Saturday, November 17, 2007

CVS deals

Because I know everyone loves to see the savings of CVS I am giving you a breakdown of my savings this week.

Transaction #1: 3 Palmolive dish soaps for $1.49 each - $.40 coupons each
2 Advil Cold and Sinus $5.99 each - $2 manuf. coupons each and $2 CVS coupon
Plus I used a $2 off of $10 coupon - $5 ECB = $2.06 cash + $3 and $5 ECBs

Transaction #2: 1 Palmolive dish soap $1.49 - $.40 coupon
2 Dimetapp kid's medicine $4.99 each - $1.50 coupons
Plus I used a $3 off of $15 coupon - $5 and $3 ECB = $.29 cash + $1 and $5 ECBs

Transaction #3: 1 Gillette Fusion Power Razor $9.99 - $2 coupon
Plus I used a $2/$10 coupon and a $5 ECB = $1.20 cash + $5ECB

Transaction #4: 2 Hershey's Kisses at 2 for $5 - $1.50 CVS coupon
1 Palmolive Dish Soap $1.49 - $.40 coupon
1 Gillette Venus Razor $8.99 - $2 coupon
1 Candy $.88 (My dad had to drop something off and he gave me a dollar to get the kids candy)
Plus I used a $3/ $15 coupon - $5 ECB = $1.46 cash + $4, $1, and a $3 ECBs

All in all I spent $5.01 cash and I still have $9 ECBs for next week.

Friday, November 16, 2007

Frugal Fridays

It's time for Frugal Fridays with Crystal from again. This week I thought I'd talk about homemade curtains. My girl's room is in desprate need of new curtains so I found some old fabric, measured it against the window (making sure to allow for seams) and stitched them to the window size. On the top I made sure to make that loop so that they could hang onto the curtain rod and voila new curtains in about an hour for absolutly no money out of pocket. Sorry I don't have any pictures but I can't find the cord to my digital camera.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

How do you view children?

One thing I've been struggling with lately is the way people react to my five children. And if I mention that I really want more....well I guess that earns me a label of "crazy". BUT I don't care. Children are such blessings. I don't know what I would be without them. Each child, no matter how they came into my life (birth or marriage) is a tremendous gift to me.

 J is an aspiring chef and has such wisdom. Yet he was born when my husband was only 17 years old. I don't care. I wouldn't trade him for anything! (I'm not advicating young unwed parents, but I am saying that children are a blessing and are not reponisble for the actions of their parents, thus they deserve life after having been conceived and can truely be treasures from God as such.)

 And S is such a sweet person who tries to help. She is a bit of a dreamer but also has such fire. She will be able to go so far in life.

 M is a different child. Some would label her a difficult child, but again I don't care. She causes me to think about my parenting skills and constantly revise them to help her best. She loves helping with her younger sibilings and is awesome at Math.

R is another dreamer, but behind that is a very smart person who can do anything. He is a pleaser and wants to help me when I am down. He is also the one who will come and snuggle me or hug me when he senses I am down.

K as the current baby uses this position in life for all it's worth. I think she has not only me and dh but also the 4 older kids wrapped around her little finger. She is a bit of a temper-mental child but I've learned to love these personalities for the wonders they contain.

My heart yearns so much for another child. My dh wants another one too but feels he can't right now due to finances. This is such a hard place for us since we believe children are such blessings. I pray that someday soon God will place relief in our path and we will soon add another baby blessing to our quiverfull of children. I'm not sure who wrote this quote but I love it and it sums up how dh and I feel. In the bible God calls children a blessing and debt a curse, but in our society we apply for curses and reject blessings. Something is wrong with that picture.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Being a Step parent in the modern world.

As you may or may not know, I am the stepmom to 3 beautiful children. So many times I see children who are pushed aside by their step parents or are treated as less than equal to the biological children of that step parent. I wish I could teach those parents to see the beauty of loving that child as if he or she were their own. I may not have given birth to my three stepchildren, but I am like a mother bear with her cubs with them anyway. Another thing that is hard with being a stepmother is knowing when to back down. You must understand that there is another person who should be first in your stepchild's life and that is the mother/father. The way we handle this is we are very open in communication with the mother/father. If sewing is something that the children have never done then I call to ask if it's okay to do with the kids. It is very vital to never say anything demeaning about the other parent. Nobody is going to agree 100% of the time. Yet these are our precious children we are raising and it's so important not to put them in a difficult position. So now I would like to open up the floor and hear any comments from other parents or stepparents.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

How to combat depression?

Lately I've been feeling very depressed. I feel like I am such a good wife and mother and all I want to do is be able to keep doing it. Yet due to financial difficulties it seems that may be in jeporady. Money is so tight right now. Yet I know I need to rest in God and remember that He is caring for me now, even as things seem dark. He is keeping my dh healthy and working. He is blessing my food budget so that I can make food stretch. He has even given me a wonderful business idea if only I can find some money to get it started. I want to do a homemade soap and lotion business. It could also branch out into other items, but for now those are the two things I will start with when I get my capital. Any ideas for earning a few extra dollars? Well anyway, please pray that everything gets better for us soon. Thanks, and God bless!

Saturday, October 27, 2007

CVS update

Okay so I finally got to go to CVS. It's been a crazy week since I had my stepkids and got to help them do their homeschooling all week. We logged 42 hours for both of them! Whew! So anyway tonight I finally got to go to CVS and guess what...yup they were all out of the crest prohealth night toothpaste. That was the third time I've tried to get it and it is still sold out! UGH!!! Oh well, I still did pretty good. My total between the three transactions was $105.10 and I spent $20.52 out of pocket. Here's what I got:

Transaction #1: Dayquil 4.49 (-$1.50 coupon)
Tylenol under the buy $20 get $10: $26.97 ($15 in coupons)
Total: $31.46- $5 off of $30 order - coupons above - $6ECB = $5.24 + $10ECB

Transaction #2: 6 x Herbal Essences shampoo & conditioner sale 2/$8
- 2 x B2G1 free coupons = $26-8 = $16 get $6ECB
Tylenol deal again $26.97 - $15 in coupons
Total: $52.97 - $10 off of $50 order - coupons - $10ECB = $9.33 + $16 in ECBs

Transaction #3: Fructis Shampoo 7.79 (- $1 coupon) get $4ECB
4 gallons of milk at $3.29
Total: $20.95 - $4 off of $20 order - coupon - $10ECB = $5.95 + $4ECB

Grand Total: $105.10 but only spent $20.52 out of pocket! And I was so proud since when I organized this trip I was thrown for a loop by the crest prohealth not being there. But hey I did alright! I'm pretty proud of myself. It seems like I am finally starting to understand couponing a little. Oh and I did Walgreens last week as well. I spent about $29 and will recieve $19.76 back in rebates! Pretty good, huh? For that one I got the Fructis conditioner, the buy $20 get $10 for the capri suns, and the beano. I think that's all. I can't remember now. It's such a rush to be able to save so much money for my family. Now I just have to figure out how to do this coupon thing at a grocery store. It seems so much more complicated there, plus I'm nervous I'll spend more than I should since right now we only have about $165 a month for groceries for our big family. My dh is going to try to go hunting at the end of this month and God willing will bag a deer or two to help us out. Any tips on hunting would be great! Thanks.

Monday, October 22, 2007

CVS deals

Crystal at Biblicalwomanhood and her new website is challenging us to show how we've done our CVS deals. I thought I'd start by what I did last week:

Transaction #1:
Energizer batteries spend $10 get $5 ECBs.
Palmolive Dish Soap $1.09 get $1 ECB
Beano $2.99 get $2.99 (I had a $1 off coupon)
Total $13.99 - $12 ECBs I had previously = $2 and I received $8.99 ECBs

Transaction #2:
Colgate Max Fresh 2.99 (I bought 3) get a total of $6 ECBs plus I had a $1.75 coupon
Lady's Speed Stick $1.99 get $1 ECB (I had a $1 off coupon)
Candy 88cents x2= $1.76 - 50 cent coupon
Total $9.50 - $8.99 ECBs I got from transaction #1 = 48 cents and I received $8.99 ECBs

Transaction #3:
Nature's Bounty Vitamins were B1G1 free. Thanks so Crystal I had 2x $2 coupons - $1 ECB from above = $2.49
I wanted to also get the Crest ProHealth Night toothpaste on this transaction but my CVS was sold out, so I've saved that for this week if they have it in.

This week I am hoping to get the Crest ProHealth, some more Nyquil as a filler (I have a $1.50 coupon), do the Tylenol spend $20 get $10 a few times (it has a limit of 5!), get the Herbal Essences shampoo and conditioner, a Garnier Fructis shampoo, and if I can get some of the coupons the Bic comfort 3 shavers. My hope is to only spend about $12 and end up with $24 in ECBs at the end of all this plus get 2 or 3 gallons of milk for practically free for fillers. Crystal has links on money saving mom that are for $10 off a purchase of $50 I hope to use. I figure I would spend about $11 buying the 3 gallons of milk anyway so anything I get on top of all this is just a huge bonus! I cannot thank Crystal enough for teaching me the skills to provide my family with medicine and other products for next to free. Her being so kind as to help all of us bloggers/readers with coupon links and such is such a huge blessing from God!

Friday, October 12, 2007

Frugal Fridays

I know this may sound really simple but when you are wondering what to do to get out of the house....go to the park. Within about 10 miles of my house there are at least 6 parks with hiking trails, playgrounds, a duck pond, even a vistor's center with an indoor playground. Pack a picnic or now that it's starting to get cold, a thermos of hot cocoa, and go outside and enjoy nature. My youngest and I did this on Wenesday and we had a blast discussing the canadian geese and their webbed feet. We took a blanket and sat and snuggled in the blanket. I know this is something special that I will remember for a long time. For more frugal friday tips go to Crystal at

Friday, September 21, 2007

Frugal Fridays

Yup it's frugal friday again. This week I want to talk about how to save money on patterns and sewing. I like to make things with the kids. We recently made the girls aprons and the boys pillowcases and curtains. I am also currently helping my sister make a beautiful cloak/cape. Most patterns when bought at price are about $15. Wow at that price I don't know who can afford to do any home sewing. Luckily there is a solution. If you watch the sales ads for Joann Fabrics they have pattern sales quite often. Most of their pattern sales are $1.99. That's $13 savings on just one pattern! And the limit is 10 for one transaction. So if you need to stock up you can get 10 fun patterns for just $20 as opposed to $150! The website is and it will show the weekly sales. You can also sign up for their free coupon mailer which always has a 40% or 50% off one item coupon in it. The savings just add up! For more frugal fridays ideas visit

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Ugh...There are weeks...or days

It seems like the everyday life of a mother is a very different thing each day. Some days you feel like you are just gliding along doing so well with your chores, your children, just everything. Then there are days where you feel like it would take a month to accomplish what you need to try to do in one day. Today feels like one of those days. Well really it has been feeling like that all week long. My two stepkids who are homeschooling started school this week and it's been hard getting in that routine. They attend an umbrella charter school called Ohdela and while it's nice, it's been quite a journey helping their mom get everything set up and getting into a schedule. I'm sure that life will settle down soon. In the meantime I thought I would blog about the idea of christians and homesteading. While I see the merits of living off the land and by that token really depending on God, I can also see how there are Christians who are not able to do this and yet are still able to fully depend on God and his timing. For instance (I know it's not food but it's the same principle) we really needed a vacuum. All we had was a really cheap thing from walmart that didn't even have a beater brush. We waited and waited. We even were window shopping in walmart and found one we liked and it was on sale, but the money just wasn't there. Then my dad calls and says he has a present for us for our anniversary. It was the same exact vacuum that we had picked out! There are so many more examples of how God has provided for our family, but I only have time for this one right now. Needless to say whether you live on a farm or anywhere else God will still look after you.

Friday, September 14, 2007

Frugal Fridays

Hosted by Frugal Fridays are where you post an idea about something you are doing or that you have found that is frugal. So for my first Frugal Friday post I will post about homemade baby carriers. If you don't have a lot of money but you want a nice carrier for your little one you can go to Jan Andrea's site : and she gives you instructions on how to make your own carrier. I just made the mei tai out of a beautiful cami pattern and it turned out awesome. I love it! (Remember she asks that you only use this pattern to make it for yourself, not for a business.)

Bees and Kids

Yeah, I know I haven't blogged in a few days. Sorry about that. I have a cold that is making me tired so when I'm not doing things around the house I'm trying to rest. But to make up for the lack of blogs I will tell you two funny stories to make up for it.

Story 1: K (the 2 year old) was over by the computer desk and I notice she has something in her hands that she is putting on her lips. When I go to check on her I realize it's not chapstick. "K, you can't use a glue stick on your lips! It's not chapstick!" Well then I look at her older sister who is right next to her and I ask why she let her use it as chapstick. Her response? "I thought it was butt cream" (for those who don't know butt cream is a type of diaper rash ointment). it's now okay to put butt cream on your lips? Hmm......

Story 2: It's been so nice lately that we have been opening the house up to let the breeze come in. Unfortunately that means that bees and flys have also found their way in. My husband thought it would be a good idea to try to kill them with a dishrag. So he's swatting bugs and is about to go for a bee right beside me. I told him that if he missed and the bee stung me I would be upset. We laughed and he hit the bee. Then the bee flys away mad and lands on my arm and stings me as it is dying. Ugh!!!! It was actually kinda funny too, even if it did hurt.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Where were you?

It's that anniversary again, Sept. 11, 2001. The day of our generation that no one will forget. I was driving home from my honeymoon, ready to enjoy one last day with my new hubby before he shipped out to Navy boot camp. We arrived home to my grandfather watching the tv and eating his cereal. I asked him what was happening and he said he wasn't sure, he had just turned it on but it seemed that some planes flew into the World Trade Center buildings. I can remember watching the news as the next plane hit the Pentegon. I remember being so scared for my husband. Yet after that day everyone seemed so united. I can remember being so proud that my dh was going to be in the Navy and serve our country. His recruiter said that many young men and women were calling and trying to go fight the "people who did this". What a time, and to think it was six years ago. Sometimes it seems like just yesterday. I hope that everyone can stop and say a prayer for those families who lost so much on this day. And I also hope that you can say a prayer for our brave servicemen and women who continue to put their lives on the line so that we can have freedom and fight in this war on terrorism. Sept. 11, 2001 We will not forget!

Monday, September 10, 2007

Menu Plan Monday

I saw on lily of the valley's website this Menu Plan Monday and I figured I would post my menu as well.
Mon. Hamburger Green Bean Dish with Rice and a salad

Tues. Leftovers

Weds. Tacos

Thurs. Beef 'N Shrooms with Veggies

Fri. Leftovers

Sat. and Sun. a big Roast

I do leftovers a lot because some of these recipes are from the MOMYS cookbook and they are made to feed an army. Since I only have, oh, half an army the meals last me a little bit which is nice because I watch two little kids every weekday and it's nice to have some of the meals precooked.

Saturday, September 08, 2007

The things kids do

You have to love the things your kids do to you. The kids were in a rare mood today. Basically it was...oh it's mom and dad's anniversary? well that means we should act as wild as possible! And for my anniversary what do I get to do? I get to send my husband off to work and stay home and clean. I jokingly told him that he would have to call off because I was leaving for a vacation. Oh on a side note I've found the best way to get kids to clean--buy a new vacuum. My dad got Steve and I a new vacuum for an anniversary present (and an air matress for camping! I am moving up in the world now!! :) All the kids were present for the opening of the box and they were all fighting over who got to use the vacuum first. Of course that only lasted about five minutes. What did I get to do tonight for my anniversary? I took a bath. Yup. I layed K down for a nap, let the others play and I enjoyed a bath. For those of you who don't have kids let me tell you how hard it is to get to enjoy a nice hot bath. Take today for instance. I started by arguing with my 2 year old that naptimes are not a punishment but are mandatory. After getting her to lay down I did some laundry and some other chores. I draw the bath and find a good book. I was in there for about ten minutes when K comes in and announces "I awake!....That hot water? I take a bath?" This is why mom's don't get to take baths very often. Oh, and all this isn't even mentioning the desitin that she found earlier today and thought would make a great polish for the front door and for her hands. Now she's standing here telling me her brother took her sock. The best part is she has the sock in her hand. Okay one more funny moment for you. So S is telling me about school and looking at the United States map we have on our kitchen table and she announces that she didn't know Montana was a state until a few days ago. I looked at her astonished and asked "what did you think it was?" her answer was "I thought it was like Wyoming" "Well what is Wyoming?" " A state, duh" I just sat there scratching my head and looking at her. Okay well K is trying to go potty in the living room so I've got to go.

Friday, September 07, 2007

FREE ebooks for homemaking

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Okay, so I haven't posted in awhile

But here I am. I've been enjoying my hubby and kids. Yesterday for example K decided to take a pen while I was folding laundry and use the pen to draw on the new (to us) couch. Then when I was cleaning that up she went into the bedroom and dumped the baby oil all over the bed.
On a different note I've decided to use this blog as a launching point for small scale money making. It would be nice to be able to bring in a few extra dollars for my family. Any ideas? please leave me a comment. Thanks. Welcome back those who read my blog.