Monday, December 29, 2008
Tuesday, December 23, 2008
Thursday, December 18, 2008
So here goes:
I grew up with the SAME Christmas tree in my house from my first Christmas all the way up to in my 20's. It was a white tree my mom bought out of the box as a display model right before my first Christmas... for YEARS I thought people who had green trees were just weird! When I moved out on my own, mom even bestowed it on me. Now that the tree has been laid to rest (I still did keep a bough of it that I decorate) I have a new tree. I couldn't find a white one I liked, but this one is a blueish green, which is prolly the next best thing.
My first Christmas season on my own was the Christmas of the dueling Christmas trees. Both myself & my roomie had brought trees and he liked his green one better than my white one... and well... Green trees are weird... They sat in the living room, opposite of each other. His kept falling over! I had nothing to do with this!
I am 30 years old, and I will still wake up by 5 AM on Christmas morning... I think it has been this way since I was born... it is beyond me how people sleep in... It's Christmas people!! When my younger brothers came along, my mom told me I couldn't open presents until they woke up. My brother Ray wanted to sleep till 10 AM!!! I used to still get up early... go dig through my stocking... go dig through everyone else's stocking, trade any candy I wanted :) and then go sit in my brother's room and poke him until he woke up! Yes, I was a loving child.
This year, there is no Christmas tree up in my house. The new little monster would be only too happy to make that her next chew toy. I got this cute little Charlie Brown mini tree - not sure where it's going yet.
Any decorations put up this year will have to be above waist high... see above comment abuot little monster for any explanation you need. That being said, most all of my decor is still boxed up. It will make it's way out... eventually
My favorite Christmas song is The Twelve Days of Christmas. Each year I go with friends & family to Southern Lights and when we get to that light display, I begin seeking, providing entertainment for all (they say they don't like it, but I know they do.) Though sometimes I have to sing it fast to keep up with the light displays.
I make a holiday punch that changes just a bit every year. I don't have a recipe. It's more of a method. I put whatever looks good when I'm shopping in it. It's very sweet usually, which is the PERFECT excuse to mix it with Arbour Mist. My mother likes it as well.
I don't put alot of pressure on myself to find the perfect gift. I also don't want others to stress about what to get me, because if I really want something, I just go buy it myself.
This year, Christmas Eve is at my house... I'm serving Pizza!!! I actually think Christmas dinner would be complete with Pizza & turkey... (turkey... mmmmmm) and cookies... there must be cookies
So that's Christmas according to me.... Feel free to share your own thoughts, ideas, traditions, or whatever else you wanna share!
Tuesday, December 16, 2008
I still don't really have much in the way of Christmas decor out. I've given up on even putting anything out until this upcoming weekend. I'll be off work for at least 2 weeks after Friday (perhaps even longer) so I will have a bit more time to get everything out. I hope to put up some pics once I have! That being said... Christmas decor will be kept to a minimum this year... because Zali, aka Monster, is a bit chew happy, so my Christmas tree is staying boxed up this year. I've tried experimenting with some decor on the entertainment center, and well... it's not going to well... she's pretty feisty when we're not around. I guess I'll be more creative in decorating from the waist level & up in my house!
I am having my family come to my place for Christmas eve. I'm going to keep it pretty casual, make a homemade pizza, some appetizers, punch & we're going to watch a movie as a family. For Christmas Day, I'll drive to my parents house.
I do plan on doing some baking... still haven't decided what, I guess I'll decide next week when I'm off.
Monday, December 15, 2008
Friday, December 12, 2008
On Wednesday, I was skimming through my email, and noticed that JCPenney had emailed me a $15 off $15 coupon! I printed the coupon out, and figured it would come in handy. Later that day, I saw another email from them, about their sale that was going on that day, with "Huge doorbusters all day, etc" so I thought, "what the heck, I'll go out tonight, might be able to stretch that $15 even further!"
I got to the mall, and went to the store, I didn't need anything in particular, and I'm pretty much settled on Christmas gifts, so my roomie & I decided to head up to housewares. This was where most of the deals were to be found, so I figured I could find something useful. I browsed through the entire section, finally deciding on this roasting pan set. (It's a really nice set, btw!) It was a great deal. It was originally $39.99, on sale for $19.99 and had a $10 mail in rebate. With my coupon, I'd only pay $5 for it, and either get that $5 back, or depending on how the manufacturer does their rebates, actually make an extra $5!
So we go up to the register. The lady working seems pleasant enough... She rings up the item and gives me the total. I hand her the coupon. She looks at me and says, I don't think that it will let me take the coupon for that. I politely stand there and wait for her to give it a shot. In the meanwhile, another lady was approaching, and I guess she saw/overheard the conversation, she had a similiar coupon ($10/$10) - she politely pipes in that the gentleman downstairs explained to her that it would be good off of anything. The cashier then looks at her and tells her that it will not work on everything, and that for example it won't work on the appliance she's holding. She tells her that if she wants to tell her what department this guy was in, she'll call down there and tell him he's handing out wrong information.
Now the whole time, this lady's (cashier) voice is pleasant enough, she has a friendly voice, but the tone she's using and the statements she's making, combined with the facial expressions, body language, are giving off a quite different impression. The other customer leaves the area and the cashier proceeds to begin keying in the coupon. And she's visibly annoyed, she had to key the coupon in twice because she miskeyed it the first time. I continue to stand politely, not speaking, waiting for her to finish. When she gets finished, suprisingly enough, the coupon worked. I scan my card, and pay for the item. That's when it gets really fun.
When the receipt prints out, it also prints out the rebate form. The cashier looks at it, and is standing there holding all of it. She looks up at me and says "Hmmph, looks like this has a $10 rebate, but I don't see how you're going to get a rebate, since you only paid $5 for it to start with!" Then she hesistates, as if she's waiting for me to tell her to just toss it or something. Instead I just smile and wait while she finally hands me my receipt. Out the store I go!
So, why did that remind me of the "Don't hate me..." commercial... Simply because that's not the first time I've been shopping and scored a great deal, only for the employee to think I'm somehow cheating the system. And that's not the only place it happens. To be fair, we've all been guilty of it I'm sure... You go to the store and notice the person checking out in front of you got a great clearance deal on a jacket you bought for full price last month, or even just has a better set of coupons than you do.
The way I see it, we are currently living in some very troubling times. Let's face it, our economy sucks! People are losing their jobs, their homes, everything... every day. We're all feeling the strains of the world right now. Let's not begrudge each other when one of us figures out how to actually make it work. Let's celebrate each other's successes just as much as our own. The world is bad enough without us having to tear each other down!
I stopped in at Kroger last night. The above pic is a shot of my purchases. The grand total: $8.96
My total before savings would have been $57 - so that's about 85% savings
2 Boxes General Mills Cereal (Cinnamon Toast Crunch & Trix) @ $3 each
2 Boxes Chex Mix Bars (Turtle) @ $2.50 each
3 Boxes Strawberry Poptarts @ $1.78 each
3 Bottles of Hairspray @ $1.11 each
3 Bags Lifesavers Candy @ $1 each
1 Can of Hairspray @ $2.18
4 Trial Size FiberChoice Tablets @ $2.19 each
1 Almay Makeup Remover Towlettes @ 2.99
1 Maybelline Mineral Makeup @ $1.69 (clearanced)
$1/2 Cereal Coupon (Internet Printable)
$1.25 off Chex mix bars (x 2) (I.P.)
$1 peelie off poptarts (x3)
$.50 off any Suave (doubled) that was a peelie on the products (x4)
$1 off Lifesavers MFN (x 3)
$2 off FiberChoice (hang tag on some of the other products) x 4
$2 off Almay Product (From the Kmart Beauty Book)
$2 off Maybelline Mineral Foundation MFN
I also got the $4 off your order for buying 4 select General Mills products.
Thursday, December 11, 2008
If you want to pick one up for free - here's how:
Start by going to Cashbaq and joining if you have not joined already. They are actually giving $5 just for signing up, so you'll actually make an extra $5!
From the main page at Cashbaq, you'll see the link to the Entertainment book, which if you follow their link, is on sale for $25, and is being discounted $10 when you buy through that link. This brings the cost down to $15. (WITH FREE SHIPPING)
When you are order the book, you'll be given the option of signing up for "auto-renewal" for future editions you'll get $5 off your order, bringing the cost of the book to just $10. You'll get an email notice when the next edition comes out next year, and you can cancel it if you're like me and will be looking for another great deal :) I always mark these down in my calendar so I don't forget!
You'll check out and pay the $10, but Cashbaq will be refunding you the $10 through their site! And if you were new to Cashbaq, you'll actually be getting $5 more, so you'll get paid to get the book.
Not a bad deal if I do say so myself. I was originally planning on picking up the book for cheap at Walgreens, but Free is better :)
Wednesday, December 10, 2008
Monday, December 8, 2008
It wasn't me who just had to go to the post office Friday to get the cute "Holiday" stamps so that Christmas cards could get done over the weekend and then forgot to actually fill them out. And it wasn't me who decided that Christmas decor would go up over the weekend, even buying some new items, only to have everything still sitting in boxes come Monday morning.
It couldn't have been me who went to the grocery store on Sunday, only to come home and look around at a fully stocked kitchen and pick up the phone to order pizza. I also was not the one who started cleaning the kitchen only to resort to stacking extra things on the deep freeze and high tail it back to the living room to catch up on some tv.
I know that I wasn't the one who somehow gathered a large group of friend's and acquaintances to go out bowling over the weekend, only to depart from said gathering hours earlier than the rest because I was sleepy. And it just couldn't have been me, who made these plans to offset the original plan of a Christmas gathering at my house that was cancelled because I found reading the Twilight series to be much easier to do than the rearranging and organizing that was required in order to entertain at home.
And speaking of Twilight, it's not possible that I have become quite smitten with this fictious character, Edward Cullen!
You can of course find even more of this type of blog over at Charming Kids
Celestial brand tea, FREE (on sale for $1, still had 1 of my $1 coupons lingering)
Daisy Sour Cream, FREE (on sale for $1, used recent $.50 MFN's - doubled)
Sargento Potato Finisher $1.50 (on sale for $2.50, used recent $.50 MFN - doubled)
Cereal Deal - Cinnamon Toast Crunch/Honey Nut Cheerios/Cheerios are on sale 4 for $12. If you buy 4 boxes, you get $4 off that order, making them $2 a box. I then went online and got Cinnamon Crunch & Honey Nut Cheerio coupons for $.55 off a box. That made 4 boxes = $5.80 or $1.45 a box
Fleischman's Yeast Strips, on sale $1, used $.45 recent MFN, made them $.10 for each strip of 3. Also, look out for some bonus packages that have an extra packet... I wasn't paying attention, just grabbed some, and got home and realized I got 1 of the bonus packs, wish I would have caught that at the store!
I picked up a steak for $2 (thanks to $2 peelie off the Natural brand of Kroger Meats)
Shredded lettuce is $1 a bag. This is a handy product. Used some last night to make tacos (already had shells on hand from Meijer's deal on those awhile back)
Thursday, December 4, 2008
Wednesday, December 3, 2008
Monday, December 1, 2008
What exactly is the Candy Corn Mystery? Well, have you ever wondered what would happen if your dog ate an entire bag of candy corn??? I'm sure it's been at the top of your list of unsolved mysteries... It's no longer at the top of mine. After walking through the door Wednesday evening, I was caught off guard by some suspicous stains and blobs in my house. With a new little terror on the loose, it's not unusual to come home to find something has been gotten into, but this was a new one for me... For you see, these blobs/stains were Hot Pink... So I am instantly concerned wondering what Zali has gotten into that would cause her to have this abnormally colored vomit (sorry there just isn't a nice way to phrase it). I start worrying thinking she has gotten into some cabinet and ate through a stockpile of air freshner or detergent... but she seems fine. Finally, as I start picking up everything, I catch a glimpse of an empty bag of candy corn... and having been the only one in the house for the last few days, I know that this wasn't there before. I quickly deduce that the brightly colored orange/yellow/white candies are what has created this unusually colored suprise and also can probably explain the little monster's very round, very tight belly... I pick up a few straggler pieces that she somehow missed... I'm contemplating whether or not she should see a vet. I decide to just monitor the situation... as she is acting pretty normal... not as active, but fine. She did survive, and in another hour, had one heck of a sugar buzz!
That was it for Thursday. Now on Friday, I had considered getting up early to hit a few deals, but talked myself into staying in bed instead. Later in the evening, Kev & I did stop by a few stores and snagged a couple things we were wanting to pick up that were on sale. It was great, because we got good deals and ALOT fewer people!
Target: Juno DVD $6 (This is a GREAT movie if you've never seen it) and Gremlins DVD $3.99
Walmart: Still had some $2 DVD's so I picked up a few to use as Christmas gifts.
Also browsed Half Price Bookstore and got a couple books for myself.
No other shopping, until Sunday, when I hit up K-Mart's Double coupon days (up to $2 coupons!)
Not everything was completely Free, however some things were items that I already had on my list to pick up regardless, so they were cheaper by buying there. Some of the best bargains:
Gillette Body Wash $3.99 - used $2 coupon from Sunday's insert making them Free. I bought 7!
Vaseline Moisturizer $2.99 - used $1.50 coupon making them Free. I bought 2
Reynold's Oven Bags $2.29 - used $1 coupon making them $.29 each
Glade Air Freshner $.99 - used $1/2 coupon making them Free, I think I got about 8
Febreeze Air Effects $2.99 - used $1 coupon making them $.99 I bought 4
Purina Beneful Dog Treats $4.99 - used $ 2 coupon making them $.99 I bought 3 bags
Pledge Dusters/Refills $2.50 - used $1.50 coupon making them Free, I bought 7
I won't take the time to detail out all the bargains, because there are a ton of sites that already have. I suggest if you haven't stopped by, grab your coupons and go!