final price of $7.07 for three bottles (I purchased all they had in stock) = $2.35 each

This will last me a while and now I've got a mini stock pile going (look out TLC, I'm on my way to getting my own show after all!)

Total spent today was $67.59 

Total savings (between coupons & VIC card) was $42.13

So basically I got my entire order for almost 40% off .  I'm telling you, all the time I spend (which isn't that much since I'm kind of a lazy couponer) clipping and organizing coupons and reading sale papers online really is worth it I swear!

Just since I've really started couponing (the Lazy Quasi Extreme way) I have saved a total of: $250.00 on groceries/household items and I've only been at it since late October. 

Matt and I both have a small stockpile of any household items we need (deoderant, shampoo, razors, body wash, etc).  Our cabinets are always full of snacks and items we can use to create delicious meals throughout the week and we are paying off debt much quicker since we are spending less on groceries we have more money to contribute to other bills.

Until next time...

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Christmas Cheer For All To Hear

So as a continuation from my last post...

Today I got another surprise in the mail from my Mom.  My Mom is awesome by the way.  

Thursday I received a box of Appalachian State glass tree ornaments that I loved!  I'm sure you saw my status message on Facebook the other night.  But if not let me share them again...

They are so cute.  Just the extra touch the tree needed....until....

Today when I was surprised again when I got a special delivery from Whoville...or from my Mom I mean...of four Hallmark Grinch ornaments. 

Since she reads my blogs she picked up on the Grinch obsession and sadly I actually did not already have any Grinch ornaments so this was really exciting! Look how cute they look on the tree. 

Wait, what's that I hear?  Oh, you don't care about my Grinch ornaments.  I'm sorry.  I am so excited I thought everyone I know would want to see them, read about them, and quite possibly would even be a little bit jealous of them.  No?  Ok then moving on.

Also, in my last post I forgot to mention that this years stocking display has graduated from the bookcase to the lighted china cabinet that I use for photo storage.  

Why do I use the china cabinet for photo displays?  I know that's what you are probably thinking.  Let me put it to you this way...any "china" I have came from the Dollar Tree or maybe even the clearance end cap from Target so I'm not sure it deserves to reside in a cabinet that is geared toward expensive dishware that it will never be.  It's not that uncommon actually.  This whole time I thought I was unique and special.  Yeah not so much.  Just search on Pinterest or Google and you'll see I'm definitely not a trend setter. As another side note the cabinets on the bottom are actually where my blurays and DVDs live since this cabinet is in the living room.  It's like a jack of all trades kind of cabinet. 


What do you think?  Not too bad considering I don't have a fire place or mantle to display them.  Are the bows too much?  Do they look dumb?  Never mind.  Don't answer that.  I don't plan to remove them until Valentine's Day anyway so deal with it.  

Merry Christmas everyone.  From our house to yours.

Ok that's enough for now.  Please excuse me while I go watch Elf for the 5,677th time.