Tuesday, August 30, 2011


Extreme Couponing has saved me tons of $$. Not all of my trips are as good as this one. But now that I know the tips and tricks, I am able to do pretty good even on a 'bad' trip to the store.

I got all this for $19.84 out of pocket (Note the $5 Target gift card and 2 catalinas/coupons for $5 off my next trip, for a total of $15 in additional savings)

Since it is only Tuesday, and many of these sales are good through Saturday, I will break it down so that you can save too.

M&M's on sale for  4/$10
Walgreens advertised $5 off your next purchase when you buy 4
I then used a coupon for $1/2 from the Sunday Red Plum coupon insert from 7-24-11
And $1.50/2 coupon in the September edition of All You Magazine

Planters Peanut Butter on sale for 2/$3
My store only had 1 left so I asked and they gave me 1/$1.50 (if I had not asked it would have been $2.99 as the sale was buy 1 at $2.99 get one for $.01)
I then used the $.75/1 coupon from the Sunday SmartSource coupon insert from 8-21-11.

Walgreens total $8.87 + $5 catalina to use on next trip(Saving 7.51 with sales and coupons)

Planters Peanut Butter price matched with Walgreens ad 2/$3
used 2 coupons for $.75/1 from the Sunday SmartSource coupon insert from 8-21-11
Cottonelle flushable wipes regular price $2.22
Used a coupon for 1 free tub I signed up for on their facebook page a while back

Walmart total $1.50 (Saving $3.20)

2 Nivea Woman's body wash gel $2.99
Used 2 Target coupons http://coupons.target.com/ for $1/1
Used 2 Nivea coupons for $2/1 from Sunday Red Plum coupon insert from 7-31-11
Revlon Beauty Tools:
3 Pumice Stones $3.49 each
1 Blackhead Remover $4.88
Nail Files $1.27
Nail Clipper $2.44
Used 3 Target coupons for $5/2 from the Sunday Smartsource coupon insert from 8-21-11
Used 4 Revlon coupons for $1/1 from the Sunday Smartsource coupon insert from 7-31-11
Caused a $5 catalina to print for my next shopping trip

Febreze select items $2.50 each
Buy 5 get a $5 Target gift card
Used 1 coupon for $3/1 from the Sunday Proctor and Gamble coupon insert from 8-28-11
Used 1 coupon for $1/1 from the Sunday Proctor and Gamble coupon insert from 8-28-11
Used 1 coupon for $1/1 from the Sunday Proctor and Gamble coupon insert from 8-28-11
Used 2 coupons for $1/1 from Sunday Red Plum coupon insert from 8-14-11
Target total 8.70 + $5 gift card & $5 Catalina (Savings of 38.11)

Additionally I am looking forward to some free shampoo when I double coupon at Coborn's on Saturday!

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Toe-may-toe, Toe-mah-toe

I have been canning tomatoes since I was a newlywed. Over a decade later, I am still thrilled by the sight of freshly canned tomatoes!

This morning I got up early so decided to pick some tomatoes and get to work. If you are new to canning, tomatoes are the best to start with. Their high acidity means that you can process the jars with very little equipment. Some clean MASON jars, 2 part lids, large water bath canner, jar tongs, and some fresh ripe tomatoes are all you need.

(*Mason jars come in many brands, the most popular are Kerr and Ball, I also have collected a few other brands over the years of trading, but the key word is mason. If a jar doesn't say MASON I wouldn't used it. Mason jars are specially made to safely hold canned produce, and will not easily break under pressure or heat, and will not leach out any toxins to your produce while in storage.

*2 part lids include the flat lid and a band that holds it to the jar. The bands can be used over and over. The flat lids should NEVER be reused.)

I skinned all the tomatoes and placed them in the jar with a little Kosher salt. You can buy special canning salt, but since my Kosher salt isn't iodized I am able to use that. Process in boiling water for 40 minutes and let cool. (I love hearing the clink of the lid as it cools!)

Since I had plently of skinned tomatoes left, and it was only 8:15am I decided to whip up some tomatoe basil soup as well. It is processing in the hot water bath as I type. It was such a hit during the winter last year, I doubled my batch this time around.

(I keep Ball Blue Book Guide to Preservingon the counter when I am canning. It has proper canning instructions for anything I can imagine.)

Photos of other recent canning projects:


Monday, August 22, 2011

Enjoying the Ride

On Friday we packed the car and headed up North to my cousin's place in Nashwauk, MN.

Since the Timberline originally started in Princeton we had a pretty scenic trip. Driving around Mille Lacs Lake is always a treat. I love watching the water, the boats and looking at the variety of original small cabins and the newly built cabins that are larger than my home. I love all the architecture, landscaping, and the occasional giant fish, or alien painted boulder.

After arriving we had exactly the evening we expected. Tom and Robin grilled burgers and brats, along with some potato salad, chips, and ice tea made with a mixture of Lipton tea and one chai (I think) and some lemon, Yummy I will have to write it down next time so I can give you the recipe. The prerequisite bonfire to keep us warm in the brisk evening (The chill kept the mosquitoes away!) then we sat around visiting, and watching satellites & shooting stars in the night sky. Exactly everything I could have hoped, for a trip 'Up Nort'.

Saturday started just as fine. Oatmeal, buttermilk pancakes loaded with giant blueberries, along with local, hand cut, bacon. Robin and I loaded the girls in the convertible for a trip into Grand Rapids while the guys fished. Just as we were coming into town, the idiot lights came on, the car died and smoke started to billow out the front. We got the girls out and sat them at this bench that just happened to be right were we needed it. Within minutes the sheriff and another guy stopped and helped me push it into a nearby parking lot so we could wait for the guys. Then a nice young mechanic stopped to see if he could help, Dave from the Caribbean by way of Manhattan has been in Grand Rapids for a couple of years now, and by the time my husband got there, the car was running and in good enough condition to get us home on Sunday! God is good, and so are his people.
Us girls had an enjoyable time at a reproduction logging camp where we listened to stories (some VERY tall ones.) and caught a slice of what life would have been like. After enjoying our afternoon we picked up a new battery for the pontoon and met the guys at the boat launch to do some fishing with the girls. (Us girls weren't the only ones to have engine troubles). We tooled around the lake and ate some snacks that we had brought, and I learned the process of harvesting wild rice, I really hope to try my hand at it in the future. After finally finding a nice place to fish we put our poles in the water and finally looked behind us. A massive storm providing 40 mile/hour winds was blowing in fast. So in came the poles and we headed to the launch as fast as our 15 horse power motor would let us. We made it in, before the rain, and raced back home to make sure the RV was storm ready while the guys loaded the pontoon. Yet again God had his angels watching out for us. We pulled into the yard just in time to put the hood up on the convertible and get the kids in as the sky opened up. Amidst all the problems things actually went pretty smooth and we had a great time Tom and Robin. I look forward to spending more weekends with them. Watching the Eagles who had a nest near by, the hundreds of humming birds drinking nectar in the back yard, the finches, chipmunks, squirrels, gophers, woodpeckers, and even the stray pig. Sometimes life goes exactly as we plan, more often it goes awry, enjoying it either way is up to you.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Time to get serious

I have been floating for way to long. It is finally time to make some changes.

I don't really know why I finally feel this way. It could be that my older sister started running 3 miles a day and is 2 sizes smaller than she has ever been. It could be that my youngest is almost 3 years old and I need to stop using a 'baby' as my excuse. But I think the real reason is that I am tired of looking at myself in the mirror. I don't like what I see. In restarting this blog I had to go back 1 full year to find a photo of myself. Is that really how much I dislike my appearance?

**UPDATE*** I did find this photo that is only a 2 weeks old :-P

Well it is time. For now I am on my own, but I hope some friends find me and come along for the journey. In addition to my regular life, which I will spend plenty of time on in the coming weeks, here are the goals I have.

  • Run 1 mile without having to stop
  • 1 date night a month
  • Pay off all unsecured debt
  • Be in 1 photo a month

These may seem like small goals to you, but to me they are huge. Family is calling. Thanks for reading. I would love to hear your goals.