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The sweetest thing ever just happened to me. I was putting Evelyn to sleep, and all was going well until I went to lay her down. When she hit the mattress, she woke up a little bit, and searched desperately for me and started kissing my arm. I was hoping she would fall back asleep after a moment, so I waited, but she started sitting up and reaching for me again, so I picked her back up. She proceeded to kiss me all over my chest. When I made it back to the couch with her and sat down, she (eyes still mostly closed) leaned up and kissed my mouth before snuggling back into my arms (kissing me a few times on her way) and then fell promptly asleep. EXCEPT! She couldn't stay asleep because she kept rousing herself every few minutes TO KISS MOMMY SOME MORE. I mean, seriously, does it get any sweeter than that? I finally had to call in M to put her down because she just kept waking up because the alluring mother unit was just too kissable to get any real rest done. (Naturally, she fell fully asleep in the time it took him to walk down the hallway and get the sunroom ready (he walks with her out there when he puts her to sleep.) but still.) How sweet. Sometimes I almost think she likes me or something.

It's probably just because I bought her crayons for her bathtub today. She thought those were grand. Well worth sixty cents, they were.

I went shopping today with my couponing friend and we had a really nice time. It's so much fun when we go together. By the end of the day, we tend to have to put some bags in the back seat because the trunk is full..hehe. I am so trying not to think about the fact that they're moving in five or six weeks. It just really stinks that I finally find a local, SAHM friend like her and she's leaving already. Anyway, I completely finished the birthday and Christmas presents for one of my cousins today. That was fun. (Total cost: $.63.) Feeling pretty confident about her liking them, too. Yay Kohl's!

Actually, the weekly shopping plan was supposed to be that I was going to meet the girls in the family tomorrow for a day of fun and visiting with cousin who's in for a visit from North Carolina. Unfortunately, said cousin woke up yesterday morning so ill that when she went to the doctor, they put her in an ambulance and sent her to the ER in the next town. (No hospital in the first town.) Apparently it was a stomach virus of some sort, but they had to give her a number of meds just to get her to stop throwing up continually. Lovely, huh? I figured that a) she is not gonna be in the mood for shopping all day by tomorrow and b) I REALLY don't want to expose any of us to a stomach bug that serious, and by Thursday, she may not be contagious anymore but you know that the rest of the family will be passing it around. So, no thank you. That actually sounds bad enough that I am seriously rethinking our plans to go up to visit this weekend..which will go over like a lead balloon but... one does what one must, I suppose. E has only had one real round of a stomach virus and she took it very hard and so did we. :) I know you can't shield yourself from everything but you CAN shield yourself from known threats, right? (I am pre-rationalizing at this point, preparing for the real event this weekend if I need to.)

And... a partridge in a pear tree.
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Starbucks Java Chip Frappuccino ice cream? It is DELICIOUS. I bought it at Walgreens last week (for $.39...) and now I want to marry it and have its babies. I also bought a Caramel Macchiato but I haven't tried it yet so I can't vouch for its deliciousness. They're giving away 20,000 coupons on Facebook (800 per hour, through July 19) if you'd like to try it yourself. Free Starbucks coupon. I kept the window open for a few days and refreshed it now and then and tried again, and finally managed to get one sent (though I haven't gotten it yet.) Really, this is a deal I should have posted on my other blog days ago but I really just wanted to say that I am eating ice cream and it is tasty. The free coupon was an afterthought. (Though if you try it and get one, let me know because that would make me happy.) Oh, and there are also $2 coupons on eBay, and the ice cream is regularly priced at about $2.50 at Walmart, so there's always that route too. If we weren't trying to stop eating so much junk food, I'd be all over that one but I am keeping myself from ordering any of them.

And, I have spent most of the day cleaning up things and doing laundry, which doesn't make for the most exciting posts. I am pretty excited about the whole weekend thing, though. We have a pretty busy weekend planned, apparently. According to Evelyn, we are going to get a tiny bitty baby this weekend. News to me! I love the things that kids come up with.
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Do you hear that? Blessed silence. The noisy members of my household are off to Lowe's and I am home nursing my headache and enjoying a wee bit of solitude. I haven't had much of that in a couple of weeks! Which,that isn't a complaint because last week was so great. M had the whole week off and we had so much fun! I think I wrote about the first part of it last week, minus the pictures. Speaking of which...I should transfer those while I type this.

Anyway, the rest of the week was taken up by M's birthday (happy birthday, boyo! belated here, but that is because I was hanging out with you all day on your actual birthday.) and us heading up to spend the weekend with my parents, where we had a fantastic two-day yard sale. We sold $840 worth of stuff, so we're pretty happy with the outcome. Well, I was actually hoping for $1,000 for the weekend but honestly, I just ran out of stuff. I wish we'd taken "after" photos, but it started sprinkling at three on Saturday so we just threw everything in boxes and called it a day. I really can't believe how much stuff we sold. At this point, I am actually considering my shopping hobby a part-time job. It isn't much compared to an actual job, perhaps, but it is saving us huge amounts of money, and brining in a considerable amount, too, especially since shopping like this is in large part a hobby. I could totally use coupons and save money without going the extra mile, but it wouldn't be nearly as much fun. (I also wouldn't need to spend hours on it every week, so there is a trade-off, I suppose.)

So anyway, there's that. Poor Evelyn has had a pretty rough week. First, her fingernail fell off on Friday. We really had begun to think it wasn't going to... she got it smashed in the kitchen gate last month. Being a mom is not always fun. This nail was holding on only by the skin flap on one side of her nail, and we knew it had to come off because if we left it, it'd just get ripped off when she caught it on something. Volunteers for the task of clipping it off of her were non-existent and thus, I found myself removing my child's fingernail. Actually, she was extremely brave about it and barely protested until the very end. By then, I had clipped enough of it of that I could just put a Band-Aid on it and leave it alone for a while. On Saturday, she fell off the swing and landed on the foot rest of the glider thing, on her face. It didn't bruise as badly as we feared it would, but she has a noticeable bruise on her cheek. (Really, officer, I promise that we don't beat her!) I don't remember anything particularly painful for her yesterday, but today, she has been so clumsy I have talked about padding our entire house. She tripped and hit her forehead on the table leg, and fell down in the shower, and while carrying M's sandals (perhaps the smell rendered her momentarily unconscious?) and while stepping down onto the back porch... I was holding her arm in preparation of that one, at least, or she probably would have hurt herself. I hope she moves out of her clumsy spell soon because she's beginning to look pretty rough. Oh, and she woke up with a scratch on her chin, as if she was not already banged up enough.
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I have had two pen cups on my desk since I brought my stuff home from work, September 2007, because I have been too lazy to consolidate them. It took me until today to do something about it. Better late than never?

I just did something sneaky with my Walgreens receipt that earned me $4.20. I makes me feel giddy and a tiny touch guilty, but it is not worth the trouble of explaining. I didn't break any laws or anything but I did do something that was Not Intended by Walgreens.

On a similar note, M and I taught E to do the evil laughter thing this morning. Muahahahahaha. It was so funny.

We have spent the weekend working on a computer room cleanup project. I started it a while back but this room was piled high with stuff that I couldn't decide what to do with on my own so it didn't get anywhere near done. Plus, M's desk is always the worst part of the room, so I definitely needed his help there. (That post is still one of my favorites.) Inconceivably, my desk is now the worst looking part of the room. Good thing I got started on the pencil consolidation project this afternoon!

Even though I make homemade pizza from the same simple recipe at least twice a month, I always have to have the recipe out, hanging on the fridge. I always check the measurements, too, even though I know them. I don't know why I do this but it's very important to me, apparently. I don't like to cook things without access to the recipe if it's a dish that I first made from a recipe... even though I completely know them and have made so many changes to them that the original recipe barely applies. If I make something up or learned it from someone else without a recipe, it doesn't bug me at all. I just realized that. Yay for self-awareness!

I looked back at all of my old journal entries from May 12, 2006 and before (2007 being Evelyn's birthday) and tried to imagine myself writing those entries with absolutely no clue that two, three, four, five, years from then, I would be having a wee little baby yanked from my abdomen. It feels so strange that a day that is so emblazoned on my mind now meant nothing special then. It makes me wonder if today will be something amazing (or awful but let's so not go there) in future years.

We are teaching E to play in the computer room while we do other things. It is F A N T A S T I C. Occasionally stressful but fun. The cleanup project is helping a lot, too. Also, sometimes I turn M's computer on and let her watch YouTube videos in Swedish. She likes that for up to four minutes at a time! ;)

There is pretty much nothing better than strawberries and ice cream. *nod* I just told M that since I fixed them last night, I thought he should fix them tonight. He decided that he didn't think we should eat any tonight, in that case. He is such a guy sometimes. He did actually follow through and bring me ice cream. I used to have something to the nature of "True love arrives with Ben & Jerry's" as my 'title' on the muds... also M-inspired. I do believe I will keep him.

I just informed him of my plans to buy another twenty bags of frozen vegetables. He informed me that the basement freezer is getting really full by now. I think I shall have to plan some vegetable-type meals again. I just bought twenty .50 coupons that will double and make them free this week at Kroger. Spending three bucks for the coupons equals fifteen cents per bag. I love my new coupon hobby, really I do.
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I spent six and a half hours today on the couch, holding Evelyn in various stages of sleeping and (more commonly) NOT sleeping. Now that there is time for me, I have to go to freaking bed because I don't have anything left, since the first three hours of that time were between five and eight this morning, when little Miss Priss could not manage to fall asleep far enough to be put back in bed.

Also, we were going to go to Jungle Jims (giant international grocery store) and Ikea tomorrow, but thanks to a stupid winter weather situation in stupid Ohio, we will not.:( I was looking forward to it.

On the bright side, I bought thirty SoyJoy bars, three tubs of baby wipes and four bottles of infant Tylenol at CVS today, and made a $3.01 profit from doing so. I love my new hobby, I really do. I also made a profit at RiteAid and Walgreens last night--good week for it. RiteAid was ten SoyJoy bars, two bottles of hair gel and a profit of $4.76 (and an amusing story) and Walgreens was two eyeliners, two boxes of dishwashing detergent gel packs and $1.70 profit. So, I made almost ten dollars just for shopping this week. Awesome.

Funny RiteAid story... it isn't like, hilarious, or anything, but it made me laugh. I got into a bit of a fight with the cashier, for I had two coupons. One was a $5 off a purchase of $25, and one was a $20 off one diabetes testing kit. (I buy lots of those. They're often profitable or at least free.) In this case, I was buying the monitor to bring my total up enough to use the $5 coupon, and then I use a coupon to get the monitor for free. The cashier (as so often is the case) could not wrap her mind around the concept of paying for the item with a coupon versus RA just giving the item away for free. (It's a subtle but important distinction. RA gets paid for the monitor. Actually, they make a few cents extra in handling fees. In the long run, giving them a coupon is exactly the same as paying cash.) The coupon police cashiers apparently think that the money that the store is obviously losing (?) will come directly out of their pockets. She argued up one side and down the other that I could not use both coupons together because the monitor would be free. I have done similar things in the past and plenty of people do this sort of thing all the time. Anyway, she called someone from the back, and then she disappears into the office and calls a manager and she insists that I can't use the stupid coupon. I did get a bit snarky on her at one point, telling her that I was sorry, I had missed that in the fine print where it said that it was valid on anything other than monitors, but ultimately I just said fine, not that important, just ring me up already and let me get out of there. I was already in the car when I realized that the total I paid didn't make sense... because she had voided the monitor and gave me back the coupons... but she hadn't actually voided the $5 coupon. So, after being a hag to me, she ultimately screwed up her register by returning the $5 coupon but not voiding it, and they did not sell $20 in merchandise, receive the coupon handling fee or the sales tax that I would have paid. Woohoo, go team coupon police! I hate my Rite Aid, I really do.

I have bought a domain name and began working on a new blog for the coupony talk (among other things) but it's not ready to share yet. Somehow, getting the stomach flu did not get my creative juices flowing but hopefully I'll be able to work on it a little this weekend. Not like I'm going anywhere anyway....

Except maybe to bed.
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I read somewhere that the average dryer cycle costs about fifty cents in electricity. Using that figure (and not even calculating the potential increase caused by the extra-long, higher cycle that I dry diapers on) and then adding in a little extra for the two washer cycles they go through, plus the laundry detergent used.... it is actually cheaper for me to use disposable diapers. Today, I bought two packs for what amounts to $1.75 each, after rebates and bonuses.


Having said that, I'm still not giving it up, because there are other reasons for using cloth. It's nicer and it's cuter and it's softer and it's better for the environment and it's better for her health and all those things. Etc. But it's pretty cool to not have the financial consideration when throwing the trashies away now. Oh, I really like the diapers from Walgreens. They're similar to Pampers, better than Huggies. I kinda wish they had Elmo on them.

In other news, yesterday was my annual Christmas shopping trip with my parents. Every year, we go and have a great time doing the bonding thing. The shopping is really secondary. We just have fun. Yesterday was also fun except Miss Dorko fell apart in the afternoon from the lack of nap (she woke up at 6:30, for some reason, which didn't help.) She took a little rest on Granny and then she ate and then perked up again for a ride through Target. I had to leave in order to pick up M at work at 6:15, and I am sorry to say that when he called at 6:15, I was still in Lexington. It was 6:40 before I picked him up. :( I felt really really bad, but a string of bad choices and unfortunate circumstances intervened. Of course it was mostly my fault for losing track of time, but then E refused to get into her car seat without nummy nummy and then I was stuck in traffic and then I got distracted by M being ticked off at me and I took the wrong exit. Well, right exit, but the wrong direction. Evelyn fell asleep in the car and we had some concerns about what would happen with that, but she woke up and cried through me changing her clothes and diaper as speedily as humanly possible and then we settled down on the couch for the normal bedtime routine, and she slept all through the night. She woke up at 5:30 this morning in a terrific mood. I actually did not mind in the least because (knowing that there was bound to be trouble) I was in bed by 9:45, so I actually got more sleep last night than usual. Woohoo! The day has felt long, though, I must say.

How's your Christmas shopping going? Are you done? Everything wrapped? I'm almost completely done, liking only one $15 gift for a male person (unspecified person, for a Yankee swap deal) and maybe a little something something for M. I have a bunch of wrapping left to do, but mainly because I am doing a little fun thing with my free junk. Anyone buy someone something really really good?
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I think I will give in and start a blog for my thrifty shopping hobby. I just need to come up with a name for it. Any suggestions? In the meantime... I can't stop myself from posting about it sometimes. It is so so much fun. I took a week or so more or less off, due to illness, houseguests and crappy sales, but I have already jumped back in this week and had a blast. Absence makes the heart grow fonder, they say. Maybe that's true.
cut because I care )
Q&A Time!
K, isn't that a total of eight jumbo packages of disposable diapers you have there?
Yes, that's right.

K, don't you... uhh... use cloth diapers?
Yes, that's right.

Did you not see how cheap they were?? Okay, just kidding. Well, no, I'm not kidding about the price but I do not buy things just because they're cheap if I can help it. I buy things just because they're free, sure (if I can justify the cost of tax) but I try very hard to not buy things I wouldn't otherwise buy just because I see a good deal on it. It sort of defeats the purpose, if you know what I mean. We are still using cloth diapers, but we started putting her in trashies at night a month or two ago. Her needs increased and my previous night diaper solution started failing. I started noticing that when she was in cloth, she woke up in the middle of the night. I do not like being up at night. I kept thinking that I would just put together a new solution, but I just never got around to it. Maybe later, but at this price... eh. I don't know how high a priority it is, adding one or two diapers a day to the equation. And, we almost always put her in paper before we go out, especially if we're going to be away for the weekend. You can do cloth quite well when you travel, but M and I are fundamentally lazy people and there always seems to be a space issue in the diaper bag.

Are Walgreen's diapers any good?
I hope so! I have only used about three of their cheaper type so far, but they remind me of Pampers. (I bought the Pampers today because they were cheap, but also because I already have some Huggies that will not last her through the night, and I wanted to have some that I knew would, just in case the Wags diapers don't work out for overnight.) The premium ones are supposed to be even better, but so far, the ones I've tried have been good... but no overnight data available yet.

How did you pay so little for them?
Three things. The first is that they're having a Buy One Get One Free on diapers this week, so they're $4.50/ea--already a great price. Then, there are coupon sheets available at the pharmacy for asking about their prescription savings plan--it takes off $2/pack. (Theoretically, there's also a deal that takes off $2/pack on all diapers this month, but it didn't work for me.) And third, the mascara was free after rebate this month (and Almay is B1G1 this week, so there's something else free!) I used a $2 coupon--found at Kmart--on both items in each transaction. The razors were also a complicated moneymaker--I won't get into the details, and the candle was, too. Plus, there's a 10% bonus to the rebate items. The overage really helped, but without it, the diapers still end up being $2.50. For a reference to those of you without kids in diapers--a "sale" on Pampers/Huggies is about $9.50. It's funny because I have seem several of the coupon bloggers who actually do not use cloth for financial reasons. At prices like these, I am wondering how much money we even save--laundry isn't free, after all. Of course, we have other reasons for using primarily cloth, but it's something to think about.

This link explains it step-by-step. This would be an excellent time to stock up on diapers, if you need/will need them.

Aren't you tired of talking about diapers yet?
God, yes.

What do you DO with this stuff?
Stack it in our storage room, drink it, eat it, use it, give it away, donate it, let Evelyn climb on it.

Doesn't it take you a long time to do this?
Yeah, kinda. I spent an hour or so clipping coupons, and maybe a couple of hours writing out a shopping list. (Kroger made it take a long time.. it's usually not that long.) I have maybe spent four hours doing the actual shopping, but that's from two days, and I take my time with it because I enjoy having errands to run with the baby to break up my day. I don't always go to all the stores during the week. My Walgreens, Kroger and CVS receipts for just these two days put my savings at $244, though. That's $35 an hour for my time. ;)

In other news, this is Election Day! OMG I bet none of you even realized that! :) Everyone is all abuzz with the "I voted" today. I did, too, of course. I actually strapped Evelyn into the mei tai and walked down there. I mean, I know that most people wouldn't consider this a monumental undertaking but I live in a rural area with no sidewalks. Also, something I failed to consider was how very uphill the return trip would be. ;) Still, I was only gone twenty minutes, total. There was absolutely no one in line when I got there--the parking lot was packed when I drove by this morning, though. There's something to be said about waiting until four p.m., apparently. In any case, I think that the workout I got means that I can have ice cream, so I'd better go do that before I have to go to bed instead.
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Don't you hate it when you're trying to put the baby to sleep and just when you finally succeed and are mere minutes from putting her in her crib, the phone rings loudly in the kitchen and you can't get to it to answer it, but before your spouse can sprint into the room to retrieve it, the baby has woken up and is looking around in confusion and therefore spends the next twenty minutes trying to fall back asleep?

Yeah, me too. It was a semi-local number so I'm assuming wrong number but it could have been someone we know, I suppose. I lost my saved phone numbers during the washing machine incident so I couldn't say for sure.

E and I had a busy day, involving a morning trip to Walmart and an afternoon trip to the drug stores, and JoAnn's (though I didn't buy anything there.) Total profit of almost five dollars on the day, and merchandise purchased includes: three Glade Wisp flameless candles (the big moneymakers), five Glade plugins, one Glade candle, one Vitamin Water, two trial sized baby shampoos, two trial-sized Aquafresh toothpastes and one Scrubbing Bubbles Action Scrubber. I am still having so much fun with my professional shopping. Evelyn is getting big enough to kind of be fun to take places. She's my little shopping buddy. :) I don't know what the deal was today but three different people asked me how old she is. Anyway, people say things like, "I wouldn't know what to do with all that stuff! I don't use any of those products!" And to that, I just would like to say, "Okay, but would you also not know what to do with five extra dollars?" hehe. I jest. It really does require time and energy so I can understand why people don't do it even when they do know about it. It's great for me because I can be actively engaged in saving money while actually spending money and buying fun new things that I would otherwise have never tried.

Oh, one more sidenote on the subject of what I do with all of this stuff I'm bringing home. Last week, I bought five bottles of Softsoap body wash, along with a pile of other stuff. They worked out to approximately free. I think my order came to a slight profit again, actually. Honestly, we are running over on the body wash and shampoo because you often get sales on those items that make them free. (It isn't helping that we actually had a couple of bottles hanging around from before I started this!) However, one thing that I haven't seen on super-sale yet is liquid hand soap. So... as soon as I run out of the bottle we have, those five bottles of body wash are earmarked for the hand soap dispenser. I mean, it's all soap, right? I'm trying to come up with alternate uses for some of this stuff beyond just using it, storing it and giving it away. :) Though I'm not sure I can call "using it as soap" an alternate usage for... soap.

Last night, M was reading to Evelyn from an obnoxious alphabet book. (Several of her books are obnoxious, but that's another story.) He pointed at E, and said "E is for--" and before he could say "elephant", Evelyn said, "Ebbie!" (Evie) *blink* We did not teach her that. She is awesome, our little baby.
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When I worked at the produce market, there was an old man who came in a few times per week. We called him Grumpy Old Man. He liked to squeeze the tomatoes and complain about the way I bagged the groceries and the price of green beans. He was so unpleasant to be around, and I would get mad just seeing his car pull into the parking lot. One day, I decided that I had had enough out of him, and I started being outrageously nice to him instead of just civil. When he complained about the price, I apologized profusely and explained to him about the drought. When he complained about the bananas not being to his exact shade of green, I rushed to the back to find him a bunch from the other box. I talked about the weather, I smiled and made every effort to hide my feelings for him. He was not easily won, Grumpy Old Man, but the day soon came that he would grin when he saw me and he would talk to me as he paid his bill, and he stopped complaining about the green beans. It's hard to hate someone who is unfailingly pleasant and helpful, you know?

The thing is, being that kind to people who are constantly rude to you can be almost an insult to them. I think it reminds them that they are being petty and small. In any case, it's no secret that being nice gets you farther than being a jerk, and I've often found that to be the case when it comes to dealing with customer service folk. I used to be more inclined to let it go if I was overcharged by a small amount, but I have come to realize that showing a backbone may help bring about a little change, and also, I just don't have enough money to give it away. I suppose that my new couponing habit has really taught me how quickly it all adds up, and that makes it feel more worthwhile to go after these things. Like tonight, when I sat down with my Kmart receipt and honestly could not figure out how they arrived at a total of $12.77 when I should have only been charged somewhere around four dollars plus tax. So I went back after dinner (a solitary trip! The YAY!) and politely inquired. The response was not so polite. Actually, the witch was downright rude to me, throwing her hands around talking about how "this woman THINKS she was overcharged" in that way that made it clear that she knew I hadn't been. [Sidenote: I wonder if programmers are more likely than non-programmers to accept that the computer actually CAN make mistakes?] I was ever-so-polite in response, apologized more than once for the trouble, and then I kept my mouth shut. I had a hard time with that, but I kept a smile on my face and stopped trying to explain what the problem was when it was clear that no one wanted to believe me until they figured it out for themselves. Silence works even better than Politeness sometimes. Twenty minutes later, the woman was no longer seething with frustration, and she gave up on trying to do the math and just credited my card nine dollars, and she was fairly friendly while she did it. Yay! I hacked Kmart using the rare but formidable weapons of common human courtesy! Awesome. So I would like to tell you that for a whopping total of $3.68, I bought three bottles of Dove body wash, two bottles of Gilette men's shampoo, one bottle of Head & Shoulders shampoo, one bottle of Pert shampoo, a Pantene styling product, three L'Oreal eyeshadows, six nail art decal things, three tubes of Colgate, one Crest kids toothpaste, two Easy Macs and one no-spill bubbles bottle that was on clearance for $0.75. Muahahahahahaaa!!!!! One bottle of bodywash? Regular price $4.29, plus tax. You know what's even better? I found the coupons for several of those items inside a booklet in the store.

When I got home, I found out that my baby cried for Mama for twenty minutes of the forty that I was gone. I sold my baby's tears for nine dollars, apparently. The mommy guilt, it will get you every time.

My husband just said I had a big ass.

Okay, he SAID that he had to plug in my new hard drive (oh, yeah! I didn't mention that my sweetie woobles love bug bought me a new external 500G hard drive! He is awesome. Yay!) in the front because I am "full in the back". I think we all know what that means. Boyo will be sleeping on the couch henceforth! hehe.

On that note, I think I'll go snag him away from his computer so we can have a little time together. We didn't have time for it last night after the mammoth LJ meme.. it was a little longer than I thought it was. :)
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Want to make at least $10 and get free stuff like I've been getting? I'll make it really easy for you. This works today or tomorrow only.

1. Go to this link and print this coupon for $10 off a $40 purchase at Walgreen's.

2. Go to Walgreen's. Purchase at least enough stuff from this list to qualify to use your coupon. Buy 'em all if you want--they're free. Limit one of each product. Note that there are booklets with these free items listed at the front of the store. Pick one up and let your toddler play with it.

Nivea for Men body wash, 16.9oz, $4.99 ESR
LOreal RivitaLift, $16.49
Chemistry Hair Care, 1.35-12oz, $7.99 ESR
Excedrin Express Gels, 20 pk, $3.99 ESR
Crest ProHealth Toothpaste, 4.2oz $3.79 ESR
LypSyl LypMoisturizer, 1oz, $1.99 ESR
Revlon Nail Color or Nail Care, $4.79 ESR
Walgreens Acid Control, 25 Chewable Tabs, $7.99 ESR
Walgreens Pitcher Filter Replacement Cartridge, $6.99 ESR
Pert Plus shampoo or conditioner, Get up to $4.29 back*
2-pack regular size Living Solutions Bags at $5.99, Get $5.99 rebate*
1 Single X-Large size Living Solutions Bags at $9.99, Get $9.99 rebate*

*These are not listed in the booklet in the store. They were apparently added in later, though--they were also free last month. If you want to be super safe, you could skip them, I guess.

3. Pay for your items. Don't forget to use your $10 coupon! (I have done this. It is embarrassing, especially when you remember as you are walking out the door and take it back to the register, therefore forcing the poor cashier to void your entire order and ring it up again.) Assuming you bought $40 worth of stuff exactly, that will bring your total down to $30. Save your receipt!!

4. Once you get home, take your receipt and enter the RFN# at the top on the Walgreens website here. Do it right away so you don't forget.

5. At the end of the month (or right away if you're not going to buy anything else at Walgreens), log back in and submit your receipts. If you skip this step, they will automatically process your receipts and send you a check, but I am a control freak and I manually tell them to do it just in case.

You can either receive a check for the amount of your purchases (the full $40) or you can have them send you a Walgreens gift card. If you get a gift card, they give you an extra 10%, so you'll receive $44. (Now, for extra credit, if you have coupons for any of those items, you can use them when you check out (just make sure that your total is $40 after the coupons). Then you will still get back your $44 so your profit is even greater. )

You have now made somewhere between $10 and $18 (depending on what you bought, of course) and received up to $78 worth of stuff for free, or for only the cost of tax. I like the gift card option because if nothing else, it covers the tax. Don't use that kind of toothpaste or shampoo? Well, do you know someone who does? Your friends and family will love getting free stuff. I plan to eventually donate what I can't find a home for--will probably wait until around Christmas to do that though.

This is how I started out a few months ago, just getting the stuff openly advertised as free. There's a lot more strategy involved in getting the super great deals but this is so uncomplicated that anyone can do it with about two minutes of planning (reading this and printing the coupon), a fairly pleasant shopping experience and five minutes for putting your receipt online.

As for me, I was going to stay home today but I can't pass up the $10 coupon, so we'll be heading out this afternoon. I have not bought many of the free things this month because I was waiting on one of these coupons. Otherwise, I'm not sure I'd have been able to muster up $40 worth of stuff after having been there twice this week already.

p.s. If you think you'll go back to Walgreens in the next couple of weeks, pick up a bottle of 500ml Crest Pro-Health mouthwash. You get a register reward for the full purchase price on that. Also, if you buy three bottles of Robittussin or Dimetapp for $4/bottle, you get $10 back on a future purchase so you'll only spend $2 on three bottles. If you need those things, now's a good time! Just make sure they give you the reward with your receipt and don't let it expire. (You can also do a second transaction with other stuff and use them immediately if you know you won't be back.)
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After Evelyn woke up from her nap, we headed out for the shopping trip we had been planning on taking prior to her falling asleep on me. It worked out really well this way, though, because we could go to the other Walgreens as well as CVS. "My" Walgreens thwarted me big-time on Sunday so I had to try my luck with the one on the other side of town. It worked there fabulously and so I am happy to present to you today's fun and games with drugstore shopping, with captions:

fun with drugstores

See there on the Walgreens side, there are two bottles of Robitussin and one of Dimetapp? They were on sale, with 2 $3 and 1 $2 coupons, and when you buy three, you get $10 back in Register Rewards (good on future purchases.) Sooo... $4 * 3 = $12. $12 - $8 in internet-printable coupons = $4. $10 register reward - $4 out of pocket = $6 profit. Yay! The mouthwash hiding beside the shower cleaner was $4.50 and free after $4.50 register rewards. The shower cleaner was $20 with $10 register rewards, plus I had a $5 coupon. {Incidentally, that's how the other Walgreens thwarted me--they claimed that if I used coupons, I couldn't get the RRs. Oh, that reminds me. The free mouthwash, I used a $0.75 coupon so I made a profit on it, too. Forgot about that one. Two deodorants and a bottle of body wash free after coupons. See how the cough syrup overage paid for most of the other stuff? PLUS, I get the items! .....

On the CVS side, there's a bunch of stuff from their 75% and 90% clearance aisle and a profitable blood glucose meter. I made $5 on that and I think the box says there's a $10 mail-in-rebate, but I'm not sure I'll be able to use it since I paid nothing for it. ;) See the Hawaiian Punch juice boxes there for a quarter? Bet you think I bought those for Evelyn. Well, HA. Are you kidding? I don't let her drink HFCS crap like that! Those are for ME. ;) The green box is an immunity-enhancing thing. M likes those sorts of things when he's getting sick. The floam will go to a young cousin for part of her birthday present. I won't tell her that I spent less than a dollar on them but then, she's four so she won't care anyway. We were actually at CVS yesterday (my mom and I) and we bought a bunch of stuff on clearance then, too. I was heading back there today for a computer chair. I don't know why I didn't buy it yesterday but it was $10. I don't need one so it didn't occur to me at the time, but we're playing the yankee swap type game for Christmas this year, and wouldn't that be a fun gift to throw into the mix? Furniture? I would fight over it if I saw it, even if I didn't need it. But alas, it was gone (of course). I really can't imagine who would normally be buying chairs at CVS anyway for them to have for the clearance aisle.

Oh, and right there in the middle, of course, is my little shopping buddy. I like her so much I think I'd even pay retail prices for her. Now that's love!

In Kentucky, you have to pay tax on pre-coupon prices, by the way. Just in case my numbers look off. ;) I also had a $2/10 coupon at CVS, which brought it down a little more. And I just noticed that they overcharged me $2 at Walgreens, so really, it should have just cost me $1.94 for that stuff. I was really happy with my total price until I noticed that and now I am fretting over the difference. I should probably learn to let it go but then again, if I did that, this hobby would probably disintegrate right away.

So! That was great fun but I think I'm taking the rest of the week off. Sheesh.
same_sky: (Default)
I am happy to announce that my manly man husband has repaired the plumbing issue with our bathtub and we now have a fully functional shower and bathtub. It's the oddest thing, you turn the water on and it comes out of the spout at the bottom! On demand! Awesome. Plumbing is completely magical and grown-up and I can't believe that I am married to someone who has enough rudimentary skills to like, apply brute force and purchase a tiny pipe. (It was distressingly simple, this particular repair. It's dreadfully embarrassing that it took us over a year to complete.)

I made another run to K-mart for the coupon doubling event today. It's the last day of said sale, but I got new coupons yesterday so I wanted to give it another go. No picture this time, but I bought free bottles of Aussie shampoo, conditioner and styling gel, more paper towels for $3 (though I meant to buy toilet paper..oops), cereal at $1.33 per box, 96 allergy pills for about $5 (I think I've paid $15 for 60 in the past, as a rough estimate) face cleaner for $1.19 and a free bottle of dishwasher rinse stuff. Also, a new coupon file for me and two Christmas presents. Whee! Fun times. My little hobby had a setback yesterday, though, and I walked out of Walgreens with no fun free stuff after talking to a cashier and two managers. I still think they're doing it wrong, but I might try it at the other store if I go over that way this week. I might just let it go, though. It was a $7 overage purchase, though, so I hate to. Anyway! We'll see.

Evelyn said the absolute funniest thing of her entire life this weekend. It's easy just now as she has thus far not cracked many jokes. ;) We went to the Scandinavian Heritage potluck event on Saturday--it was to celebrate Midsummer, oddly enough. The hosts had some health problems in June so it was postponed until now. A bit of background--she usually calls everything edible (and some things that aren't, like when she opened the box of free pantiliners I bought last week and started pulling them out in the store while talking about them loudly) a cracker. Lately, she has been talking about balls, too--otherwise known as cherry tomatoes. She loves tomatoes and it still cracks me up when she requests balls. Anyway, M was feeding her strawberries, which she enjoyed enough to christen with a brand new name. Strawberry = Crackerball! That still makes me laugh out loud when I think about it. Crackerballs. Also, I suppose that is her first compound word. Aww. I don't recall seeing an entry for "first compound word" in her baby book but then again, I have been failing miserably to update said book, so I guess it's okay.

In other news, there is no other news.

June 2015

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