Thursday, May 26, 2011

Me? A Wannabe Couponing Queen??

I have ALWAYS been cost conscious. Growing up in a household with seven kids, makes you aware of what is a "need to have" or a "like to have". Once I got my first job (one of the most GLAMOROUS jobs to have in Collierville, TN at the time... Sonic Carhop!) I started being responsible for all of my own school clothes, gas and whatever else it was that I wanted/needed. I've worked my entire life and have dabbled in couponing my entire life upon until now... I was laid off from my job in February (Thank you Jesus!) and now needed to get very serious about saving money. In comes the couponing craze! One of my besties attended a couponing class at just about the same time that TLC started showing Extreme Couponing. I couldn't get away from it! Every time, I talked to Jonna, she was telling about how much money she was saving. Every time I went to her house, she was showing me her ever growing stockpile. It was starting to make me a little crazy. I mean, I was cutting out the coupons in the Sunday paper. I was looking at the sale ads that I got in the mail. I was making lists upon lists upon lists and still not seeing the results that I wanted. Finally Jonna organized a coupon class at our church with I Heart Coupons. For me... this was my last chance.

I walk into the class (with Mister in tow- surprisingly, he wanted to attend?), sat down, got out my notebook and waited for the class to start. Friends were streaming in, chatting, giving kisses and hugs hello while I sat. and waited. for the class to begin. I was not here to socialize. I was here to save some moolah. In walks the coupon lady. The class begins with her asking who has used coupons and what their experiences had been like. I raised my hand and shared that I suck at couponing and if she wasn't able to make this all come clear to me, I was never going to cut another coupon again. And I said all of this with a challenge in my eye and in my heart. And over the course of the next couple of hours, the coupon lady picked up my challenge and pretty much made mince meat of it. It made sense! It all finally made sense! In theory... would I actually be able to go to the store with these little scraps of paper I had cut out of the newspaper and get stuff for darn near free?

Fast forward to today. I did my homework, read couponing blogs, made my list, clipped my coupons, and just to prove to the world what a brave and virtuous woman I am..., I took my 4 year old to the grocery store with me. In less than an 1.5 hours in the store, I ended up walking out saving $121!!! I saved over 55% of my grocery bill! Amazeballs!!

I could not believe it! All of this food was mine, all mine! I had chicken breasts, produce, dairy, 10 boxes of Rice-A-Roni... Food, real food! I Heart Coupons is a mad mother shut your mouth when it comes to spreading the good word of couponing! I am eternally grateful for the knowledge she has shared. Now I can be a much better steward of the money that God has given me and can grow a stockpile of items to be donated to local charities. I can not wait for next week's ads to come out so I can see what other amazing things are going to fill up my pantry!

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Beautiful Ballerina

Ma'am had her ballet recital today and she did wonderfully! We planned on taking pictures on the river front after the recital but we walked out to rain pouring down ruining my photo shoot. Here are a couple of candids taken with my phone. Isn't she beautiful?

I love her!

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

My Hubby My HERO!

Mister has been my hero for so many years and so many reasons. And trust me, you do not achieve JMO Hero Status easily so you know that he really must rate. Today, once again with a sigh of relief, I said to myself, "My hubby is my hero", so I thought I should start keeping a list (starting today) of his heroic ways.

1. Wednesday, 5/11: Sir comes to me saying that he has something growing in his ear and he's pretty sure it’s a tatoe. Upon inspection, I find that while he says he's pretty sure it’s a tatoe, I'm pretty sure that he knows its the hot pink bead he has placed in his ear. Being the Super Mommy that I am, I calmly tell him he needs to lie still while I extract said hot pink bead. I lie him down on the couch with his little head in my lap only to realize that the bead is in deeper than I thought it was and there was no way on God's green earth was I going to get anywhere near that thing! And the panic sets in. What do I do? Do I rush him to the doctor? No, that won't work! What if the pediatrician doesn't know the intricacies of de-beading a 4 year old ear? Take him to the hospital! Yes, that's the answer! Surely they are equipped to remove this item that I am now sure will cause lifelong hearing problems for a boy that already has such selective hearing. But I can't drive him! What if I hit a pot hole and in the bumpity bump bump of the ride, the bead lodges itself further into the ear canal? (At this point, I'm positive that the bead has joined forces with the tatoes that actually do live in his ear and have created a waxy plan to travel down the canal and then work its way up into his brain.) I'll call 911. The paramedics can come, evaluate the situation and decide if he is stable enough to be transported via ambulance or if he needs to be life flighted to Tampa General. The life flight option is sounding really good to me as it should be much smoother ride than the streets of Tampa.

Just as I am about to call 911, Mister calmly hangs up from the call he is on, fills a syringe with water and flushes out the bead. Easy peasy lemon squeezy. That's it. It’s over. No 911, no hospital, no life flight. A little water and a hero. That's all the boy and I needed to have our day saved.

My Hubby Is My HERO.

(today's post is dedicated to Susan Ortiz and of course, My Hero!)