Sunday, September 18, 2011

Starting to Exercise



I have started to exercise with a group of ladies on Monday, Wednesday & Friday mornings @ 7:30 a.m.

Friday was my first day and I was excited & ready to go. I stretched real good, grabbed a bottle of Gatorade, my iPod and off I went to the park to meet the ladies!

We walked/ran 1.5 miles and also did exercise in the form of squats, jump n jacks and abs. I felt great. Even so that when I came home I put on my old tennis shoes and cut the grass on the front lawn. Woo Hoo!!!

Saturday was a whole different story. I woke up feeling like I had been under a pile of rocks for the entire night. My legs felt like rubber and we so sore. I didn't re-stretch after I finished.

Saturday night we headed to a USM (University of Southern Miss) football game. We walked for what seemed three days from the parking lot to the stadium. Then once we got to the stadium, we proceeded to walk around the back side for the "student" entrance, and then up a ramp that was four half circles upward. My poor legs were like rubber again and I thought I would die. :)

However, did I not only not die, but USM won the game...52 to 6! The other team, Southeastern Louisiana only got two field goals! USM had several interceptions, which lead to at least three (3) touchdowns!

After the football game, we had to hike back down the stadium to the bottom floor and back to the car. I was sore and my legs just wanted to fall off.

When we got home around 10:45 pm, I took 2 Tylenol and headed to bed. I woke up this morning around 9 am and my legs FINALLY feel better.

Back to walk/run & exercise tomorrow morning at 7:30 am. Weather looks pretty nasty, as they are calling for thunderstorms but hopefully it will be nice & cool and not wet & stormy for our walk.

I'm also trying to figure out what I can change as far as my eat habits are concerned. I need to lose weight and my goal is to get to 160 lbs. Last time I was weighed at the doctors, a little over a month ago, I weighed in at 180 lbs. So, watching what I eat won't do a hill of beans if I don't exercise. I know I can do it. I have done it in the past, but the difference now is that I have 3 other mouths to feed and cooking more than 1 meal is a pain in the derriyre.

I am looking into Weight Watchers, Atkins, NutriSystem, and this capsule called Alli. I don't have $$ to burn, so finding something to lose weight without the expensive food is what I find to be the key.

A few years ago, well maybe more than a few years, like in 2001, I went on the SugarBusters lifestyle quest. I walked 2 miles Monday - Friday, my house was a mile from work so I walked to work, home for lunch, back to work and back home. Plus I went full SugarBusters. I don't know what I weighed when I started, I would guess around 200 lbs. But I got down to 160 lbs in about 6 months or so. I kept the weight off for well over 2 years. I slowly started gaining it back, but if I would have just kept it up, I would still be that weight maybe less.

So, my goal is to be able to run a 5K (3 miles) and loose 20 lbs, if not more. I've begun the exercise part for the run. Now I have to start the eating part.

Until tomorrow when I go for another walk/run.

Take care,
God Bless,
Julie

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

~ A Great Lesson to Learn for Couponing ~

I learned my 1st lesson the hard way the other day while shopping at our local Winn Dixie. I began my shopping trip like any other trip...making my list, pulling out qs, and making my way to the store. I did great. I made two lists while I was shopping that day. First was prices of items that I use so that I can compare them to Walmarts. Second was what the price of my items were and putting a Q beside the ones I had one for.

Winn Dixie does a lot of "Make-a-Meal" and B1G1F so I take advantage of them a lot. The Make-a-Meal usually has you buy 1 or 2 of a particular item and then you get several items for FREE. They also will do B1G1F items and usually it makes pretty good sense... for example: Buy a package of Hot Dogs for $4.xx and get a 8 pack of hot dog rolls for FREE. So, I'm on the hunt for bargains like that.

My list that particular day had a lot of B1G1F items. I had a lot of qs that would also give me a better savings with their offer. So off shopping I went.I had everything I needed, between my B1G1F, Make-a-Meal and some odds and ends that I needed. I calculated everything up and it looked like I would be spending approximately $60 before the extra qs and my $5 off any $55 or more in groceries. That is what I was looking for. Spending under $50 for all of my items.I got to the checkout, and usually I put all the items that correlate together, so that I know what is B1G1F and Make-A-Meal...that way if I have the extra qs and there is a ?, I know where it belongs. For some reason I didn't do that this time. It was quite possible that I didn't because the kids were about to drive me crazy. They wanted to be home playing instead of shopping. But I had to have something for dinner that night.

It was time to pay for my groceries, after everything and my total was completely off. Instead of $50 something, I was looking at $70 something. I looked over my list of items and thought, well maybe I didn't add correctly. So I pulled items from my loaded grocery cart, that I really didn't need and got my total down to where I felt more comfortable. I ended up paying $60 for my items. So that wasn't too bad.

I got home and unpacked my grocerys and sat down at our table and went over the sales flyer and my list of what I purchased. Then I started ticking off the items on my register receipt and found the PROBLEM!! I had paid FULL price for 3 or 4 items that were B1G1F.

My lesson learned that evening...I need to WATCH the register screen very carefully and check over my register receipt prior to leaving the store! Winn Dixie has a RC (Rewards Card) beside all of the items that they have on special. I was upset that I didn't catch it earlier but I had already left the store, and I wasn't about to go back after I felt embarrased to have to put items back.

Another lesson learned that day... don't bring your grouchy kids with you late in the afternoon grocery shopping. They are usally very well behaved when we go places, but THIS trip to the grocery store was the trip from a bad nightmare.

Thanks for listening! Have a Blessed Day!

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Winn Dixie Savings for July 23, 2011

Hey y'all! :)

I went to Winn Dixie today to grab some items for dinner this evening and saved more than I have since I started. I couldn't get a pic since it is so late and had to get dinner done...I got a good deal on cereal & ice cream (B1G1F). Buy 2 products for $15.99 (paper towels and/or toilet paper...mix & match if needed) and got 4 items free (hand soap, Ziploc bags, WD snack bags, napkins & three (3) pack of Kleenex tissue). The kids are starting school in two (2) weeks and they will need the tissue, so that was a PLUS.

My total w/ tax was $72.96 (which includes my Reward Card Savings). I had a $5 off $55 or more order coupon and a $0.75 coupon. My total after that was $66.86. I saved, between Rewards Card Savings & Coupon.........




$44.38


I'm so excited! I got another $5 off $55 or more, $1.50 for cereal on any three, and 20% off any purchase @ Payless. So that is pretty good for a little shopping trip.

Gotta run, DH is home so yummy dinner is ready. I'll post my recipe in a bit. It is really good & not expensive to make. :)

Take care,
God Bless,
Julie D

Monday, July 4, 2011

WalMart Savings for 4th of July '11

This is everything that I used my coupons on...saved $26.61 on my original total w/o tax $164.20.


This is all of the B1G1 Free stuff that I will start my stockpile with. LOVE, LOVE this!!!!!


Rob & I went grocery shopping today for a few meals for the next few days. I am going out of town overnight to pick up Ash at my parents, so he needed something to eat. LOL

He needed personal hygiene items, so I went thru my stash of coupons and P&G had a lot of B1G1 Free, so I figured what a better way to start my stockpile.

We agreed that we needed to spend under $150. AND I DID...my total w/tax was $149.08!!!

I was SO happy!!!! He just looked at me. He doesn't see the savings YET, but he will. He added some razor cartidges which I had a coupon for...AT HOME, that would have saved us more money, but he didn't tell me he needed them, so I let it slip this time.

I was a good girl and searched the Winn Dixie flyer to see if the items I needed were on sale before I decided to head to ole faithful WalMart. I even looked at KMart, CVS, Walgreens & Rite Aid as well. Nothing good on sale, even to use my B1G1 Free items, so WalMart it was.

I am even clipping & saving coupons for our local resturants. It amazes me how great it feels to SAVE even just a little bit of $$. Granted I'm not an "extreme couponer", but I am saving $$. My savings today helped in either saving the money towards a bill or buying lunch/dinner out.

No IF I can just get the Budget started and working along with paying US first, then I will be doing excellent. It is a little bit harder for Rob to grasp the paying us first issue, but we will get there. Just have to keep at it. :)

Well I hope everyone has a wonderful Blessed 4th of July holiday and stay safe.

Take care,
God Bless,
Julie

Winn Dixie Savings on 6/28/11




Here is my trip to Winn Dixie on 6/28/11 where my total w/tax was $51.21 before coupons or Reward Card savings. My final total w/tax $35.63. That is a $14.56 savings. I'm getting better.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Scotch Gift Wrap Cutter



Hey y'all! This is what I just got at KMart to cut my coupons with. I saw on someones blog awhile ago where this gal had something similar that she bought from Amazon that you just slide down the coupon pages and cut several coupons out at the same time. I couldn't find anything like that today, but I found this and figured technically it should work. So I just tried it using 3 pages and it worked pretty well. It didn't fray the paper and the only problem I ran into while cutting coupons was that you can't just turn another way with it. You can only go 1 direction at a time, so it was a little time consuming but not too bad for my first time using it.

Here is the product from Amazon, I just searched for coupon cutter...DUH!!!!

Well, I'm heading off here for a bit to get a Coupon cheat sheet for those coupons I use & don't use. That way I can keep it so I know what is going to expire soon and when. I'm still searching for baseball / business card holder to put all of them in. KMart didn't have either one. Next stop Walmart.

Have a blessed day!

Take care,
God Bless,
Julie D




TEXAS Coupon Clippers

I have the following coupons that can ONLY be used in TX...MEDIEVAL TIMES exp 7/31 $20 off Adult Adm. & $10 off Child (3); GOLDEN CORRAL Lunch buffet exp 7/3 2/$10.99 & Dinner exp 7/5 $8.49 & Kids exp 7/5 $1.99 & Breakfast exp 7/5 $5.49 (3); BLIMPIE all exp 8/31 Free 6" sub w/ purchase & $1 off any Sub, Salad or Wrap & Free 6" Sub w/ purchase & Catering Special..$10 off $50 order or $5 off $25 order (3); SPAGHETTI WAREHOUSE both exp 7/25 Lunch & Dinner B1G1F Lasagne or Spaghetti w/ purchase of same & beverage.

If anyone is interested in these, please let me know and I will send them to ya.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

My $avings @ Winn Dixie today




Hey y'all! I'm so excited!!! I just got back from a shop @ Winn Dixie for Rob & I and I saved $20.44 between my WD Rewards Card and Coupons!!!! This is just what I got using those coupons & rewards card. Of course, I wish I could have SAVED more, but it is a start.

I went thru my WD sales flyer to see what they had and then went thru my little stock pile of coupons and found what I could use. I was so proud of myself. I "stacked" coupons with my Kellogg's B1G1F cereal. I had a $1 off, so instead of paying $4.69 for the big box of cereal, I paid $3.69. WOO HOO!!! I know it isn't all that much, but I'm so excited that I am slowly but surely getting the idea of how things work. Now if we could just get them to "Double Coupons", I would really be in business. ;)

Well, I thought I would share my excitement with you! Have a Blessed day!

Take care,
God Bless,
Julie D

Monday, June 13, 2011

Too Hot for This

Our house has been on the market for about 3 months now (give or take a couple weeks). For the first time, we had someone come and have a look. So we decided that since Pebbles needed a nail trimming & bath (she has allergies & itches & sheds so much) that we decided while waiting to take her to PetsMart.

While DH (Dear Hubby) Rob and I were at Starbucks waiting for Pebbles to get done. This lady walked in...

She was wearing a PINK HOODIE in 90 something degree HEAT!!!! I was just starting to cool down from walking from PetsMart to the car and she made me hotter. I know people get cold sometimes in places during the different times of year, but goodness gracious...don't wear a hoodie. Bring a sweater or jacket to take on & off. LOL



Here is Pebbles after her bath and nail trimming...



Doesn't she look BEAUTIFUL!!!! She was panting because it is so HOT outside. But she looks like a new girl...even though she just turned 12 yrs old a few days ago. Baron didn't make it to his 12th birthday, he has been gone for almost a year now. Pebbles misses him so. Now she thinks she is the ALPHA of the house. LOL She hasn't been eating much, so in order to bribe her, we bought wet food, to see if that will get her to eat. It worries us, since Baron started doing that a few months before we had to have him put to sleep.

Well, I'm off to plan out my menu for the week so I can go grocery shopping w/ coupons tomorrow.

Have a Blessed week!

Take care,
God Bless,
Julie D

Friday, June 10, 2011

Ordered my 1st set of Whole Coupons

Well, I finally jumped into the ordering whole coupon inserts water tonight. :) I am trying CouponDede.com which I hear is the "cheapest" online. You can order clipped and whole coupon inserts thru her. I read a little bit ago thru an experienced coupon clipper that you should have enough whole inserts for each person in your family. So, instead of purchasing an additional 3 newspapers, which I won't read, I went to Coupon Dede and bought 3 more. My order came up to a little over $11 which includes the shipping for regular US mail. I figure that I don't need Priority Mail for $5+, which is a waste of money (I personally think), since most of the coupons do not expire until the middle to end of July. We are only a week and a little bit more into June. So, regular ole snail mail it is.

I still need to finish getting my "binder" organized...I need to get the coupon holders and buy more ink for my printer and I should be good to go. I got the Office Depot bag for 20% in the Sunday paper, so guess who is going shopping there. :) LOL

While I'm thinking about it...here is a link to get FREE $10 P&G Laundry Care http://www.newfebreze.com/coupons/

If I get any more good deals, I will post them for ya.

Thanks for reading and Happy Couponing!

Take care,
God Bless,
Julie D

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Our Twins & things



Can you believe that the Ash & AJ are now 7 years old? I surely can't. They have grown in leaps & bounds. Born at 31 weeks, Ash weighed 3lbs 12oz and AJ weighed 2lbs 13oz. Now at 7 years old, Ash weighs 60lbs and AJ weighs 40lbs. She is a head and a little neck taller. She was 13" @ birth & he was 12". I call him my little man! She wears a 7/8 in clothes, he wears 5t/5 in shirts which are still a little bit big on him and 4t/5t pants w/ adjustable waists. No matter how big they are or how small they are, they LOVE each other so much. They are connected by a bond that will never break. She is mother hen to him. He just loves his sister so much that they would marry each other, if they could.

They had a new milestone this weekend...they learned how to ride their bikes w/o training wheels! Ash was riding around with no fear or hesitation within minutes. AJ on the other hand, definitely was fearful and he couldn't keep the bike from leaning. He wanted his training wheels back on, but we told him not to give up and he would be riding by himself in no time. The next morning, he went out, go on his bike and rode it w/o help. He ran inside and yelled, "Mommy I can do it...I can ride my bike!!!" I even got some video footage so I could pass on to family & friends. After all, I had tweeted about the riding bike thing, so I might as well back it up with a video.






video video



So, as you can see, they have went from these itty bitty little miracle babies (read How I became a mom) to riding bikes w/o training wheels in just a short 7 years. God blesses us each and every day with this wonderful children. I can't imagine life without them. I can't imagine life w/o my husband. I can't imagine life without God.

My life is amazing, crazy, filled with joy and peace. All because God created life and hand picked us to raise these amazing children.

God Bless you all with Joy & Peace.


Julie

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Coupon Sites & Blogs









WOW!!!! There are probably millions of coupon sites & blogs out on the internet. I've been surfing and searching facebook pages and clicking on there links and I'm amazed out how much information is out there. I want to post some of my favorite places to learn about couponing as I am on this new adventure. I'm also looking at new & exciting ways to make money from home, without have to spend $$ in order to do it. I know there are legit businesses out there that you can work-at-home doing, but you need to "invest" a little to get started. Rob says "you shouldn't have to pay $$ to work for a company"...just like he shouldn't have to buy things in order to work for T-Mobile. I agree to a point.

First, the work-at-home jobs I have been looking into, some of them require dedicated phone lines, head sets, etc. which can be costly, but spending a little bit of $$ to get you started will pan out in the long run because you can make descent money doing that. I know a few people that do this and they are happy with the income they make so contribute to the household finances.

Second, Rob did have to invest a little bit of $$ when he first started out with T-Mobile or with the other places he has worked for in the past. Everyone usually has to spend a little bit of moo la when you go to work for a new company. Unless you work from home and then the person on the other end of the phone doesn't care if you are in your PJ or not. If you work in an business office, most likely you will have to purchase some type of clothing t0 match the dress code... whether it is business or dress casual. You can't go to work in a pair of jeans and a t-shirt, your boss would have a fit. Likewise, Rob had to purchase a "business" phone to work with T-Mobile. Anyone that has a cell phone knows that they aren't exactly cheap. And if you know my husband, CHEAP is not in his vocabulary. Don't let him fool you if you do know him that he is cheap, because he is not. I love my husband, but he doesn't always know what being frugal means...he is trying but he isn't 100% on board just yet. He will learn, just like I am beginning to learn how to save money on our grocery bill, and other things.

Now that I have went off track, I guess I will get back on it...

I am going to start posting blogs & websites that I am finding are helping me win at the couponing game. So hold on to your hats or whatever and look for a list of them to come in the next day or so.

It is getting late here, so I am going to sign off, but I send Blessings & happy thoughts your way.

Take care,
God Bless,
Julie


Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Coupon Clipping Momma







I like a lot of women and men have started watching TLC's "Extreme Couponing". It is pretty amazing to see these men & women spending hundreds and thousands of dollars at the grocery store, to only pay minimum amounts of money...all because they clipped coupons and used what grocery stores offer the public.

I have started on this journey and in June will be meeting up with friends to share our coupon insight in how we can save money on our grocery bills and other items that we buy either in department stores or online.

Our gulf coast only offers a limited amount of stores to shop at for groceries (WalMart, Target, Winn Dixie) but we also can purchase grocery items at bigger chains like CVS, Walgreens & Rite Aid.

I went shopping yesterday for some dinner items for a few days, without my coupons in hand, but I did manage to save $32.69, by purchasing items that Winn Dixie offered special pricing or what they call "Reward Card" savings. I believe I did pretty good for the meals that I purchased for our family.

I do not expect to be like the people on "Extreme Couponing" for a few reasons...
  1. I don't have a lot of room to stock pile unnecessary items
  2. I don't have the $$ to purchase thousands of coupon inserts and keep them on hand, let alone the space for it
  3. I don't have the time to spend hours in the grocery store...especially with the twins in tow.
For the months of June and July, I will either have no children or one of the two here at the house, so our normal grocery bill of $300-$400 a month, will go down considerably. That is an estimate of what it runs, depending on if the twins are on vacation or not. They get breakfast & lunch at school for FREE. It is when they are home in the evenings & weekends that they tend to eat us out of house & home. Usually on snacks like granola bars, fruit snacks, fruit, etc. They do not eat a lot of sweets, I don't usually keep them in the house and even if we do, it is not very often. For example: Halloween candy...I make two bags or containers to hold it. 1 for chocolate items and 1 for hard candy or the like. In 2009 Halloween candy lasted until 2010 Halloween...which I ended up throwing away. The same thing with 2010 Halloween candy...the chocolate is gone, but the hard candy and the like are still in our candy jar and probably will get thrown away come Halloween this year.

I have started clipping coupons from both the Sunday paper and from several online sources. I have a small binder and just need to organize it according to my grocery needs. I look forward to our Coffee & Coupon club get together in July. As well as sharing prior to and during how my coupon experience it working.

Take care,
God Bless,
Julie

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Long time no posting

WOW! It certainly has been a long, long time since I have blogged. Life has gone by so fast and so much has happened since 2008.



UPDATES:

My dad has been cancer free since his surgery. He has had surgery since then related to the prostate cancer, but it has been "mechanical" surgery, if you will. But he is doing awesome and healed very well from all surgeries.

Ashleigh & Austin turn 7 in April. They are in the final 9 weeks of the first grade. Ashleigh has been on the A Honor Roll. Austin is holding his own. He has some bumps to overcome since starting school, but I believe his is doing just fine. He FINALLY got tubes put in his ears and he can hear. He is going to speech therapy at school and will be doing tutoring outside of school until he is where he needs to be. We may get him there before the end of school in May, maybe not, but we will cross that bridge when we get there. He has participated in Cub scouts this year and he has really done very well. Ashleigh didn't get to be a Daisy, but hopefully will be able to be a Brownie in the 2nd grade.

Rob & I will be married 15 yrs in April. WOW!!! We have come a long way with bumps in the road, but our one constant has been our Lord & Savior Jesus Christ. Without Jesus in our lives, I do believe we wouldn't be together. But marriage is a road full of bumps, it is what you do to keep it working that matters.

Rob received his BA this past December from University of Southern Mississippi. We were so proud of him. It had been a long time coming, but he finally did it. Now he is planning on going for his Masters. Where that will be is up in the air right now, but it is still in the future.


As for me, I'm still at stay-at-home mom. I truly enjoy being able to take the kids to school in the morning and be here when they get out of school. Being a mom is what I've always wanted to be. Right now it works out financially for us, since all of my paycheck would go to after school care, but eventually I will need to go to work. I'm praying that I will be able to find something to do at home that won't be considered a "scam" according to Rob. Praying on God's wisdom and timing is all I can ask.

We are looking at the prospect of moving yet again, but this is something I know has always been a part of our lives. Rob will eventually want to work in his field, so moving to a big city is always on the horizon. Where in the US will it be....that is the ultimate question for the time being. We have lived so many places: twice in Pensacola, FL; Robertsdale, AL; Lake Worth, FL; Mesa, AZ; Thomasville, GA; and now here in Gulfport, MS (not in that order).

Where ever God leads us with Rob's job, we will go. It will not be without missing friends that we have made here in Gulfport. We have lived here longer than any of the places we have moved to. We have a solid church family and friends...I've grow so close to a lot of moms with multiples, but I will always be in touch, one way or another.

Well, I'm signing off for now. Everyone be Blessed and Stay safe!



Julie D