Thursday, March 31, 2011

Rite Aid and Walgreens Shopping!

Quote for the Day:
Thrift was never more necessary in the world's history than it is today. 
~Francis H. Sisson

Those who know me know that I have a strong vein of "thrift" running through me!  (Actually, I think that puts it mildly!)  But, I come from a long line of thrifty/frugal people, so I think it's truly in my blood.  Luckily, I am married to another thrifty, frugal person, so we get along well together in that respect.  (My husband jokes that he is so tight with money that when he walks he "squeaks"!  LOL) 

Today was my day to go do my coupon shopping and I wanted to share my Rite Aid and Walgreens deals with you.  It's not as phenomenal as some days, but still very good, none-the-less....especially if you look at how much I got for so little.  Sometimes it not all about getting things for FREE, but just getting things you use for as little out-of-pocket cost as you can.  And that's more what my shopping was about today, since neither Rite Aid or Walgreens had much in the way of "free" items.

My first stop was at Walgreens...

After coupons and using previous Register Rewards, I paid $8.48 out-of-pocket.  Not bad, considering that bottle of Bio-Oil, alone, retails for $11.99!  :)  

In addition, I received $6 in Register Rewards to use toward my next purchase!

Next stop was Rite Aid where I picked up these items...

After coupons, Wellness Rewards and Up Rewards, my out-of-pocket was $5.87.

In addition, I received $3.00 back in Up Rewards to use on my next purchase as well as another offer to do an online survey to earn another "$3.00 off of a future $15.00 purchase" coupon.

If you are wondering what someone who doesn't have children at home needs with all that baby wash...I use it to wash my face!  If it's gentle enough to use on baby skin, it certainly can't harm my face!  :)  ( now know my "beauty secret"!)  :)  Soooooo much cheaper than those special facial washes!  :)  AND they don't sting if you get them in your eyes! just keeps getting better, doesn't it?  I've been using baby wash as a face wash for several years now.

Did you see those three bottles of liquid dishwasher detergent?  Yes, we have a portable dishwasher.  But I wanted to share what I now have sitting in my entryway... new dishwasher (built-in style) has arrived!  Last weekend we went to Home Depot and paid for the new kitchen cabinets, counter tops, dishwasher and sink for the kitchen remodel!!!!   YAY!!!   We are actually going to do it!  We took the plunge!  

We opted to pick up the cabinets ourselves in a couple weeks in lieu of paying a delivery fee.  However, the dishwasher was not an in-stock item, so it got delivered for FREE and arrived yesterday.   This is the one we decided on.  It has a "tall tub" hopefully it will take some of my deeper pots.  :)  It was on sale when we bought it...BONUS!  :)

And...while we were "sleeping" on the decision to buy the cabinets, they went on sale for 10% off!  *happy dance*   Getting cold feet can sometimes pay off!  LOL

I am soooooooooooo ready to have a decent kitchen!  I can't wait!

Thanks for stopping by my blog!  Please leave a comment to let me know you were here!


Saturday, March 26, 2011

More Super Couponing and a Quilt Top Finished!

Quote for the Day:
“The art is not in making money, but in keeping it.”
~ old proverb

Yesterday I was given a surprise day off from work!  :)  It doesn't happen very often, so it was a nice surprise.  It enabled me to do a lot of sewing on Sera's "Disney Princess" quilt and I got the top completed!  

I feel kinda bad because Sera's favorite color is PINK, but the focus fabric for this quilt was lavender, so her quilt is PURPLE.  To compensate for this, I'm going to find some pretty pink fabric from my stash to use as the backing.   She can have her Disney princesses on one side and her pink on the other! 

Now...onto my couponing...
My favorite drugstores to do my couponing at are Rite Aid and Walgreens.  They both offer deals, that when paired with coupons and their own rewards programs, add up to great money-savers.  (CVS also has great deals, but we don't have a CVS in our town.)

Today I went to Rite Aid to do my couponing there and I thought I'd share with you what I got.

This is what I purchased...

I had coupons for everything except the jane mascara...however, it was on clearance for 75% off...bringing the price down to $1.37...and I was in need of a new mascara!  :)

Before coupons, the total was $11.33.  After coupons, the total out-of-pocket was $1.01.   (Actually, I was only out $1.00 because the cashier offered to take the penny out of the penny cup that was there by the register!)  :)

After paying, I received $6.00 in +UP rewards to be used as cash towards my next shopping trip.  In addition, I submitted my receipt online and will get $1.00 back in rebate for purchasing the Lysol.  Also, on my receipt there was an offer of a $3.00 coupon off of a $15.00 future purchase if I went online and filled out a survey about this shopping visit...which I did...and then I printed out my coupon.

So... today Rite Aid gave me free products and then paid me $8.99 to remove these products from their store!  :)   How cool is that?   I LOVE getting free products...AND being "paid" to buy them!   

I learned several years ago that it isn't how much you's how much you KEEP.  

Even though I make a good hourly wage at my job, when you subtract taxes, car upkeep (including insurance, etc.) to drive to and from work, malpractice insurance, continuing education expense, and all the other expenses that go into keeping a nursing license and job, your "hourly" wage is much lower than what you think.  You can go here to calculate YOUR real hourly wage.

When you know your REAL hourly wage you can then figure out exactly how many hours it will take you to pay for something.  Then you can decide for yourself whether or not that thing is worth the x-number of hours of work it will take to pay for it.  

You can also use it figure out how long it would have taken you to earn the money to pay for the free products you can get with couponing.  :)   For's definitely worth my time to coupon as I can get $50-100 dollars worth of free product per month...and that's a LOT of hours that I don't have to spend working at my "real hourly wage"! 

Thanks for visiting my blog today!  Feel free to leave me a comment...I love to read them!  :)  

Have a blessed day!


Monday, March 21, 2011

Super Couponing!

Quote for the Day:
"He who does not economize will have to agonize"

Wanted to show you the results of my shopping trip to Walgreens to today.
I love it when THEY PAY ME to take stuff out of there store!  LOL

This is what I bought...

Before coupons, the total was $48.78.  :O

After coupons, I paid $10.70 out of pocket and received $12.00 worth of Register Rewards to be used as cash towards my next purchase!  :)

So, basically, Walgreens handed me these products and then paid me $1.30 to walk out the door with them!  :)

I can live with that!  :)  That's the way I like to shop!

I also want to give a shout-out to the wonderful people who work at our Walgreens here in Grafton!  They really are very pleasant to deal with.  I have one lady that almost always waits on me...she works at the cosmetics counter and that's where I usually go to check out.  She is very helpful and knows that I will have plenty of coupons.  She always likes to see just how little I pay!  LOL  And when I missed a couple of months of shopping/couponing this past winter due to illness and travel, she said she missed me and wondered what happened to me.  (She told me she thought that maybe I was one of the lucky "snow birds" that went to Florida for the winter and that was why I hadn't been around.  LOL)  Every employee there is more than happy to help you find anything you are looking for.  I've never had an unpleasant experience there! 

Thanks for stopping by my blog today!  Hope you have a good Monday!  Now, I've gotta head to work...


Sunday, March 20, 2011

Paralyzed by Indecision...

Quote for the Day:
“I used to think I was indecisive, but now I'm not so sure”
~ author unknown

I'm indecision.
Too many choices does that to me.  That...and the thought of an expensive purchase such as the kitchen renovation.

We had planned on going back to Home Depot today to make the "purchase" of the kitchen cabinets and counter tops.  But we also need to pick out a new sink, dishwasher, and faucet fixtures.

Well...we went to Home Depot.  And we walked around and looked at all of the above.  And then we walked out.  Without purchasing anything.

We have never undertaken this kind of kitchen redo before and it makes us very scared.  Can we do the work ourselves?  Will it look good and be good when we are done?  Are our choices good ones?  

While in Home Depot we decided we would sleep on the decision one more week since we can't start any remodeling till after we return from our trip to Maine in a couple weeks, anyway.  The dishwasher we picked out is on sale till 3/30 so we'll still be able to get that one this coming weekend.  

Almost as soon as we got home I wished that we had just gone ahead and placed the order while we were there.  Maybe putting it off another week is only prolonging the pain?  Or maybe I'll feel more sure in our decision after sleeping on it another 7 days?  I'm hoping the latter is true.
Nothing says Loretta is under stress like a batch of Sweet Treats!  LOL

This is a recipe that has been in our family for as long as I can remember...

Sweet Treats
1/2 cup butter
2 cups sugar
1/2 cup milk
6 tablespoons powdered chocolate milk mix (like Nestle's Quik)

Melt all ingredients in saucepan and boil for 2 minutes.

Remove from heat and add:
3/4 cup peanut butter
1 teaspoon vanilla (if you forget this it won't set up...ask me how I know!)
3 cups quick oats
1/2 cup chopped nuts

Mix thoroughly and then drop by teaspoonfuls onto waxed paper.  Let cool.  Enjoy!

Personally, I make the "female" version nuts!  LOL  Instead, I just add about 1/3 cup more of oats to keep it from being too runny.

Also...if you don't let them cool, you will have to eat them with a spoon.  (Ask me how I know!  LOL)  *embarrassed*

Thanks for stopping by for a visit!  Please leave a comment and let me know you were here.


Friday, March 18, 2011

Just Keepin' It Real...

Quote for the Day:
"Honesty may be the best policy, but it's important to remember that apparently, by elimination, dishonesty is the second-best policy."
~George Carlin

First let's start off with some good news...

Yes, Folks...that's pretty darn close to 70 degrees F today!  According to the TV and the weather download on my computer screen, it IS 70, but for some reason my back porch thermometer is only reading at about 68-69 right now....or at least it did when I took this picture!  :)

It is beautiful out...partly cloudy, peaceful, nice!  I wish it was like this all year cold, no snow...  *sigh*... for the bad news...

This, dear Readers, is what my desk looks like...most of the time...well...pretty much all the time...

Tryin' to keep it real here.  :(  

I have a HORRIBLE time taming the clutter...especially the paper clutter.  I HATE dealing with things.  If it can't be done on the computer,'s a good chance it won't get done.  And even if it CAN be done on the computer...there's still a partial chance that it won't get done.  I put things off till the last possible minute.

Somehow, some way, I need to learn to control the paper clutter and to deal with things in a timely manner so that I don't have them just "hanging around".

So, today, I decided to tackle the desk.  A lot of things just needed put away where they belong, papers gone through and either thrown away or filed. 

This is what the desk looks like now...

Right side of desk...

Center area of desk...

That wooden bill organizer there in the center of the cubby hole is going to go at some point.  I don't need something that big anymore to help me keep my bills organized now that we debt-free.  I need to look at the office supply store to see what I can use that is smaller that will go in there.  Basically, I just need something with 2 slots in to hold papers to be submitted for reimbursement and one to hold the utility bills as they come in and are waiting to be paid.  (Yes, even when you are "debt-free" there are still "regular" living expenses that need to be paid.  Some people think of being "debt-free" as never having to pay anybody anything ever again.  But, alas, if you ever figure out how to do that one, please let me know!  LOL)

Here are items I found on the desk that can go to Ebay and the summer's yard sale...

The light bulbs and little heart-shaped saucer will go on the yard sale, and the lamp, linen hankies, printer ink cartridge will go on Ebay.

The rest of the stuff that was on the desk that didn't belong there have been moved to their appropriate storage places.

If anyone would like to share how they control their paper clutter, I'd really like to hear how you do it.  :)  Any helpful hints are gratefully accepted!


Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Half-Way There!

Quote for the Day:
“Believe you can and you're halfway there.”
~Theodore Roosevelt

This medalian is the center of the whole-cloth quilt I've been hand quilting on since November 22, 2010.  As you can see from the above picture, the medalian is now half-way quilted, so that means that I am officially HALF-WAY through the quilt.  YAY!!!  

I would love to have it finished in time to enter it into a local quilt show here in June, but at this rate, I don't think it'll be done in time.  :( 

I've been splitting my quilting time between hand quilting on this quilt and piecing together the Disney Princess quilt top. 

While sewing and quilting, I've finished listening to the book, The Kids are All Right, by Diana & Liz Welch, and have moved on to 2 other books...The Help (fiction) and Bobby & Jackie: A Love Story.  I would highly recommend all three!  I usually only read non-fiction, but The Help is a captivating book.  I am currently about half-way through both of these books.   (I'm listening to The Help on my MP3 player when I'm sewing/quilting.  But for some reason I couldn't get Bobby & Jackie to download to my MP3 player, so I burned it to CD and am listening to it in the car to and from work.) 

Thanks for stopping by my blog today!   Hope you have a great day!


Monday, March 14, 2011

Will We? or Won't We???

Quote for the Day:
“Indecision may or may not be my problem.”
~Jimmy Buffett

Twelve and a half years ago we moved into this humble abode we call "home".  It was my "dream" home...well...more like a "nightmare"...

You see, I always had a dream to live in either a converted old school house, a converted old church, or a renovated old house with lots of "character".  

Before we moved here we had lived in a tract home in California and we were SICK of cookie-cutter houses!  Our house in California had been built in the 1950's and except for a few minor changes in paint and carpet over the years, it basically looked like every third house on our block!  :(

Tract houses and new houses just don't "speak" to me.  They've no STORY to tell!  Ya know what I mean, Jellybean?  (Although, I must say that I do really, really like my son & daughter-in-law's newish house!  It seems to have "character".)

So when we moved here we bought a house that had been built in 1927...back when "men were men" and woodwork was solid oak!  

The only problem with this house was...well...EVERYTHING!  Over the course of the past 12 1/2 years we have renovated this to bottom...EXCEPT for the downstairs bathroom and the kitchen.

Which brings you all up to speed on where we are at now in the course of things.  We have a kitchen that has all of 69 3/4" of counter space...which is taken up with the coffee maker, the microwave, and the bread box.  A kitchen that doesn't have a built in dishwasher.  A kitchen that has a porcelain sink that has been etched chemically by something long before we got here and is IMPOSSIBLE to get or keep clean!  A kitchen with linoleum from the 40's?  A kitchen whose sink sits on top of a metal cabinet that is RUSTED OUT inside!  A kitchen whose wall paint is chipping off.  A kitchen whose homemade base cabinets (2 cabinets and a bank of 4 drawers) make SHRIEKING noises when you open the drawers.  A kitchen whose homemade wall cabinets are so narrow that the doors won't close because my plates and mixing bowls are too big for the shallow cupboards.

Need I go on???

So lately I've been getting really fed up with all of the above and have been trying to figure out how we can afford to remodel the kitchen and give it more counter space and cupboard space...cupboard space that will actually hold my plates and STILL allow the doors to shut!  LOL  I don't ask for much!  All this...and not break the budget?  Well...maybe I do ask for too much!

Yesterday, Andy & I were out and about and stopped into Lowe's, a home improvement store, to gather info about cabinets, counters, etc.   That started the ball rolling.

Today we decided to drop into Home Depot, Lowe's competitor, and talked with a kitchen designer.  While there we saw some cabinets that both Andy & I really liked.  Let me say here and now that when it comes to renovating, to find something that BOTH Andy & I like is MAJOR!  We usually go 'round and 'round about things because we have different tastes and expectations.  

But, lo and behold...there in  Home Depot, nothing short of a miracle happened...we found cabinets AND counters that we both liked...a lot!  And if all of our initial measurements are correct, we have a working design plan.

We are going to take this week to "sleep" on the decision...and even go look at one more place to see if they have anything that can match our enthusiasm for the cabinets we found at Home Depot.  Then...if we don't come up with anything that impresses us more, next weekend we will go in and finalize the purchase at HD.  (We are planning to do all the work ourselves...Lord help us all!)

My motto is "if your marriage can make it through a renovation, it can make it through anything." 

My second motto is "it can't look any worse than it did before we started."  And if you saw the "before" of our house you would totally understand that second motto.  Nothing can look as bad as it did before we started!

Now...I'd love to show you pictures of the exact cabinets we found today, but I can't find them online ANYWHERE.  :(  The best I can do is show you some that look like them!  They are natural hickory and have a lot of color variations in them.  I think they have a rustic look to them.

And the best I can do for the counter tops is give you the link to them on HD's website:

I'll keep you posted on how things go...whether or not we find something we like more, etc.  And when the renovations actually begin, I'll post pictures and keep you abreast of that, too!  

Thanks for stopping by today.  Please leave me a comment to let me know what you think!


Monday, March 7, 2011

Swiss Cheese Fabric?

Quote for the Day:
"Even miracles take a little time."
~Fairy Godmother in Cinderella

SPOILER ALERT:  Erin, if you don't want to know what Sera's birthday present will look like then don't read this post!  :)

I have been upstairs in my sewing room CREATING this past weekend!  It feels so good to be sewing!  I LOVE my "woman cave"!  I tell Andy that if he puts a coffee pot, microwave and a small fridge up there he'd never see me again!  LOL  

I love to go upstairs and spend HOURS sewing and quilting in my sewing and quilting rooms.  Yes, roomS!  Our house has 3 bedrooms, so when the kids grew up and moved out, I turned one bedroom into my "sewing" room with my sewing machines, cutting table, ironing board, fabric stash and all my supplies.  I turned the other bedroom into my "quilting room" and put the hand quilting frame in it!  Both rooms have a TV and stereo, too.

Anywho, Saturday I started on Sera's "Disney Princess" quilt and quite frankly, I am surprised at how much I've gotten done so far.

My design wall isn't large enough to handle the whole of a bed-sized quilt, so I have to put it up in sections.  

Here is a picture of the first 8 of the 15 rows that will be in this quilt...

Here is a close-up...these blocks are 6" finished...

 And a close-up picture of a strip set so you can see the colors better...

I'm not a fan of purple...but overall I think the quilt is going to look nice.

The Disney princesses were "fussy" cut...and as anyone who has ever "fussy" cut leaves you with "Swiss cheese fabric"...

Not very frugal, huh?  Under "normal" circumstances, I would try to salvage what is left of the fabric and cut it up and put it in my scrap box.  However, this fabric has flecks of glitter in it and I can't put my iron on it directly...I have to use a pressing cloth to press it.  So I don't know if it is worth saving the rest of the fabric or not...too much hassle.  The verdict is still out on that one...

Saturday when I was making the strip sets, I started to smell something that smelled like hot plastic!  

Evidently I wasn't paying attention where I set my iron and it got up against the plastic measuring cup that I use to fill the water reservoir on the iron...

 melted plastic on iron
I was lucky in that after I let the iron cool, I was able to chip the now- hardened plastic right off!  Otherwise, I would have needed to head over to WallyWorld to buy a new iron!  :(

Note to attention to where you set down the iron from now on!

BTW, it would have KILLED me to have to go pay full price for a new iron because I get mine at yard sales for $1-2.  I like to keep an extra one on hand in case something happens to whatever one I'm currently using, but I don't have any in back-up right now...and yard sales don't start for another 6 weeks or so!  Guess I'd better take good care of this one!  :)

When I quilt I like to listen to audio books on my mp2 player.  I am currently listening to "The Kids Are All Right" (the book, not the movie.   They are two different things entirely).  I am about two-thirds finished with it and HIGHLY recommend it!  Very good book!  :)

Thanks for stopping by!  Please leave me a comment to let me know you were here!


Saturday, March 5, 2011

Rainy Saturday...

Quote for the Day:
“Organizing is what you do before you do something, so that when you do it, it is not all mixed up.”
~A.A. Milne

It's warm outside the mid-50's Fahrenheit...and it's not even noon, yet.  However, it is very overcast and we are predicted to get some rain, though it hasn't started, yet, that I know of.  So I doubt I'm gonna get any more work done on the flower beds today.  :(  

Instead, I'm gonna get started on the "Disney princess" quilt for my granddaughter today.  :)  Remember this?

So, I'm off to my sewing room for the day...but before I go I wanted to share this cute video with you!  The colors of the book spines remind me of fabric "stashes" which are usually organized by color!  :)  (I wish I could figure out how to embed it so all you have to do is click on the "play" arrow.)

Hope you have a great weekend, and thanks for stopping by my blog!  Please leave a comment to let me know you were here!


Friday, March 4, 2011

Spring is on it's Way!

Quote for the Day:
 “Spring is nature's way of saying, "Let's party!"
~Robin Williams

The weather is warming up and we are starting to see the first signs of Spring here in West Virginia.  

Even though it is gray outside and threatening to downpour any minute, I couldn't pass up this chance to go outside and check on some of my flower gardens and perennial plants to see what has survived the winter.

I found small bits of green poking their heads up through the ground...

Daffodils and Naked Ladies making their appearance...

And this...the start of new Mums under the dried up stalks of last year's Mums...

New buds appearing on the blackberry bushes...

Unfortunately, my beloved plum tree looks like this this year...
It got a fungus last year and we had to cut off all the affected limbs and Andy will have to find the appropriate herbicide to spray it with in the hopes of saving it from demise.  I'm hoping there is enough of it left to even live since we had to cut it so far back.  :(

Since I was outside, I thought I'd take advantage of the warm weather to clean out one of the raised flower beds before it started raining.

Here is a picture of the raised bed before...full of last year's dried up Mum plants...

Here it is after cleaning out all the dead stuff...

Can I call that my "decluttering" for today?  LOL

I'm hoping for more warm weather, sans the rain, so that I can get out and clean the other flower beds, too.  Gotta get the blackberries and rose bushes pruned back before they get too far into bloom. :)

Thanks for stopping by my blog.  Please leave me a comment letting me know how your Spring spruce up coming along?