Friday, February 29, 2008

Check Your Receipt

It is Frugal Friday over at Biblical Womanhood and this is an article I borrowed from my husband's website pinchtown.com .


Each and every time you finish shopping, check your receipt carefully. Mistakes can and do happen no matter how careful you or the store staff might be. State inspections since 2001 have shown that errors occur with about 50% of items scanned at checkout. If you are overcharged and you don't catch it, it's your pocketbook that takes the hit! And remember that once you leave the store, it will be more difficult or at least inconvenient to have to return later if you find an error after leaving and it may not be worth the cost of gas to make the return trip!
It helps to pay careful attention to the prices of the items you are buying when you place them in the cart. A written list would be a wise way to keep track of prices, especially if you are buying more than just a few items. Some states require stores to provide you with a pen for this purpose if needed.
Check your state laws for additional legal benefits too. For instance, in the State of Michigan if a store charges a customer more than an item's sticker price as a result of a scanning error, the store is legally bound to pay the customer the difference between the amount charged and the price marked plus a "bonus" of ten times the difference, with a minimum of $1.00 and a maximum of $5.00. How's that for incentive to stop and check your receipt?

Click here to check our Michigan's Item Pricing laws.

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Happy Leap Day

Walgreens is celebrating Leap Day. If you are planning to go to Walgreens tomorrow or Saturday check out these 29 cent coupons .

Thankful Thursday

"I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength." Philippians 4:16

I have repeated this verse to myself so many times while I have been on this journey to lose weight. Lately I have been in a holding pattern and at times it gets discouraging. One of my bloggy friends Chubby Chick has a great post listing the reason that she wants to lose weight which was so inspiring to me an made me realize that I have so much to be thankful for. I have a list of things that I am thankful for but most of all I am thankful for the strength that God has given me to persevere.

Things I am thankful for since losing weight:

  1. I have reduced my risk of diabetes.
  2. I feel healthy.
  3. I am building muscle.
  4. My cholesterol is lower.
  5. I can look good for my husband.
  6. I can ride my bike with my kids.
  7. I can run with my kids.
  8. I can climb the steps without being winded.
  9. I can cross my legs.
  10. I can fit in an airplane seat comfortably.
  11. I can fit on amusement park rides.
  12. I can fit in a booth at a restaurant.
  13. I can shop in normal stores.
  14. I can feel my bones. ( I actually have a collar bone and hip bones).
  15. I can wear heals.
  16. I can wear shorts.
  17. I don't feel embarrassed about my weight.
  18. My kids are learning healthy habits.
  19. I don't have to avoid family photos.
  20. I have great friends and family that continue to support me.

Visit Sting My Heart for more Thankful Thursday.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Biscotti


Last week Crystal over at Biblical Womanhood had a contest to win a sampler of biscotti from Sugar House Delights and I won. Yay!! Thank you Crystal. This biscotti looks great and I can't wait to try it with a cup of tea. I have checked out Sugar House Delights and they have some great looking biscotti in many different varieties. You can even try a biscotti for a penny. Biblical Womanhood is a great site if you haven't visited before you need to check it out.

Bath Truffles Giveaway


Tiffanie over at The Shopping Fund is giving away this lovely box of bath truffles from Body Apothecary. The pink and chocolate brown striped elegant gift box is filled with decadent luxuries for your bath, our bath truffles! These are created using cocoa and shea butters, and your skin will drink up all the moisturizing qualities of the butters while you soak in the tub. For your chance to win visit The Shopping Fund. Hurry this giveaway ends Friday.

Wordless Wednesday

In case one isn't enough

For more Wordless Wednesday visit 5 Minutes for Mom

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Healthy You Check-In

I have had a pretty good week and at my weigh-in last Thursday I was down 1 lb. I don't think that I will reach my goal to be out of the 160's by the end of February but I am trying hard to keep positive and work everyday on better choices.

Exercise has been good and I got 4 days in this week and I am getting ready to do an hour workout after I finish this post. I am still looking for something new to do to change things up a bit. I am looking forward to warmer weather when I can get back to walking outside.

I have worked really hard at increasing my water intake this week. I got out an old water bottle and have been trying to fill it twice a day and get all that in. I usually add just a small amount of crystal light to give it just a hint of flavor.

Once again journaling is my downfall. I usually do good until the weekend comes and then it goes out the window. I am back to writing today though but it leaves my points over the weekend unaccounted for. I have a tendency to snack more when I am not journaling.

My snacking and mindless eating as I like to call it is getting better. Yesterday I only had one snack in the day and an orange before bed so I was very proud of myself.

I know if I never lose another pound I have come along way but I am determined that I will make it to my goal weight. The last six months have been frustrating as I have been in this cycle but I am still ever so thankful that I am 85 lbs lighter than I was 2 years ago. I am ever so thankful that I can shop for normal clothes. I am ever so thankful I can run and play with my kids. I am ever so thankful I am a healthier me!!

A New Look

Shone and I have been playing around with my blog and trying to change a few things trying to decide what we like. We are still playing around so you may see more changes. Tell me if you like it or if I should go back to my old layout.

Monday, February 25, 2008

Mommy Product Review

My son spotted this Leap Frog TURBO TWIST MATH toy at the thrift store when we where a few weeks ago and asked if we could get it. He loves anything that has to do with electronics or computers and it was from Leap Frog so I said yes. Little did I know what a wonderful tool it would become in helping him memorize his math facts. He has been struggling with his subtraction facts. In 3rd grade there is a huge emphasis on math facts for addition, subtraction, multiplication and division within a certain time limit. We have been trying all kinds of different methods for months and he was still struggling. Finally after weeks of practicing on the Turbo Twist Math he got a passing time on his subtraction. On his last subtraction time test, to his suprise and his teachers, he was actually the first one done. He was so proud of himself. We have also seen great improvement on his multiplication. The best part is I don't have to pull teeth to get him to practice because to him it is a toy. I love that he is having fun and learning at the same time. I have to say Leap frog products have been great for my kids. This same child learned to read at 3 using the Leap Pad Learning System. I can't say enough good things about this product especially since it has saved me headaches from a child whining about practicing math facts.

Sunday, February 24, 2008

I feel loved

I received this Tea Chest from my secret sister at church a few weeks ago. I was blown away to receive such a great gift. I truly feel loved and appreciate this wonderful gift. The box is beautiful and even better it is filled with delicious tea. There are six different flavors with both green tea and black tea. I have not tried them all but my favorite so far is the chai tea. The Chai is so good it is almost gone. There is also a Pomegranate tea which is very good. The teas are from the Boston Tea Company which I had never heard of but I am enjoying their tea. If you are my secret sister I want to say a big thank you, I truly feel blessed!

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Cheap Tea at Amazon


You know I can resist tea and this one I have been really wanting to try. So I gave in and bought more tea on Amazon. The have a great deal going on now on Celestail Seasonings tea. If you buy $29 of Celestial Seasonings Tea you get $10 off when you enter the code TEAFUN22. You can also get free shipping with this deal. I actually bought this tea for a special occasion as well as several other blends. I ended up getting 36 boxes of tea for $24 which is less than a dollar a box. Here is what I got:


Celestial Seasonings Organic Mango Darjeeling, Black Tea, 10 Count, 0.61 Ounce Boxes (Pack of 10)

Celestial Seasonings Dessert Tea, English Toffee, 10-Count, 1.14 Ounce Boxes (Pack of 10)

Celestial Seasonings Imperial White Peach White Tea, 10-Count, 0.5 Ounce Boxes (Pack of 10)

Celestial Seasonings Earl Grey White Tea, 20 Count, 1.46 Ounce Boxes (Pack of 6)

These are all teas I haven't tried so I am excited to be able to try them. If you are in need of tea this is a great deal. If you think it is too much tea for you have a friend go in with you and try some new teas. Remember that tea is good for you.

To see how others have saved money this week visit Money Saving Mom .

Friday, February 22, 2008

Discount Disney DVD Replacements

If your family owns Disney DVDs, they probably see a lot of use. If those DVDs are frequently handled by little hands, they may suffer occasional abuse. Sometimes that abuse leaves a DVD unplayable. It becomes a "coaster." If that DVD happens to be one of your tot's favorite videos, you'll probably be seriously considering purchasing a replacement.
As an alternative to spending full price to buy a new copy from the Store, Disney provides a service through which they will provide you a replacement DVD for a significantly discounted price ($6.95 as of February, 2008) when you send them the damaged original (with packaging). Depending on the DVD in question, that represents a sizable savings. This is especially true if your damaged DVD was orginally part of a multi-disc set.
We made use of this service when our children destroyed our Toy Story 2 DVD which had been part of the Toy Story 2 Pack that included the original movie along with the sequel. Not wanting to spend full price to buy another copy of Toy Story 2, but knowing how much our children enjoyed watching it over and over (again and again and again...), we decided it was worth giving this service a try. We sent in the damaged DVD and the check as instructed. Maybe a week or two later, our replacement DVD arrived in the mail and it has been watched repeatedly since. We were pleasantly surprised with the convenience and quality of this relatively unheard-of Disney service. This is also a great service because many Disney DVD's are only available for a limited time.
Learn more about this Disney DVD Replacement program.
For more frugal ideas visit Biblical Womanhood

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Thankful Thursday



This Thursday I am thankful for:
The sun. Despite the cold temperatures we have had several days of sun, which warms my soul. God is sending us a reminder to be thankful in all seasons. It is good to know that we are in the last month of winter.
My husband. I am so thankful for the hard work that he does everyday so that he can provide for our family and allow me to stay at home. I am thankful that he loves me even though I am far from perfect.

That God loves me. Today in our bible study we studied about Sampson and how God used him in spite of his flaws. I am thankful that despite my flaws that God loves me.

My friends and family. I am thankful for the love an support that you give me everyday.

For being 1 pound lighter. I am one pound closer to my goal.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Wordless Wednesday


He has my heart.
Click here for more Wordless Wednesday

Weigh-In Wednesday

Well I think I am going to have to pick a time other than Wednesday morning to weigh-in. The weather is beautiful today but my daughter is now sick. I think I will go back to Thursday nights so I can just go by myself again. I'll let you know next Tuesday how things go tomorrow. Have a great Wednesday.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Free Rice

Not free for you but those who are starving. Visit FreeRice.com and play a simple word game and you will be donating rice to the UN World Food Program to help fight hunger.

At FreeRice.com, all it takes to donate rice to hungry families is a good grasp of the English language. The site gives you a word followed by four possible definitions. Match the word with its meaning and Free Rice will donate 20 grains of rice through the United Nations World Food Program. Wrong or right, you can play as long as you like, so you're helping yourself and the world! Hey don't we all want to be a little smarter.

I have a super smart husband who helped me so we donated quite a bit of rice. Go play and have fun!!

Healthy You Check-In

February was going to be my great month that I made out of the 160's after being here for over 8 months playing with the same 5 lbs. Well guess what, I am still playing. I weighed-in last Thursday because once again the roads were awful Wednesday . After nearly being killed going to weigh-in on a snowy day I decided that if the roads are bad I don't go until the next day. Anyway I went Thursday and I was up 2.6 lbs. It was no suprise I knew it was coming after an awful week the previous week with no weigh-in at all. It still hurt and I was still angry with myself because once again I had sabatogged my goal. I know the month is not over but it would mean 5lbs to loss in the next week. Somehow I am not sure it will happen. I am not giving up though.

I know part of my problem is routine. I have been thinking I need to up the anti on my exercise. I have even been thinking about a new exercise routine. I am open to suggestions of DVD's you really like. I will still continue with The Firm but I want to add something to it and replace some of the time on the treadmill.

Journaling has been really bad. Okay I haven't done it for weeks, but today I am back on track and I hope to stay that way. If I would just take a few minutes I know it would make a big difference. I just have to remind myself of the importance of writing everything down.

I am going to try some new recipes as well to add a little variety back into our meals. I am trying to eat less processed foods but I always keep going back to what is easy.

Hopefully I will be able to weigh-in tomorrow and my efforts to get back on track will show. I know that everyday is a new opportunity to be the healthy pearson I know I can be.

Saturday, February 16, 2008

CVS~This Week's Deals

I know you are all just waiting to see what I bought at CVS this week. I have to admit I am getting used to taking pictures of my shopping deals. It brings back memories of when I would scan my groceries and other purchases to earn giftcards. You can't simply come home and put everything away.

This week I got :
  • 1 package(9 rolls) Charmin
  • 1 package(8 rolls) Bounty
  • 2 Cascade dish detergents
  • 1 bottle of Dawn dishsoap
  • 1 Crest toothpaste
  • 1/2 gallon of milk
  • a few pictures I had to pick up($1.50)
  • a bottle of G2

I used $4 in coupons , a CVS 4/20 (email sign-up) coupon, and $10 in ECB

I spent $8.90 oop and received $6.29 in ECB

To see how others have saved money visit Money Saving Mom.

Friday, February 15, 2008

Survey Rewards

On Monday I posted about the different survey sites that I use to earn a little extra money. When I receive checks I usually put them in my checking account but I usually stockpile my giftcards and save them to buy Christmas presents for my husband. I don't have much income since I stay at home so it is important to me to feel I am using my own money to buy his Christmas gifts. One year I just bought my husband a wallet and filled it with giftcards that I had earned. With the points that I earn from Zoom Panel I save them up until October and then order my prizes. Last year I got my husband a car vac, 2 DVD's a CD and 10 music downloads for both him and my son. When December comes around it is a great feeling to know most of my shopping is already done.

For other great frugal ideas visit Biblical Womanhood .

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Thankful Thursday~Valentine's Day


This a new post for me. I have so much in my life to be grateful for and I often forget to just say Thank you. So I have decided to join Thankful Thursday over at String My Heart so I am remined to take to out each week to give thanks for my blessings. God has blessed me in so many ways it only seems right to share.



Today was normal Bible study morning with the ladies from my church and I am so thankful for the group of wonderful women who inspire me and help me to grow closer to my Lord. Today we had a wonderful Valentine's tea and I am very thankful to my dear sister in Christ who so unselfishly planned a wonderful tea for us.

I am also thankful for the gifts that were given to me. I am inspired at the creativity that God has blessed these ladies with. Check out their handywork.


The flowers were given to me by my mother. Flower arranging is her new passion. Thanks Mom. The serving pieces were given to me by my friend Dottie. She made these as a favor for all of the ladies. She always amazes me with her talent. Thanks Dottie for a wonderful tea.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Motivation

I have always been inspired by looking at success stories. I love seeing pictures at how much weight people have lost. It keeps me motivated to keep going and to do my best to make myself healthy. I have never taken progress pictures of myself which I probably should have done, but I can't change that and I am not going back to do it again. Anyway, the other night I was putting some old photos on my computer and I came across this picture.

When I saw it tears came to my eyes because I realized how unhealthy I was but at the time I would not admit to myself that I had a weight problem. There was so many things I could not do because of limitations due to my weight. I still do not like to admit that I had allowed myself to get to this weight or show pictures of myself but this has become my motivation to keep going and to reach my goal. Here is where I am know and this is my motivation to never go back.







Healthy You Check-In



Since it is check-in day I will report although it had been an awful week. I did not weigh in last week due to bad roads. That started a landslide of bad choices. I did too much celebrating of my daughters birthday. I had too much cake, too much pizza and just had a week of poor decisions. I did not write anything down and was just out of control. I think some of it was stress with my husband being out of town. When I weigh in tomorrow I know it won't be pretty but I am back on track. This morning I exercised first thing and my point tracking is going well. So I will keep on enduring and remember that it is never to late to start fresh.

Monday, February 11, 2008

Money Making Monday

I promised awhile back that I would post the survey sites that I use to make a little extra money. There are alot of sites out there so be selective and never use a site that you have to pay money to join. These surveys won't make you rich but they can but a little extra money in your pocket or giftcards. Here are some of my favorite.

Pinecone Research - last year I made $55 dollars but they are not always accepting new members.

My Survey -last year I made about $30 and tried several products for them.

Opinion Outpost -last year I made $25.

Lightspeed Panel -last year I made $30 in Amazon giftcards.

Harris Poll Online -last year I made $15 in giftcards.

Zoom Panel -last year I recieved about $75 worth of prizes. Mostly DVD's and CD's.

E-Poll - last year I made $20 in giftcards.

There are others that I have not made anything at yet or are not really worth mentioning. All of these surveys either pay you per survey or you get points to go toward payment. I do not do surveys that only offer a sweepstakes entry, it isn't worth my time.

I have also been a member of MyPoints for several years and it truly is a very easy way to score free giftcards. You get points for clicking on e-mail, taking surveys and shopping at your favorite stores online. Over the years I have earned more than $300 in giftcards. My husband also paid for a large amount of this computer with giftcards he got from MyPoints. If you have not tried it you should really check it out.

For other money making ideas visit Money Saving Mom.

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Shoe Giveaway


Don't you love these shoes? Like most women I love shoes and so does my daughter. MomViews.net is giving away a pair of pediped shoes in the style of your choice. The retail value is $30. Check them out because they are so cute. Hurry because the contest ends February 11th and a winner will be chosen on the 12th.

Friday, February 8, 2008

Saving on your Energy Bill


An easy way to save on your energy bill is to buy and install a programmable thermostat. This is especially valuable if your home is unoccupied during most of each day.

During the winter, program it to reduce the temperature to about 60 degrees after bed time and when no one is home. We set ours to 55 and sleep great. Set it to raise the temperature again 30 minutes before you wake up or before anyone arrives home.

During the summer, reverse the settings to allow the temperature to increase about 20 degrees when no one is home. Set it to lower the temperature again 30 minutes before you get home.

Bottom Line:Save $110.00 per year.*(*Individual results will vary. Calculations based on $600 average annual heating and cooling costs reduced by 18.3% by moderating the home temperature by about 11 degrees.)

For more frugal ideas click here.

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

No Willpower? No Problem.

Last year I got a motivational calendar by Kim Bensen. She had this motivational piece that I have kept and taped up by my desk so that I can read it often. I though that I would share it with you.

No Willpower? No problem

Having trouble sticking with your diet or exercise routine? Think you don't have enough enough willpower to ever finish what you started? Willpower isn't all that it is cracked up to be. The goal isn't to be able to stand painfully in the face of temptation for hours on end without caving in. Willpower is a great last resort, but how much better to have planned your way around temptation. Let me give you a few substitutes for willpower; planning, preperation, distraction, busyness, sleeping, sharing, praying, activity, and purging your space of temptation. Pick one and give it a try. The point is, sometimes it's not as crucial to be strong in sticking to your diet as it is smart. With willpower the POWER isn't the inportant thing: it is the WILLing that counts.

Thanks Kim. I hope that this helps you as it has helped me.

Weigh-In Wednesday

Well it seems as if it has been forever since I have weighed-in on a Wednesday. I will get back to my normal routine soon though. We had icy roads this morning so I did not venture out. I probably won't get a chance to weigh-in this week. If I did go I am sure my weight would up as I finally am back to exercising after being sick for 2 weeks. It was not a good week for journaling and that seems to be my downfall. I just have to stick to it so that it becomes a habit again. I have my goal to be out of the 160's in February so I need to make journaling a priority.

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Healthy Me


Okay, I have a super busy day going so I will post tomorrow about how my week has been after I have my WW weigh-in. Thanks to all who have welcomed me and I hope you are having a great week. Here is a scripture that always keep me encouraged.
I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength.
Phillipians 4:13
I know this is a common verse but it gives me a constant reminder to keep my mind focused on the positive. Have a great Day!!

Saturday, February 2, 2008

Find the Discount Bin

Many stores have a small area reserved for heavily discounted or discontinued items. This is a prime hunting ground for excellent bargains. It should be a regular and early stop on your routine shopping route through the store.


You'll be surprised at what you may find in the discount area. So much so, you may need at least a modicum of discipline to avoid buying items you really don't need. So be sure to have your shopping list with you.


One trip's discount bargains.

Case in point: On February 1, 2007, we purchased the laundry products pictured above after finding them in the discount bin at our local super market. I added up their pre-tax prices. Had we paid sticker price, we would have paid $72.87 plus tax. But since they were drastically reduced as discounted items, we paid only $18.72 plus tax. Altogether, we saved $57.40. (Remember, you pay less sales tax by paying less to begin with.)


An additional benefit of shopping the discount bins is that the merchandise has a strong chance of being scanned with an incorrect price (because the reduced price tag may not have been entered into the store scanner data base properly during the discount process). That could result in even greater savings for you. So, as always, be sure to check your receipt after check-out.


Bottom Line:

Save $150 or more per year.*
(*Individual results will vary. Calculations based on actual savings trends over several months.)

This was our saving at Meijer this week that my husband posted on pinchtown.com. To see how others are saving money visit Money Saving Mom.

Friday, February 1, 2008

Pepsi Stuff

If you are a Pepsi drinker, like we are in my house ,save your caps because Pepsi started a new program today called Pepsi Stuff. It is in conjuction with Amazon.com. Each cap has a code that is worth 1 point.
  • 5 points = a free MP3 download
  • 60 points = a free CD
  • 90 points = a free DVD
  • They also have some electronics, apparel and more starting at 45 points.

Happy drinking!!!

Thrift Store shopping


I love Thrift stores. They are a great place to save yourself money, but did you know you can also use the thrift stores to make yourself some extra money? I shop many different thrift stores but my favorite is probably the Salvation Army Store. Our local store is great on Saturdays because along with their other specials, clothing tagged with a certain color is half off that week. You can purchase 5 such items for $5 dollars. I have bought many items still new with tags for only $1. I then, in turn, either sell those items to our local children's resale shop or sell them on e-Bay. It is like getting your clothes for free or close to it. Remember, not every week will you find gems, but they are out there. Check around to see what specials your thrift stores have and what day is best to shop.
For more frugal ideas click here