Tuesday, August 31, 2010

A penny saved is a penny earned....

So, on the coattails of the last post, I have started couponing (is that a word?) . Yesterday, I made the rounds of the stores that I had coupons for. First stop, Walgreens.

At Walgreens, I was able to get aluminum foil, packing tape, my ink cartridge refilled, and multi-grain cheerios for a grand total of $21.76 (pre-tax). I then used coupons, and paid $15.96. I saved a grand total of $5.80.

Next stop, Wal-mart. There, I was able to get a bunch of stuff using coupons that I had collected from the P&G coupon insert. Before the coupons, the total was 26.63... after coupons, 20.38. A savings of $6.25.

My biggest savings happened today. After doing a little research online (a.k.a. reading blogs), I discovered that you can put coupons on your Kroger card. So, without any prodding at all, I put those suckers on my Kroger card and went shopping.

Some items were already on sale for Kroger customers. From the picture, I'm sure you can guess what was the first Kroger discount I made full use of. Yeah... we like Diet Dr. Pepper. (or DDP as it is affectionately known as around my house). DDP was 4/$5, and after purchasing 4, you get 1 free! So, basically the DDP was $1 a piece. We drink a lot of DDP around here, so let me tell you, $1 a piece is a steal! For comparison, when DDP isn't on sale at Kroger, it is $1.89. Then, we go to Dollar General, which sells DDP for $1.25.

Another discount that I was pretty proud of was the fact that the potato chips were 1.67 after a Kroger discount, and then I got a $.25 discount with an e-coupon. That means the chips were only $1.42.

I'm sure you don't want a play-by-play of each item I bought, so I'll tell you the savings:
Manufacturer Coupons: 5.65
Kroger Plus Savings: 14.40
Total Savings: 20.05!

All of those items, after coupons only cost me 39.65.

I'm not a pro at it, but just these past 3 days have encouraged me to continue to clip coupons. I even have a coupon folder!

Monday, August 30, 2010

Coupon clipping

The other day, my husband came in and was amazed that someone that he works with's wife had bought approximately $50 of groceries for only $8. I'm impressed too. He had never realized that coupons could save so much money. (I've been trying to tell him that, though ;) )

Anyway, since he's now on board with using coupons, I've decided to be proactive and start using coupons more effectively.

The only problem is that I really don't know where to start. Last night, I decided to try to look up coupons online. The first place I went was Walgreens and found some pretty good coupons.. especially since they had coupons for things that I had run out of (such as aluminum foil and $10 ink refills). Next, I went to Smart Source and printed out some coupons. The only problem is that my printer then began to run out of ink. I guess I need to rethink my strategy to getting coupons... First thing on the list.... BUY INK!!! ( and now I have a coupon for that)

Another thing that I did was compare prescription prices. I usually go to Walgreens, but decided to give CVS a try.... (long story short, traffic was terrible the first week of school and I decided that I didn't want to drive the extra distance to go to Walgreens). At first, I thought the $12 for my prescription was really good, especially since that's what I've been paying at Walgreens for my prescription. However, I had recently gotten my doctor to lower the dosage of my prescription. Because of this lower dosage, I was able to qualify for the Prescription Savings Club price of $12 for a 90-day supply! That's $4 a month. To get the Prescriptions Savings Club price, you must first be a member of the club, which requires a $20 fee. But still.... that's $1.66 a month (plus the $4 for the prescription) that equals $5.66- a savings of $6.34.

My next goal is to get Christopher to only buy groceries for the week instead of going to the store every 2 days...

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

so many Big Lebowski references could be entered into this post...

I would insert tons of Big Lebowski quotes in this post, but I will not for two reasons.... the only references I have for the movie are what I've heard my husband quote over and over (and over) again (I've never seen it) and secondly, it's somewhat of a family-blog so I'll try to limit the swearing.

I'm always on the look out for a new rug. I don't know why, I guess it's just my crafting nature. I recently made a rug from old sheets and shirts to go under my dining room table ("It really tied the room together").

My roomate had a rug in college that was really soft and colorful. It was a nice rug and I always knew that there had to be some way to make it. I recently stumbled my way over to this blog that gave a tutorial on how to make a rug. I opened up the link, and there they were...instant instructions to make the rug. I'm thinking about making it.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

School's here...

School has officially started at MSU. Traffic's a mess and students are wandering around campus, looking for their next class. I even had one student stop me in the hall, asking where her Biocomputing class was. Um, I don't know? I told her I guess it would be room 103... hope I'm right.

Construction's been going on in my apartment. The ceiling was falling in and they had to install a support beam. They only raised it 1.5 inches. I was shocked that the ceiling had fallen that much. The only part they have left to do is to mud the sheetrock and they will be out of there. The landlord probably won't paint the sheetrock (going off his last "repair" endeavours... and the spots in my bathroom and closet that do not have paint). I wish they would hurry up so that I could go ahead, clean off all of the dust that is going to be everywhere after they sand the sheetrock, and get my doggies back home. We left them in Tupelo so that the carpenter could come and go without fear of being barked to death. The carpenter better hurry up or he will have to work with an angry dog in the apartment. Also, I miss my puppies (my cat's as big as a dog, so he's now being classified as a dog).

After this whole experience, I am ready to move. My main reason is that on the first day, the carpenter looked at the situation and said "I don't feel comfortable fixing your roof because you obviously (looking at the huge cracks in my floor) have foundation problems and those need to be addressed before I would fix the ceiling." After talking to the landlord, the carpenter lost all conviction to not fix the apartment and promised to be there at 8 a.m. the next day to start work.

Well, I took off work for him to be there. Guess who didn't show up. I called him and he told me that he completely forgot and that he would come at 5 p.m. He did show up, they installed the beam, and, when they left, the only project left was to hang the sheetrock and mud the cracks.

Yesterday, he hung the sheetrock and started to mud the seams.

After all of this, and the previous projects that I have fixed because of how the landlord usually acts, I have decided that maybe it's time to move on.

Did I mention the kitchen drain? ... it was leaking so we called the landlord. He said that it's not leaking now and if it starts back, let him know.... well, when he said that, the pipe could be pulled from the drain!!!!!! I fixed it.

The door also likes to not open. Our doorknob will jam sometime, making it impossible to enter or exit the apartment. This has happened more than once, but after taking the doorknob apart, banging it, and spraying it with WD-40, it starts to work again. We told the landlord about the doorknob but he wasn't concerned. This morning, the door jammed while I was trying to leave for work. It started to work again, but now I wonder if I will be able to get back in my apartment.

I think all of my concerns would have been addressed if maybe we were a first-year tenant of this apartment. It hasn't been renovated/fixed in 5 years and now it's starting to show its age. If we stay, things will never be fixed up, but if we move to a different apartment in the complex, our rent will go up and we may have to pay more of a deposit. I already think our rent is a little steep, but I really like living where I can see a tree (and not concrete).

So, maybe it is time for us to pack up and find somewhere else to live. The only bad thing is that our lease runs until July 31, 2011. By then, I'll probably will decide to stay.

I did find a house that had a fenced-in back yard and they allow pets. Maybe it'll be open next August.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Happy National S'mores Day!

Thanks to The Shabby Nest, I learned that today was National S'mores Day.

I love s'mores.

Food Network Magazine did an article on different s'mores recipies. I couldn't find it, but here is a link to tons of s'more recipies on their website.

Tons of s'mores

(photo from caplanmiller.com)

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Updates galore...

A few months ago, I went on a cleaning spree, which resulted in the cleaning out of the closets. I started cleaning up the kitchen shelves and posted that I would display my results. Unfortunately, this shelf is "unorganizable". I did, however, find a solution. So....

Kitchen Shelf before...

and Kitchen Shelf after!

Lowe's had a sale on painter's drop cloths. I got a 6x9 canvas cloth for under $5. I then bought a curtain rod for around $2.25. The canvas happened to be two 4.5 x 6 dropcloths sewn together. I took them apart and created a pocket for the curtain rod to slide into. I then tied the rod to the rack, using cable ties. I still need to attach some fabric tie-backs to hold the curtain up while I am trying to find dishes/appliances.

It's an instant mess hider :)

Also, I have published posts talking about building a new bed. I wanted to build the Farmhouse bed, but at a pricetag of $126 before paint, screws, nails, etc., it was a little out of my budget. Another issue that I would have had to deal with is the fact that I would have an extra headboard around the apartment. I didn't want to get rid of it, but I had no room to store it. So... to solve the dillemas of money and storage, I opted to build a different bed. This Modern Bed was much better. It would allow me to use the old headboard and save money (about $70). So, without further ado... pictures.

The old bed. I forgot to show the cement block leg.
The Bed Before...

The bed during...
I know what you're thinking... "What, no after?" Well, me, being the brilliant photographer that I am, forgot to take an after picture. I promise I will take one tonight, after I charge my camera battery.