Saturday, July 26, 2008

Adventures in Triple Couponing at Harris Teeter

First of all, I don't usually grocery shop at Harris Teeter. I think it is a beautiful store, but I think and know they mark stuff up. I don't begrudge people who shop there--it has a tremendous selection of items! With it being a weekend of tripling coupons 99 cents and under, I figured I could find some good deals even at Harris Teeter. It did not disappoint.

I got all this stuff for $18.08. I know it does not look like a lot, but cleaning supplies are expensive. I saved $31.72 with coupons. I could have gotten more stuff, but my coupon stash is relatively new and I had already taken advantage of other deals elsewhere. Plus, Harris Teeter only allows you to use 20 coupons per transaction.

This couponing business is beneficial, but it is also hard work. I find it to be a challenge and I enjoy researching the deals knowing that the hard work will pay off, literally. It is also great to look at my receipt and know that I saved way more than I spent!

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

An Accomplished Summer

This is my first WFMW! Many of you know that I am a middle school librarian. I perform many tasks and I have a bad habit of beginning something and not returning to it for a while, especially if it is something I dread. One of my co-workers suggested to me to write down everything I accomplish in a day. I took this advice, and I have to say I felt very fulfilled at the days' end. It also motivated me to finish tasks that I started so that I could write it down. This summer, I have taken on this same mantra--I am writing down everything I do each day on my desk calendar--went to grocery store, bought birthday gift, folded clothes, listed things on ebay--then I can go back, see what I did this summer and feel very accomplished. I am a 'live by the list' person and if I don't write it down, I forget it so this really works for me! For more "Works For Me Wednesday" ideas, stop by Rocks in My Dryer !

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Get Wiggle!

We are planning to go see the Wiggles in a few weeks. We wanted to take Seth last year for his birthday, but they were here in the middle of the week, so it didn't work out very well. We are looking forward to seeing the Wiggles in person and are curious as to how Seth will act. When we took him to Piratefest in April, he acted kind of scared. I hope that he will not be scared so that he will be able to enjoy himself. I feel like he will get more out of it than if we had taken him last year. I am sure it will be a memorable experience!

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Big Brother Time Again!

Yippee! It's time again to put a bunch of narcissistic people in a house to live together and let their lives be seen by the curious (ok, NOSY) public. This summer's crew includes a great grandfather who is also a retried marine, a Catholic teacher, a mixologist, a Hooter's waitress, and an annoying middle aged hair dresser. WooHoo--the fireworks are beginning. I am ashamed to say that reality TV is one of my guilty pleasures. :-)

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Goodbye Poppy (Pacifier)!

Well, we set out on this trek last weekend to get Seth to give up his "poppy" at naptime. It was a fight and after seeing the dentist last Monday, we knew we had to step up if we wanted to accomplish what we set out to do. I had read somewhere on the Internet that some moms had cut the tip off of their childrens' pacifiers and given the pacifer to their children that way. It was worth a shot. We figured if this doesn't work, we will try the SuperNanny approach with the "paci-fairy."

Last night, we gave Seth his "poppy" just as we normally do at bedtime. I had rounded up all the other poppies and stored them in a cabinet. He looked at it and looked at us. He stuck it in his mouth and pulled it out and said, "Poppy broken." It was so hard not to laugh at him, yet I felt sorry for him at the same time. He asked us to check the drawer where we usually keep the "poppies." I did and told him there were no more. So, he was left to sleep with his broken poppy. We checked him several times before we went to bed and he did not have it in his mouth--he did not cry out but once when he dropped it out of his crib. I dread to ask, "Can it be as simple as this, or are we living a pipe dream?"

I just went in to check him and the poppy is in his crib somewhere, but I didn't see it--it wasn't in his mouth. We are going to continue to tell him that he is a big boy and he doesn't need the poppy. Please be in prayer for us and for Seth to know that he doesn't need that soother to get to sleep!

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

The CVS Game

In my efforts to save money, I have invested some time in playing the CVS game this week. According to the pros who do this every week, it wasn't a very good week to earn ECB (Extra Care Bucks) and get deals at CVS. I studied their sales paper carefully and wrote down what I had to buy in order to get the best deals and get the Extra Care bucks. Here is my scenario:

Total spent on items above today: $79.15
Actual price of items above: $144.70
Amount I saved today with coupons, ECBs, & sales: $66.55
ECBs I received today: $18.98

In actuality today, I only spent $59.17 because I got $18.98 back in ECBs to spend on my next shopping trip. My goal is to do better next time. Presently, I am well stocked on some staple items for the next several months. This does work--you have to be willing to try new things and not be scared to buy generic items.

On another note, I spent a grand total of $0.54 on 23 two pocket folders and 200 pencils today at Staples. I am very proud of that deal!

Seth's First Trip to the Dentist

We did not build this trip up because Seth has been watching Finding Nemo and we didn't want him to associate the dentist on there with his dentist. In retrospect, I don't think it would have made any difference. Upon arriving, all these children were exiting the examination area with balloons. We took this to be a good sign because Seth loves balloons. We began to talk to him about the man who was going to "count" his teeth and then he could get a balloon. Our appointment was towards the end of the day, and we were one of the last patients to be seen. When they called Seth back, they took his picture; and of course he was a moving target. His main objective was to find out where the balloons were. We were led to an examination table--not a chair. Two dental hygienists greeted us and I SERIOUSLY asked, "Where are the straps?" They looked at me kind of funny--I knew Seth was not going to lie on this table and be still. Rob in the meantime was reminding Seth that he had to EARN his balloon by letting them count his teeth. The hygienists told me with smiles on their faces that they don't use the straps until the 2nd appointment. I was being serious. Seth lays on the table ready to earn his balloon. The dentist, Dr. Casey comes over and Seth proceeds to tell him he wants a balloon. Dr. Casey takes one of the rubber gloves and blows it up which Seth does not like. So, Seth is laying down and I take a leg and Rob takes a leg and Dr. Casey proceeds to count Seth's teeth. Seth screams the whole time, cries, and tries to thrash about. I have not heard him cry like this since we started making him "cry it out" when he was learning to sleep by himself. We assure him that everything will be alright. The dentist is not hurting him, but Seth doesn't know that he is not trying to. Dr. Casey tells us what we knew was coming--we have to get rid of the pacifier--ASAP. He says Seth's teeth look good, but we need to wean him off the pacifier. After Seth's teeth are cleaned and fluoride has been applied, Seth gets his balloon and whimpers a lot. I told Rob that I know why they put our appointment at the end of the day, but Dr. Casey and the hygienists assure me that this behavior is normal and they have seen much worse. I am just glad we don't have to go through that again for a while.

Monday, July 7, 2008

Great Website

This summer, I have made it my business to get more involved with couponing and bargain hunting. With the economy like it is and with the rising gas prices, I want to work to save money when it comes to my family, and we can do it living below our means! Through my plundering of websites and blogs on the internet, I have included some of my favorites on the left of this page. One of the newest ones I have stumbled across is:

Be sure to check out this great blog. My favorite feature of this blog is Works for Me Wednesdays. Different bloggers submit tips, recipes, and ideas that work for them. Sometimes the WFMW are themed--recently they featured 5 ingredient recipes. Other times they may ask for organization tips. It's a great blog and I am glad to have stumbled across it.

Watch Out for Those Old Lady Names!

We have our first hurricane of the 2008 hurricane season in the Atlantic Basin. Her name is BERTHA. Another Bertha visited us here in Eastern NC back in July 1996. I remember this well because my family was evacuated from our beach house in the middle of our vacation. I don't ever think I have ever seen my family move that fast to beat the crowd off of the island. We were pulling out of the driveway of our beach cottage during a voluntary evacuation and the police department was coming down the street with an intercom announcing the evacuation. Bertha was one of the first real hurricanes that I remember. Upon arriving home, we had 2 days to prepare for this hurricane, but I remember the winds roaring and the rain beating down. That same year, we had another hurricane visit us--Hurricane Fran. Hurricane Fran was more destructive than Bertha. It caused very bad flooding problems and uprooted many trees in our area. That year was the year of the old lady named hurricanes. Whenever old lady names pop up for the yearly hurricane name lists, my awareness goes up because I know they could be doozies.

Thursday, July 3, 2008


Tomorrow is the 4th of July. We wish everyone a safe and Happy 4th and remember what it means to celebrate our country's independence.

Happy 4th of July from the Brights!

Baby Borrowers

Did anyone catch Baby Borrowers last night on NBC? I think it was on at 9 p.m., so it was on during the same time as Supernanny :-( . Not good, but thank goodness for DVR. Anyways, the premise of Baby Borrowers is these couples give their baby up for 3 days to a couple of young people (all older than 18). These young couples have been interviewed prior to receiving these babies and many of them have said, "We are ready for children," "We feel we are ready for the next step in our relationship, and that is having a baby," "I want to have children while I am young." This task at hand is the newest form of birth control going. One member of the younger couples is responsible for going and working all day while the other stays home with the baby. If they are able to achieve this, they earn $100.00. It was a hoot to see the person come home from their job and the person staying home with the baby expected a break from the person who had come home from his/her job. Then, when the baby cried out at 3 a.m., the young couples would argue over who was going to get up with the baby. One girl got sick and decided that she could not take care of the baby so all the responsibility fell on her boyfriend's shoulders. All the while, the real parents are watching these things unfold on hidden cameras and at times they have to intervene. At the end of the show, the real parents go to retrieve their children and provide an evaluation to the young people. It is a real eye-opener for these young people--some of them are very self-centered and realize that they are not where they thought they were in their lives. They realize that they can't stop parenting if the baby gets sick and that they cannot always control what the baby does. I think this can be a good show--it was a bit humorous when one of the guys had to change a dirty diaper and he about gagged. I sat there and nodded my head a lot through it. In the upcoming weeks, young couples will have to care for toddlers, tweens, and teenagers. It should be very interesting.

Summer Job

Well, I have started my summer job--ebay. I have listed some items for my sister and myself to sell. We'll see how that goes. I am also working on decluttering this house to see what I can find to sell on ebay. It is fun to go to My Ebay and see if people are watching my items. So far this morning, I only have one watcher and no bids. I can always hope for a hot bidding war on those Disney Princess items that I listed for Lesley.