Sunday, August 29, 2010

Walgreens & Rite Aid 8/29/10

I will start with Walgreens since it's the short one (all prices listed are sale prices):

Transaction #1
Carmex Moisturizing Lip Balm - $2.00
Breathe Right 10 ct Nasal Strips - $4.00

used Breathe Right coupon - $1.00 off

total OOP - $5.42
earned $6.00 in register rewards

Transaction #2

1 Irish Spring Intensity Body Wash - $3.50
1 Soft Soap Pure Cashmere body wash - $3.50

used $6.00 RR from last transaction

total OOP - $1.49
earned $5 RR

transaction #3

1 Colgate Total toothpaste - $2.99
1 Carmex Moisturizing lip balm - $2.00
2 boxes of envelopes @ $1.29 each
1 box of envelopes @ 1.99 each

used Walgreens coupon 3 boxes of envelopes @ $0.69 each
$1.00 off Colgate Total coupon
$5 RR from last transaction

total OOP - $1.55
earned $4 RR for next visit

So I spent total $8.46 OOP and still have $4 to use next time I go to Walgreens!! Receipts indicate a total savings of $19.65! I also earned another chance at the $3000 drawing for the month of August!

Rite Aid

I really needed shampoo & conditioner and this was definitely the week to stock up! We also ALWAYS need cereal ... another great deal this week on cereal at Rite Aid! Again, all prices are sale prices I get by being a member of the Wellness Club.

(I started with $3 +UP rewards from a transaction yesterday - we needed tampons and they were on sale 2/$7, I had 2 $1 off coupons so it cost me 2 for $5 and I got a $3 +up to use today! pretty good deal!!)

Transaction #1

1 Pantene Shampoo & 1 Pantene conditioner - 2/$7
3 boxes of Fruit Loops - 3/$6
1 Pantene Restoratives Shampoo - $4.00
1 Gain dish soap - $0.89

$2 off 2 Pantene products
$1.00 off 2 Kelloggs cereals from RA video values
$1.50 off 2 boxes of Kelloggs cereals
$2.00 off Pantene Restorative product
$1.00 off Gain dish detergent
$3.00 + up reward

TOTAL OOP - $8.64
earned $5 +up rewards

Transaction #2

2 Garnier Fructis Shampoo @ $2.99 each - $5.98
1 Garnier condtioner - 2.99
1 Garnier exfoliating facial cleanser - $6.29
2 Pantene hair sprays - 2/$7
1 Nivea Men's body wash  $3.00

used 3 $1.00 off Garnier Fructis product coupons
1 $2.00 off RA video values Garnier facial coupon
1 $2 off Garnier manufacturer coupon
2 $1 off pantene styling coupons
1 $1 off Nivea body wash coupon
1 $5 off $25 purchase coupon
$5 + up rewards

total OOP - $4.87
total +up earned $7  (did not earn the $2 for the Pantene hair spray :(  ... I wasn't sure if I would or not, and I didn't)

Transaction #3
3 boxes of Kelloggs cereal - 3/$6
1 Pantene Restoratives conditioner - $4.00
1 Boudreaux Butt Cream - $3.99
2 Gain dish detergents @ $0.89 each - $1.78
1 Pantene Shampoo & 1 Pantene Conditioner - 2/$7
2 Colgate toothpaste - 2/$3

used 1 $1.50 off 2 Kelloggs cereals coupon
1 $2 off Pantene Restoratives product coupon
1 $3 off Boudreaux's RA video value coupon
$1 off Boudreaux's manu coupon
2 $1 off Gain dish soap coupons
1 $1 off 2 Pantene shampoo/conditioner coupon
2 $1 off Colgate total coupons
1 $5 off $25 purchase coupon
$7 +up rewards

total OOP - $5.27
earned $4 +up rewards

So I spent total $18.78 OOP and still have $4 to use next time I go to Rite Aid!! Receipts indicate a total savings of $96.68!

I spent $27.24 today on all these items combined!! Based on Walgreens & Rite Aid regular prices I saved a total of $116.33 and have $8 to use toward future purchases.

I would say this was a very successful hour of shopping!

My life forever changed 5 years ago today

I couldn't sleep at all last night.  Tossed and turned all night long.  At least it's only one night this time.  Five years ago I went 8 nights with no sleep.  I think in that first week I added up 16 hours of sleep total.  So you can imagine what I looked like and how I felt.  When I got up to Chicago my sister completely freaked out when she saw me.  She gave me a couple pills (cant remember the name) and I think I finally slept about 18 hours straight.  Katrina changed everything for me, but not all bad and not all good.  I took away a lot of good from that destructive day, too.  It just took me awhile to realize it.  Today there will be a party marking it's 5 year anniversary.  We may or may not go.  I am just not sure if I am ready to "celebrate" this day or not.  I really wish I had taken pictures of my beautiful town before the storm.  It was amazing.  I found this online... This is Waveland, which is like 2 miles from me.  Bay St. Louis and Waveland are really like 1 town.  They share the same schools and together make up about 5 miles anyway :) 

So even though this was taken in 1998... It gives you an idea of what we lost.  The loss of trees alone completely changed the way the area looked and felt.  But of course we lost so much more.  

Saturday, August 28, 2010

5 years ago today...

We were sitting in a hotel in San Destin, FL watching the weather channel praying the forecasters were wrong.  But deep in our hearts knew our town was about to be destroyed.

Tomorrow we are having a celebration in town marking the 5 year anniversary.  So bitter sweet.  We have come so far, but we will never be the town we once were.  It's a hard thing to celebrate. 

Last night around 7 pm my son calls and asks me to pick him up from his friend's house.  I drive there, pick him up and we are about 1/4 mile from our exit on the hwy.  So we are sitting at the red light and it's about to turn green, when I jerk forward.  It takes a minute to register that some one just hit me.  I said Oh my God what the hell was that? ( I know language language... but it's what I said.  I am just being honest)  I couldn't see anything in my rear view mirror, but I realized I just got hit.  I looked at my son, he was fine.  I pulled over into the turn lane and got out of my car.  There was a little Sentra or something behind me all smashed up.  She was just sitting there.  I yelled pull over here.  Motioning her to move out of the "fast" lane and to pull into the turn lane.  She half way did it still blocking traffic.  I am trying to get her to pull further into the turn lane but she wont.  Anyway it occurs to me there is something off with her.  So I call 911.  She cant get out of her car.  The drivers side door is jammed shut so she sits there for awhile.  Then she slides across to the passenger side and gets out.  I ask her a couple questions but she doesn't respond.  She is sort of freaking me out a little. 

A couple people I know drive by and stop to see if we are ok.  (a perk of a small town) and one takes my son home for me.  At this time I am realizing that I don't have an updated insurance card in my purse so I yell to my friend to have Sam bring one up to me.  :)  The cop is pulling up about this time.  The lady of the other car gets back into her passenger seat and sits down.  So an hour or so later we are wrapping things up and I asked the cop if she was drunk and he said well I haven't done the test yet.  I don't smell anything on her, but she might be on medication or something she is definitely acting weird.  I will take her down and run some tests.  Oh and guess what ... she has no insurance.  Wonderful.  I will need a new bumper but I am pretty sure she will need a whole new car.  So now I am starting to rethink this gas guzzling tank I drive.  I was hoping in a couple of years to trade it in or give it to my oldest daughter and get a cute little 2 seater Audi convertible.  Looking at her car, I am rethinking that whole idea. 

So anyway, the friend that took my son home tells me that the lady had almost hit her a few minutes earlier on the hwy and ended up driving partially up on the median and back down and that she way all over the road.  Nice... and my 15 year old wonders why I wont let her get her permit?  This turned out to be minor, but maybe it was God's way of saving a life a couple miles down the highway.  It could have been so much worse.  What if this woman had hit a pedestrian?  Or gone through a red light and side swiped a car and hit a baby in a carseat?  I like thinking my bumper on my big Tahoe may have saved this from being so much worse. lol ... anyway, that was the start to my weekend... or the end to my week... not sure.

Friday, August 27, 2010

Who gets excited over $3.98?

Me!  That's how much I have made on Adsense this month!  Normally $4 would be nothing.  I wouldn't give it a second thought, but it symbolizes a dream of a vacation alone with my husband one day.  It excites me!

Cleaning house #3 today!!  I have even gotten a little more "formal" and typed up a list of what my house cleaning fee covers and what would be considered "extras".  I also found a form online to leave on the counter when finished; listing what was completed and what supplies need to be replenished.  I almost feel like it's a real business.  Now if I could only get a few more clients!!  Off to Food Giant in Gulfport this afternoon to try double coupons!  I am so thankful I found this world of blogging or I never would have saved almost $400 this month or knew how to make coupons and register rewards work for you!  This has been a true blessing! 

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Saved big on Meat

So we all know Walmart price matches and it's the only store in town.  I do not want to drive to 3 other stores over 20 miles away with milk, tea, meat, eggs etc... in 100 degree weather all the way home.  I know I can put it in a cooler, but I don't trust it.  So today I ran to Walmart to grab those things before I go to Food Giant tomorrow to double coupon.  I did good.  I shopped to use some and keep some.  We wont be eating all this meat up in the next week or 2.  I only took a picture of the things I price matched.  Milk, eggs, tea etc... went straight into the refrigerator.  And the couple of packs of meat I didn't price match went into the freezer along with the french fries my husband had to have tonight with the fish he caught and is about to fry up! 

Walmart price matches

Chuck roast 2.92 lbs @ $3.98/lb = $11.62
price matched at Food Giant for $1.98/lb = $5.78

Chuck roast 3.08 lbs @ $3.98/lb = $12.26
price matched at Food Giant for $1.98/lb = $6.10

Center cut pork chops 4.20 lbs @ $3.98/ lb = $16.72
price matched at Food Giant for $2.18/lb = $9.16

Center cut pork chops 3.89 lbs @ $3.98/ lb = $15.48
price matched at Food Giant for $2.18/lb = $8.48

Country style pork ribs 2.57 lbs @ $2.98/lb = $7.65
price matched at Rouses for $1.55/lb = $3.98

Country style pork ribs 2.71 lbs @ $2.98/lb = $8.07
price matched at Rouses for $1.55/lb = $4.20

Country style pork ribs 2.43 lbs @ $2.98/lb = $7.24
price matched at Rouses for $1.55/lb = $3.77

Total before price matching = $79.04
Total after price matching = $41.47

SAVINGS =  $37.57

5 years later... Katrina

All week I have been putting up pictures of the horrible destruction of Katrina.  I am going to share a couple after pictures now!  We have come a LONG way baby!!  :)   We still have no grocery stores but we have a Super Walmart, which we are all grateful for but 5 years of shopping only at Walmart can be ... well you can only imagine!  So we have all been praying for a real grocery store to come to town for the past 3 years.  We will keep praying!!  For being such a small town, we had 4 choices before the storm.  Businesses are gun shy now and insurance is outrageous.  We were even discussing a community owned grocery store, but nothing ever came of that.  Maybe one day....  here are some pictures of my town to show how far we have come. 

The Bay Bridge After Katrina. This bridge connected us with the rest of the Coast.

The new Bay Bridge!  This was one of the first things they rebuilt after the storm, after the railroads

Picture of Beach Blvd after Katrina

And Beach Blvd now...

Main Street after Katrina

Main Street 5 years later!!

God is Great!  The volunteers were amazing and we are blessed.

A little foggy this morning

My head that is... One of my oldest and dearest friends called last night just as I was getting ready to put dinner on the table.  She needed a margarita.  How could I NOT go?  I have been wanting one for weeks and we havent had a chance to get together in a couple months.  This is the friend I cried to when I found out I was pregnant at 19.  She brought me to my first gynocologist visit and almost 17 years later sat behind me on the birthing table helping me push out baby #4.  (my husband was there but useless... I love him dearly, but men are just not cut out for that lol) So when she called and asked if I wanted to go I hated telling her I was broke and really couldnt go.  She offered to pay being the high power exec ;) ... I didnt feel too bad accepting.   And one day, when things are a little more stable for us financially, I will return the favor.  Thats the great thing about true friendships like ours, you dont have to really explain things or feel bad when you are in a slump.  I was happy to rush dinner on the table and head out for a couple hours of girl time!!  I love her so much!!  We had a great time!  When I got home The older girls, their boyfriends and Pooh all headed down to the pier in my car to fish with daddy.  I passed out in bed.  :) 

ok this picture is weird ... my daughter did something to it to make it look enhanced or something.  But I am in the pink and my friend in in the black and white, I love her. 

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

I love saving money!

Ok I needed french bread to go with dinner tonight and since I was sorting through my coupons weeding out the ones that will be expiring next week I decided to see if I could make a couple of them work.
So I spent $8.34 (that includes $1.99 in tax)  and saved $31.96


2 Nivea Women's Body Wash - BOGO - $5.99 - $3.00 coupon- $2.99
(coupon was expiring soon and didn't want to waste it)

total OOP - $3.41 total saved - $8.99


8 mini first aid kits - $0.97 each - $7.76
1 box Dora band aids - $1.97
2 Sobe Waters - $2.00
3 travel size Pert 2 in 1 shampoo/conditioner - $2.91
2 travel size Clean & Clear face wash - $1.94
1 Sunbelt granola bars - $2.00
2 Morton Seasoning salts - $1 each - $2.00 (on sale, no coupon but regular $2.97 each - saved $3.94)
1 - 4 pack of Juicy Fruit gum - $0.88
1 loaf of french bread - $0.90

3- $3 off any 3 Band aid or Johnson & Johnson items
1 -BOGO free Sobe water coupon
3 - $1 off any size Pert Shampoo
2 - $1 off any Clean & Clear facial product
1- $1 off Sunbelt snack

total OOP - $4.93 total saved - $22.97

Ok I just was looking through the receipt and noticed she accidentally rang up one of the $3 off coupons an extra time. I thought it seemed a little low, but I couldn't remember if they taxed before or after coupons. ok, so my total should have been $7.93.

Yes, I always buy my loaf bread and dinner rolls on the day old shelf. Its about a 40% mark down. I usually stock up and throw it in the freezer and it stays fresh. If Pooh hadn't been with me I would not have bought the Sobe water (she was crying for something to drink.) and I wouldn't have bought the Dora bandaids. I would have gotten another free first aid kit and I definitely would not have bought the gum. So that is $2.89 I would not have spent but they accidentally scanned the $3 coupon an extra time so I am not feeling too bad about it now.

I know the bigger bottles of shampoo and face wash are a much better buy, but they are not on sale. No one uses Pert here, but its good to throw in an over night bag for a single wash or 2. Same with the face wash. Margaret is forever leaving stuff at friends houses, I would rather she left this face wash than her big one. Plus I have more coupons for when these do go on sale. :)

Why do they grow up so fast?

Yesterday my son comes home from school and asks if he can go to a movie this weekend with a girl!  He will be 13 in a little over a week and just started 8th grade.  I can not believe it's time for me to start worrying about him too.  I have been dealing with his older sisters and boys for so long that teenage boys were always the "enemy".  Now my son will be one of those!  I always knew he would grow up one day and start liking girls, but I suppose I was hoping that one day wouldn't come so soon.  He asked her to homecoming too!

Oh I am NOT ready for this.  I know what to say to girls.  I was a teenage girl once.  I had my heart broken.  This whole being on the boys side is going to be new to me.  Seeing the girl as the enemy when she breaks my son's heart will be something new.  Worrying about a whole new set of rules that go with having a son out there "dating" is going to be hard. I know the real dating is a couple years off, but this is the beginning.  I don't have brothers.  I don't have any memories or examples to reflect back on.  Oh Sam can help, but it's not the same.  He loves to joke around about things.  I am the serious one.  I am the one that has the heart to hearts.  Maybe I am overreacting.  I just wonder how my son will react when his heart is broken for the first time, or actually how I will react .  This is new territory for me. 

My baby.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Remembering Katrina this week

Here is a picture of Beach Blvd after Katrina hit Bay St. Louis, MS.  This was an asphalt road along the beach.  You can see the Catholic boy's high school in the background, St. Stanislaus.  My daughter was going to the all girl's high school right next door.  Extensive damage at both schools occurred. 

Here is the railroad track bridge that goes across the Bay

And another view of Old Town Bay St Louis, MS down by Main Street and the beach

(pictures borrowed from my friend FB Christine)

I love my camera!!

If you have been reading my blog, you know I was about to bite the bullet and start looking for a new camera.  I was so upset!  Mostly because it was my own fault that my camera wasn't working.  I brought it to the beach and set it on a towel.  I knew better, I just wasn't thinking.  Well sand got kicked all over it and the next time I went to use the camera it wasn't working.  I knew I had really gotten my money's worth out of the camera at an average of $100 a year and about 10,000 pictures a year (minimum).  I figured I was fortunate that I had it for over 3 years without ever having it fixed or buying any new batteries or cards for it.  But the cheapskate in me did not want to give in so easily...
I googled my problem and found 5 different ways I could possibly fix my camera myself.  The first 4 did not work and #5 came with a warning that serious damage may be caused to the camera.  Oh well what did I have to lose?  My camera was no longer under warranty and I was planning on buying a new one now anyway.  So basically my last option to fix what was wrong with my camera (sand lodged in the lens) was to basically beat my camera on the table hoping to dislodge the particles of sand.  OK ... here goes nothing. 

I really thought I would damage the camera.  But to my amazement it WORKED!  My Sony Cyber shot now works again and I will be able to get a little more use out of it before its time to invest in another one! 

I have had this camera for over 3 years.  It takes the best pictures.  It is light weight and fits easily into my purse.  I take literally thousands of pictures with it each year.  Probably closer to 10, 000.  I have 4 kids!  Three that play or did play sports.  I was the mom that had 300 + pictures in her camera at the end of a game.  So I was taking, seriously, 1000's of pictures a month.  I have had the same rechargeable battery since I bought the camera over 3 years ago!  That is really amazing on its own.  Not to mention the zoom factor!  I have had parents look at my pictures of their kids and ask how I got so close to the game.  I have a 10X zoom factor on this camera.  You wouldn't think it because its so small and light weight.  So if you are shopping for a new durable digital camera and want the added benefits of video, 10X zoom, sports shots, night time shots, and more options than I have had time to learn in over 3 years then click on the picture of the camera above and got yours from today!!  You wont be disappointed! 

Making Money!!

OMG!!  I decided to check to see if I had made any money on my Adsense for my blog and expected to see $0 ... much to my surprise I have made $2.68!  WOW haha ... It's not much to those of you making the big bucks off your blog, but I was so surprised!  So I have been doing this for a month now and have made $2.68.  At that rate it will take me about 108 years to raise enough to take my husband on a vacation.  Boy I sure hope the clicks pick up a little lol.  It would be hard to enjoy a vacation when you are 148 years old ;)

Seriously, I was super excited!!!  It has motivated me!  I am determined to double my earnings for month 2. 

On another note, I was watching the weather channel yesterday and was surprised at the amount of tropical activity out there.  I usually am glued to the weather this time of year.  Katrina took me by surprise and I don't want that to happen again.  I think this blogging and couponing have kept my mind off the weather somewhat.  Which can be good, since I do seem to obsess over it a little, but I don't want to forget that this is our dangerous time of year.  I do not want to be caught off guard! 

I don't have much on my agenda today.  I wish more than anything I could say I was cleaning a house or two today, but that is not the case yet.  If anyone has ideas on how to drum up more cleaning business please share them.  And if you have any ideas on ways I can make my blog more profitable that would be welcomed as well!  Ya'll have a great day today! 

Monday, August 23, 2010

Last minute run to the drugstores...

Ok so my husband was so excited that I said I would get him a different cereal ... I grabbed the $10 and ran.  I had no plan at all.  I remembered seeing a couple good buys online, but none were true for my Walmart.  :(  I went to Walgreens.  I remembered they had 2/$5 Kelloggs.  So here is my story for tonight...

(Pooh ate the oreo cakes and the toothbrushes are hard to see against the cereal, but they are there)

So I spent $ 10.77 and saved $38.59!
at Walgreens I spent $8.21 and saved $25.89

transaction #1
Kellogg's Frosted Flakes - $2.50 (sale price)
Kellogg's Frosted Flakes - $2.50

used $1.50 off 2 Kellogg's cereals coupon

total $3.50
earned $2 register reward
(OOP - $3.38)

transaction $2
Crest 3D Vivid White toothpaste - $3.00
Oral B vivid white toothbrush - $3.00
Oral B vivid white toothbrush - $3.00 (these were on sale 3 for $9)

used BOGO free Oral B toothbrush coupon
$0.75 off Oral B toothbrush cpn
$2 register reward (from previous transaction)
(and I used all my crest coupons last week dangit but you can use a crest coupon here too)

total - $3.25
earned $4.00 register rewards
(OOP - $3.88 w/ tax)

transaction #3
Nivea women's body wash - $5.99 - store sale - BOGO free!
Nivea women's body wash - $0.00
Oreo cake cookies - $1.19
(because I promised Kaila a treat and I needed $1.01 to make up the difference with the coupons - Walgreen's will not pay me overage, you have to use the entire amount)

used $3.00 off 2 Nivea Body washes
used $4 register reward from previous transaction

total - $0.19
(OOP - $0.68 with tax)


Rite Aid

I spent $2.56 and saved $12.70

This one is less complicated ... I really just went in for the free jello and almost free chocolate. It's getting close to the end of the month and I don't want to lose out on the valuable coupons.

transaction #1
4 Royal jellos - 4/$1

total - $1.
earned $1 +up
(OOP = $1.07 w/tax)

Transaction #2
4 Royal jellos - 4/$1

total - $1
earned $1 +up
(OOP = $1.07)

Transaction #3

2 bags of Dove chocolate candy - 2/$6 (sale)
used (2) $1 off 1 bag of Dove chocolate (manufacturer cpns)
1 Rite Aid video value coupon $1.50 off 2 bags of Dove chocolate
my 2 +up rewards I earned from the jello

total should have been $0.50 but they didnt charge me anything but tax... I didn't even notice it until I sat down right now that they messed up my coupons. I had $5.50 in coupons and rewards and they gave me $6 somehow??

OOP - $0.42 (BUT SHOULD HAVE BEEN $0.92)
plus I earned $1.00 +up at my next visit!


See what happens, Sam, when you give me $10 for cereal??  Because He buys almost $4 a box cereal so $10 would have covered the cereal with a little pocket change left over... but look what I brought home for $10 and some change!!!  So happy I found out about couponing!!

Katrina ... 5 years later.

ok, I am feeling much better than I was this morning.  I think looking at all those pictures shocked me.  It's amazing how we can bury things so deep inside of us we think they are gone.  The 3 hardest hit communities by Hurricane Katrina were all in Mississippi.  I know everyone thinks it was New Orleans.  But it wasn't.  New Orleans was not actually hit.  I remember watching the news in FL and everyone was celebrating that they had "dodged the big one" (pre levees breaking) and we all knew that our towns 50 miles east of New Orleans had felt the brunt of Katrina.  But no one was reporting on it and no one could get in or out of the area.  So for 3 days we sat in our hotels waiting and waiting.  All they would show on the news was New Orleans.  Finally the bridge going from Destin FL to Mobile AL reopened and we were able to make the trip home.  This is what we came back to.  I will not explain each picture but I will say that unless you are from here you may think all the pictures look the same.  Well maybe to someone whose heart doesn't belong to this community they would look the same.  Total destruction, but to me and to most people I know these pictures tell a story.  If you click on the picture they will enlarge and you can see things a little better close up.  As you are looking through these, please say a prayer that we here on the coast continue to be blessed by God and remain hurricane free as we are all still recovering from Katrina, both physically and emotionally!

there are some great before and after sites too!  I would love for you to see what it looked like before Katrina.  Here are some pictures I found online.  I will post more as I find better ones!! 

Well its much easier to find after pictures, because no one had ever heard of Bay St. Louis, MS before Katrina!  :) 

A week of remembering...

For so long I tried to forget August 29, 2005.  Today begins a week of remembrance for me.  In honor of the 5 year anniversary of Katrina I will be posting pictures of my loss.  I have not looked at these pictures in about 4 years.  It has opened up some very painful wounds.  I have been looking at hundreds of pictures for the past hour or so and have decided to share a painful part of my life with anyone that decides to read this. 

I touched on Katrina in one of my earliest posts.  For those who did not read that post, I ask that you please take a few minutes to read it.  It shares the story of my husband and the hard painful life he has lived.  I believe it was my 3rd entry.  Thank you! 

I lived 5 houses off the beach in a small community called Pass Christian, MS.  Here are some pictures of what I came home to a month after Katrina.  We were not allowed to go back there until then because of the dangerous gas lines and debris piled 20+ feet in the air.  These pictures are after they cleared the streets and hauled almost all the debris away. 

The Live Oak that stood right in front of my home on August 28, 2005

Taylor's shoe

Left over debris waiting to be cleaned up.  So much had already been hauled away this was nothing compared to 4 weeks earlier. 

The top floor of our house found about 2 streets away

We all know what the markings on the houses meant.  The one on my house meant no dead bodies found.  Others were not so lucky. 

Sam getting ready to climb into the top floor of my house to see if he can salvage anything.

Overwhelmed.  My side yard.  Trying to find anything worth saving

toaster?  nah... crockpot?  leave it... toilet?  definately not! 

The cutest blue 2 story, 4 bedroom 2 bath home stood here on August 28, 2005.  Surrounded by very dense woods on 3 sides.  It was a slice of paradise and only 1/2 a block from the beaches of the Gulf of Mexico.

My tennis shoe

I think we will leave the toilet and microwave behind

My daughter's baby.  Hearbreaking.  We lost so much that day, but its the things like this that really hurt.  She loved every single one of her babies and stuffed animals with every fiber of her being.  She had so many I only let her take a small duffle bag and assured her that the others would be safe upstairs.  I dont think she really ever forgave me. 

Every tree was thick, plush, green and beautiful.  You could not see through them.  We had total privacy in our yard.  After Katrina it was almost like an open field.

This is about all I can bear to share today.  But I will scan and post more pictures every day this week.  My heart is heavy, my knees are weak, my hands are shaking and I am having an anxiety attack now.  Really who knew it could have this effect on me 5 years later? 

Feeling good.

Not sure why, but I feel like something good is about to happen.  I hope my intuition is right!!  I picked up another house yesterday!  Woohoo!  That makes 3 houses!!  I really would like at least 7.  3 big 1 day houses and 4 small 2-day houses!  I figure $300 for the bigger houses a week and $200-$250ish for the 4 smaller houses.  Right now I have 1 big house and 2 smaller houses (smaller being NOT 3000+ sq ft)  not small as in 800 sq ft lol... they are still around 1800 - 2200ish sq ft but I am able to clean them in under 4 hours so I can really only charge about $65.  I think I should charge more because I really am good at cleaning, and I am a perfectionist so nothing gets left undone... even if it takes me 5 hours.  I hate that though... if I am being paid for 4 hours I need to leave at 4 hours.  I spent way too much time last week on a house and did things that were completely considered "extras" like washing doors, frames and baseboards.  But she is really trying hard to help me build my clientele and I thought it was definitely worth the free extras!! 

Taylor starts school again today!!  WOOHOO   ready for that girl to be busy again ... now hopefully she will get a JOB! 

Happy 17th birthday to my niece Hillary up near Chicago IL... last year her mom bought her a 2010 Mercedes and threw her a Sweet 16 party... How do you ever top that?  We shall see....

Happy Monday everyone!

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Cash giveaways

Does everyone enter the drugstore cash giveaways at the bottom of the receipts?  I do every time!  I am hoping for a little cash bonus at the end of the month one of these days!  :) 

Today I hit up Walmart... not for much, about $50 worth of items, since that was about all I really had left in my budget this week.  I spent $48.23 and saved $19.47!  I used about $6.20 in coupons and saved $13.27 in price matching!  Like I said, I really didn't get a whole lot, but enough to hold us over through the week with what I have left from last week we will have plenty.  I got such great deals last week on hamburger and chicken, I stocked up.  I have decided I will start making a weekly trip to Gulfport to shop at Food Giant.  They double coupons up to $0.60.  I think it might be worth driving out there for some things that we need, plus they have some really great weekly specials and that would mean less price matching at Walmart which in turn means less of a headache for me.  Plus, there is a CVS right by Food Mart, so I can plan it at a time I can get my CVS deals too! 

Here are my buys at Walgreens and Rite Aid this morning.  I just stopped in for a few items since cash is low.  We really needed cereal and with the + up rewards and the coupons I had I got the cereal for $0.50 a box!!  But then I got home and my husband was like "oh I don't really like that kind"  Well suck it up big boy or go get another job!  He can go buy what he wants, the kids don't really care too much.  Its like frosted mini wheats and raisin bran in the Malt o Meal brand.  I like it.  So too bad and at $.50 a box I was not going to pass that up!  The jello was free after + up  :) 

The Listerine and Veet hair removal I got at Walgreens.  Great deals!  But it wasn't ringing up right at all and the cashier gave me attitude!  I was not a happy camper.  I stuck to my guns and got the price I was supposed to get!  I had a manufacturer coupon and store coupon for each item.  She really didn't want to take them and the register beeped.  But she manually overrides it or something and I got it.  I can be persuasive.  :)

So here's the breakdown: 

Rite Aid

transaction #1

4 Royal gelatin - 4/$1  earn $1 +up
2 boxes Malt o Meal cereal  2/$3  - $1.00 off coupon  earned $1 + up

total $3.28 - earned $2 + up

transaction #2

2 boxes Malt o Meal cereal - 2/$3  - $1 off coupon  earned $1 up

total  $2.21  used $2 + up rewards  

and earned $1 + up for next visit!! 

TOTAL  OOP  =  $3.50  + $1 up earned for next visit!! 
total savings -  $8.32

Walgreens was good, but a pain in the rear!! 

Listerine Zero 500 ml should ring up at $2.99 but kept ringing up at $5.99 even though I had the coupon right there in today's flyer sitting right there.  After 2 voided out transactions and some serious attitude we finally got it right. 

Listerine Zero - $5.99
Listerine Zero - $5.99
Veet -  $6.99
Veet - $6.99

used these coupons: 

2 Walgreens flyer coupons from 8/22 paper (MADE IT $1.99 each)
2 Listerine Zero $2.00 off coupons (printable online at their website)
2 Veet $3 off coupons from Walgreens coupon book
2 Veet $3 off coupons printed online

total OOP - $3.36 
total savings - $18.00

So, I would say today was a good day!  I spent total at he 3 stores  $55.08 and saved $46.79... pretty darn good!