Friday, July 30, 2010

New Digital Camera!!!

It is with joy that I announce that we bought a new digital camera the other day!  I've been telling you all about SwagBucks and how I was collecting $5 Amazon e-gift cards to go towards this purchase and it has finally come to fruition.  Now, due to time constraints I was unable to wait until the camera was paid for in full with the gift cards but we did collect $85 that went towards it.  We are the proud owners of a Nikon Coolpix L110!  :-)  Woohoo!!!

Standing on His Promises, Mrs. Bubba

Quick Start Guide

If you have thought about couponing but think it is way too time consuming then this post is for you!  Saving your family money each month on your grocery bill is not as time consuming as you might think and couponing is not as complicated as it looks.  If you have never couponed before or you gave up because it was not organized and you never remembered to take the coupons to the store with you here is a quick way to get started:

1)  Pick up at least one newspaper Sunday.  The Houston Home Journal is available on Saturday and is .50 an issue.  The Macon Telegraph is, I believe, $1.50 an issue and MOST of the time they have the same coupons in both papers.

2)  Pull the coupon inserts out.  You will notice that there are, typically, 3 different inserts.  You will usually see a Smart Source and Red Plum insert each weekend.  Once a month there will be a P&G insert.  The USA Weekend and Parade magazine sometimes have coupons in them as well but not all the time.

3)  Use a 12 pocket accordion file and label each pocket with a month.

4)  If there are 2 inserts in this weekend's paper then you will need 2 envelopes (size really doesn't matter).  You can probably use letter sized.  On the outside, front of the 1st envelope write Sunday's date and Smart Source so you can easily read it.  Then take 5 minutes to cut out all the coupons in the Smart Source insert and put them in the envelope.  Do the same thing with the other envelope and the Red Plum insert.

5)  Once the coupons are all clipped and in the appropriate envelope, stick those envelopes in the August file of your accordion file.

6)  Now that you have clipped and filed your coupons head over to Southern Savers blog.  On her blog you click on your preferred grocery store, select the most recent list of sales items.  For example:  click on Publix and then find the blog entry that has the date 7/28 in the title because Publix's sales go from Wednesday to Tuesday for us.

7)  Once you have your store and the most recent sales list pulled up you will see each sales item listed and underneath the item will be a list of available coupons that go with that item.  You will not see ALL of those coupons.  A lot of coupons are regional.

8)  Go through Southern Savers list, click on the boxes beside the items you wish to purchase then at the bottom of the blog entry will be a button to click that says "Print List".  I would print the list just as it is with all the coupons listed out beneath it.

9)  Once you have your list in hand then pull out your accordion file, a paperclip, and pencil/pen.  If you look at the coupons listed underneath each sales item you will notice that they say how much the coupon is worth, the item it is good for (including any size restrictions), then it will state where the coupon came from followed by the expiration date.  If a coupon comes from Smart Source then it will be listed as SS 8/1.  This means that the coupon came from the Smart Source insert on August 1.  Pull out your Smart Source August 1 envelope, quickly go through the coupons and pull out the one you are looking for then paperclip it to the back of your list.  If a coupon comes from Red Plum then it will be listed as RP 8/1.  If a coupon comes from a P&G insert then it will be listed as PG 8/1.  If there is something on your list that you do not have the corresponding coupon for and you do not have to purchase it at that moment then use that pen/pencil to draw an X through it on your list.

10)  Now you are ready to head to the store!  Take your list, your coupons, your loyalty card, and your money.  You are, officially, a couponer!  :-)

After you have used this method for a while and you get comfortable with remembering to take your coupons to the store then you can move on to stockpiling, etc.

Now, go get that paper and start to clipping!

Standing on His Promises, Mrs. Bubba

Monday, July 26, 2010

Coupon Inserts for Middle GA

Smart Source 7/25

$1 off Almay Cosmetic (exp 10/16)
$1 off Clearasil product (exp 10/17)
.40/1 Colgate Adult/Kids Manual Toothbrush, (exp 8/14)
.50/1 Colgate Toothpaste, 4 oz + (exp 8/14)
$1 off Goof Off product (exp 12/31)
.50/1 Irish Spring Body Wash (excl 5.5 oz) or (2) multipack 3 pk + (exp 8/14)
$1 off Rayovac Alkaline or Hearing Air Batteries (exp 9/25)
.50/1 Speed Stick Men’s or Women’s Deodorant (exp 8/14)
$3/2 Triaminic Products (exp 8/28)
$1 off Tyson Grilled & Ready Fillets (exp 9/30)
$1 off Tyson Frozen Breaded Chicken (exp 9/30)
$1 off Tyson Any’tizers Wings (exp 9/30)
$1 off Tyson Any’tizers Snacks (exp 9/30)
.55/1 Ziploc Bags (exp 9/18)
$1.25/2 Ziploc Bags (exp 9/18)
.75/1 Ziploc Container (exp 9/18)
$2/2 Ziploc Containers (exp 9/18)
$1/2 Ziploc Slider Bags (exp 9/18)

Redplum 7/25

$1 off AcneFree Kit (exp 9/15)
$2 off Cheer BrightClean (exp 8/31)
.50/1 Luigi’s Real Italian Ice (exp 9/30)
.75/1 Minute Maid Frozen Novelty (exp 9/30)
$1 off Nature’s Bounty Vitamins or Supplements
Free Nivea Men’s Body Wash wyb (2) Women’s Body Wash (exp 8/25)
$1 off Nivea For Men Body Wash (exp 9/25)
$3 off Nivea Happy Sensation Body Lotion, 13.5 fl oz (exp 9/30)
$1 off Acne FreeNon-Kit Treatment (exp 9/15)
$1 off Organic Valley Omega-3 Milk (exp 8/25)
.55/1 Renuzit Adjustable (3) singles or (1) multipack (2 or 3 pk) (exp 9/05)
B1G1 Right Guard or Dry Idea products, max $4.49 purchase (exp 8/31)
$3/2 Venus Disposables, 2 or 3 ct (exp 8/31)
$4/2 Venus Disposables, 6 ct (exp 8/31)
.50/1 Whole Fruit Fruit Bars (exp 9/30)
.50/1 Whole Fruit Sorbet (exp 9/30)

Parade Magazine

$1 off Olay Facial Moisturizer or Cleanser excludes trial size (exp 8/31)
$3 off Bausch & Lomb Soothe Eye Drops (exp 9/30)
.50/1 Celsius Single Can (exp 8/31)
$2 off Celsius 4 pack or higher (exp 8/31)
.50/1 Walgreens Brand over-the-counter medication (exp 7/31)

Standing on His Promises, Mrs. Bubba

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Coupon Inserts

Smart Source 7/18

$1 off Air Wick Scented Oil Twin Refill Pack or (2) Single Refills (exp 8/29)
Free Air Wick Warmer wyb Air Wick Scented Oil Refill (exp 8/29)
$3 off Bausch & Lomb Soothing Eye Drops (exp 9/30)
$1 off Colgate ProClinical Toothpaste, Any (exp 8/7)
.35/1 Comet Spray or Comet Soft Cleanser Product, Any (exp 9/30)
$3 off Finish Quantumatic Detergent Dispenser System, Any (exp 9/5)
.50/1 Land O Lakes Fresh Buttery Taste Spread Products (exp 9/11)
$1 off L’Oreal EverStrong or EverPure Shampoo or Conditioner (exp 10/10)
$1 off L’Oreal EverStrong or EverPure Treatment (exp 10/1)
$1 off Motrin PM Product (exp 11/30)
$1 off Oxy Deep Oxygen Activated Stain Remover (exp 9/30)
$1 off OxiClean Versatile Powder 56oz. + (exp 8/31)
$1 off OxiClean MaxForce Power Paks or Any OxiClean Liquid (exp 8/31)
.75/1 OxiClean Pre-Treater, Any (exp 8/31)
$1.50 Pull-Ups Training Pants  (exp 8/15)
$1 off Revlon Color Cosmetic Product, Any (exp 8/22)
$1 off Revlon Beauty Tools Product, Any (exp 8/22)
$3 off Woolite Rug Stick (exp 9/30)
$1 off Woolite Heavy Traffic (exp 9/30)

USA Weekend

Free 12oz Smoothie or Frappe from McDonalds
.50/1 Walgreens brand Drugs
Standing on His Promises, Mrs. Bubba

Monday, July 19, 2010

For The Teachers

Michaels is having a deal that every Friday starting July 23 through September 24, if you show your educator ID they will take 10% off your order.  *There are exclusions, ask one of the sales associates.*

Standing on His Promises, Mrs. Bubba

Free Shipping On Crocs is offering free shipping on all orders this week only.

Standing on His Promises, Mrs. Bubba

Have You Signed Up Yet?

Have you signed up at yet?  If not then you are missing out on printable coupons so head over there and sign up!

Standing on His Promises, Mrs. Bubba

Hobby Lobby Coupon

Go HERE to get your 40% off one item at Hobby Lobby.

Standing on His Promises, Mrs. Bubba

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Coupon Inserts for Middle GA

The RED is what we did not get this past Sunday.
Smartsource 7/11

$1 off Benefiber (exp 8/31)
$1 off Benefiber Orange (exp 8/31)
$3 off BIC Soleil Disposable Shavers (exp 8/22)
$3 off Bufferin 130 ct (exp 9/05)
$1 off Cat’s Pride Litter  (exp 10/31)
$1 off Colgate Total Toothpaste 4 oz+ (exp 7/31)
.50/1 Cottonelle Bath Tissue 12 pk or (2) 4-packs (exp 8/21)
$1.50 off Depend Underwear (exp 8/21)
$1 off Depend Guards for Men (exp 8/21)
$1 off Excedrin 20 ct+ (exp 8/28)
$1.50 off Excedrin 80 ct+ (exp 8/28)
$1.50 off Gas-X Prevention (exp 9/30)
$1 off Gas-X (exp 9/30)
B1G1 Glade Premium Room Spray (exp 8/15)
$3 off Glade Plugins Scented Oil Lasting Impressions holder (exp 8/21)
$2 off Glade Plugins Scented Oil twin refill (exp 8/21)
$1 off Glade Fabric & Air or Carpet & Room Odor Eliminator (exp 8/21)
$3 off Glade Sense & Spray Starter Kit (exp 8/21)
$1.50 off Good Nites Underwear Jumbo (exp 8/08)
B1G1 Head & Shoulders (exp 8/31)
.50/1 Hidden Valley Farmhouse Originals (exp 8/22)
$1.50 off Huggies Diapers (exp 8/07)
$1.50 off Huggies Overnites Diapers (exp 8/07)
.50/1 Huggies Baby Wipes 64 ct+ (exp 8/07)
$5 off iFlex 120 ct (exp 8/31)
$1 off Joint Juice (exp 9/15)
$1 off Kleenex Hand Towels (exp 9/05)
.50/3 Kleenex Facial Tissue packages or 1 bundle pack (exp 9/05)
.50/2 Kleenex Anti-Viral, Lotion or Ultra Soft Facial Tissue (exp 9/05)
$1 off Keri Lotion (exp 9/30)
.75/1 Kraft Bagel-fuls (exp 8/15)
$3 off Lysol No-Touch Hand Soap System (exp 8/31)
$1 off Lysol Neutra Air Aerosol Can (exp 8/10)
$1 off Maalox Advanced or Total Relief (exp 10/16)
$2.50/2 Maalox Advanced or Total Relief (exp 10/16)
$2 off Neutrogena Facial Moisturizer (exp 8/08)
B1G1 Olay Cleanser (exp 8/31)
.40/2 Pillsbury Sweet Rolls or Grands Sweet Rolls (exp 10/02)
$4 off Prevacid 24 HR (exp 8/28)
Free Purina Busy Bone 7 oz., wyb Purina Beggin Strips any size (exp 10/10)
$3 off Raid Max Bug Barrier Starter (exp 9/04)
$1 off Raid Max Bug Barrier Refill (exp 9/04)
$1 off Raid Ant & Roach product (exp 9/04)
B1G1 Raid Earth Options (exp 9/4)
$1 off Scotch Brite Sponges, Pads, Dishwand or Refill (exp 8/31)
.55/1 Shout product (8/7/10)
$1/2 Silk PureAlmond Half Gallons (exp 8/31)
.75/1 Skintimate Cream Shave or Shave Gel (exp 8/29)
$1 off Spot Shot Instant Carpet Cleaner (exp 8/31)
.75/1 Welch’s 100% Grape Juices or Juice Blends, 64 oz. or 96 oz. (exp 9/30)

Redplum 7/11

$1 off Amdro Kills Ants (exp 9/30)
$1 off Bestlife buttery spread or spray (exp 9/19)
$1 off Centrum Silver 110 ct + (exp 9/30)
$1 off Centrum Ultra 100 ct + (exp 9/30)
$3 off Centrum Ultra 200 ct + (exp 9/30)
$1 off CoverGirl Queen Collection (exp 8/31)
$1 off Endust Product (exp 8/22)
B1G1 Everlast energy bar (exp 8/31)
.25/1 Folgers coffee products 7oz + or singles (exp 8/21)
$1 off Folgers Black Silk coffee (exp 8/21)
$1 off Garnier Nutritioniste Cleaner or Moisturizer (exp 10/31)
$1/2 Hillshire Farm Deli Select lunchmeat (exp 8/14)
$1/2 Hillshire Farm Smoked Sausages links (exp 8/29)
$1/2 Kellogg’s pop-tarts 8ct + (exp 9/05)
$1/2 Kellogg’s Frosted Mini-Wheats Cereals 14,5 oz + (exp 8/22)
.50/1 Lever 2000 bar soap 2-bar or 4 bar (exp 8/08)
$1.50 off Lever 2000 bar soap 6- bar + (exp 8/08)
$1 off L’Oreal age perfect or skin genesis product (exp 10/03)
$1 off L’Oreal collagen product (exp 10/03)
$1 off L’Oreal Revitalift product (exp 10/03)
$1.50 off Millstone Coffee 10oz + prepack bag or 1/2 lb or more bulk (exp 9/30)
$1 off Natural Instincts hair color (exp 8/31)
$5/2 Natural Instincts hair color (exp 8/31)
B1G1 Nevella 50 ct (exp 8/31)
.75/1 Newman’s Own Salad dressing (exp 8/21)
$1 off Osteo Bi-Flex liquid joint-aid 6-pack (exp 8/20)
$1 off Pedigree Dentastix treats for dogs (exp 9/08)
$1 off Sally Hansen La Cross beauty tool purchase of $2.00 or more (exp 9/30)
$1 off Schick Slim Twin or Slim Triple disposable razor pack (excludes 2 ct) (exp 8/22)
$3/2 Schick Slim Twin or slim triple disposable razor packs (excludes 2 ct) (exp 8/22)
$2.50 off Smart Balance Milks carton (exp 8/25)
.50/1 Smart Balance sour cream regular or reduced fat (exp 8/25)
$1 off Suave Body Lotion 18oz +(exp 8/08)
.25/1 Suave Body Wash (exp 8/08)
.50/1 Suave Deodorant product (exp 8/08)
.50/2 Suave Hairspray or styling products (exp 8/08)
.50/2 Suave kids shampoo or conditioner products (exp 8/08)
$1/2 Suave Professionals shampoo or conditioner products (exp 8/08)
$1/3 Uncle Ben’s ready rice (exp 9/05)
$1.50 off Whiskas dry cat food bag or multipack (exp 9/04)
B1G1 Whiskas tray (exp 9/04)

Standing on His Promises, Mrs. Bubba

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Farmer's Market Coming to Warner Robins!!!

I am so excited about this!  I enjoy going to local farmer's markets very, very much.  I get a lot of satisfaction out of supporting local farmers and getting fresh produce that just came out of the ground.  The Sun Times has an article on the front page that talks about the new Farmer's Market that will be open on Thursdays from 2-6pm on the corner of Watson Blvd. and Davis Dr.  This is a great location and a wonderful addition to this city.  I don't mind driving down to Perry on Saturday mornings for their Farmer's Market but I am tickled to have one right here in Warner Robins!

Is there a Farmer's Market where you live?  If so, I would love for you to post the hours and location so that people where you live can support the local growers.

Standing on His Promises, Mrs. Bubba

Still Here

Good morning folks! I pray you are having a blessed day.  I will be offline for several days  for many reasons but I promise to come back online sometime next week.  As most of you know, my precious hubby is in the Ukraine on a mission trip.  You can follow their progress HERE.  While he is gone, my mom has come to town to help me work on our home.  We are organizing, deep cleaning, and generally getting the junk cleared out.  I am also working all week because the lady that I share the part time work with is in Honduras on a mission trip!  As much as I adore keeping this blog up to date, and I DO enjoy doing this, I don't have time to do everything.  I apologize for not bringing you the latest deals and steals for the next few days.  :-(  I will be back with my shopping trips and coupon tips next week.  In the meantime, please go check out a few of my favorite blogs:

Southern Savers

I heart Publix

Smart Couponing

These are the online ladies that I learned from coupled with the vast and experienced knowledge of Baby Sam's Mama!  Just don't forget about us here, the local deals will be here and only here.  :-)

Standing on His Promises, Mrs. Bubba

P&G Insert from 7/4

P&G Inserts rarely have any variations.  I didn't even check to see if there were any differences this past weekend.  Here is what we probably saw in the P&G Insert from this past Sunday:
$1 Always Pad, Clean or Feminine Cleansing Cloths
.25/1 Bounty Napkins
.25/1 Bounty Towels or Napkins
.50/1 Cascade
.50/1 Cascade Complete Pacs or Cascade ActionPacs
.25/1 Charmin product
$1 off Covergirl product
Free Eye Enhancer Kit wyb any Covergirl Mascara
$2 off Oral-B Pulsar, CrossAction, Advantage, or (2) Indicator or Cavity Defense Toothbrushes
$5 off Crest 3D White Advanced Vivid 14ct, Gentle Routine or Stain Shield Whitestrips
$7 off Crest 3D White Professional Effects Whitestrips
.75/1 Crest Rinse 440 mL or larger
.75/1 Crest Toothpaste 4.0oz or Larger or Liquid Gel
.25/1 Dawn
$1.50 off Duracell Hearing Aid Batteries with EasyTab,6-pk +
.75/1 Duracell CopperTop 4-pk + or Ultra Advanced, or Ultra Photo Lithium
Free Febreze Air Effects wyb Frebreze Fabric Refresher 500 mL or 800 mL
$2 off Gillette Body Wash or Deodorant
$3 off Gillette Clinical Deodorant
$2 off Gillette Fusion ProGlide Razor
$2 off Gillette Fusion ProSeries Skin Care
$1 off Iams Healthy Naturals Dry Dog or Cat food
$1 off Iams ProActive Health Dry Dog or Cat food
$2 off Iams Premium Protection Dry Dog or Cat food
$1 off Metamucil
$2 off Nice ‘n Easy
$2 off Nice ‘n Easy Root Touch-up product
$1 off Olay Bar, Body Wash, or In-Shower Body Lotion
$1 off Olay Facial Moisturizer or Facial Cleanser
$1 off Olay Hand and Body Lotion
$3 off Olay Regenerist Facial Moisturizer or Facial Cleanser
$1/2 Old Spice products 1.7 oz or larger
Free Fresh Collection Deo. wyb Old Spice Fresh Collection Deo. or Odor Blocker Body Wash,
Free Odor Blocker Body Wash wyb Old Spice Fresh Collection Deo. or Odor Blocker Body Wash
$1.50 off Pampers Diapers or Pants
$2 off Pampers Cruisers, Swaddlers Sensitive or Extra Protection Diapers
.50/1 Pampers Wipes 60 ct or larger
$1 off Pantene Styler, Treatment, or Hairspray
$1/2 Pantene products
.50/1 Pepto product
$1 off Prilosec OTC
$2 off PUR Pitcher or Faucet Mount Multi-Pack Replacement Filters or PUR Refrigerator Filter
$4 off PUR or PUR Flavor Options System, Pitcher or Faucet Mount
.55/1 Satin Care Shave Gel or In Shower Moisturizer
.75/1 Secret deodorant
$1 off Tampax 18 ct +
$2 off Tampax Pearl or Compak Pearl 18 ct +
$1 off Tide Detergent
$1 off Tide Stain Release
$3 off Tide Stain Release 26-50oz Powder, 15-34ct Duo Pac, or 36-68oz Liquid
.35/1 Tide To Go
$2 off Venus Embrace or Breeze Razor, or Disposables or Bikini Kit
Standing on His Promises, Mrs. Bubba

Monday, July 5, 2010

Today's Shopping Trip(s)

I headed out to Publix, CVS, and Target today and did pretty good.  :-)

Publix Trip:

Honey Wheat Berry Bread $2.99
Publix 1 dz Eggs $1.19
3 Kraft Garlic & Herb Mayo $1 each (these are BOGO right now)
3-$1 off Kraft Sandwich Shop Mayo (mani Q)
3-$1 off Kraft Sandwich Shop Mayo (Publix Q)
Kraft Hot N Spicy Mayo $1 (these are BOGO right now)
$1 off Kraft Sandwich Shop Mayo (mani Q)
$1 off Kraft Sandwich Shop Mayo (Publix Q)

I paid .40 out of pocket (I just couldn't use the Gift Card on this purchase)!  If you will notice, the Kraft Sandwich Shop Mayo is a money maker right now if you have both coupons.  So, using both coupons I was able to reduce my overall bill so the bread and eggs were, essentially, free!  :-)

CVS Trip:

2 Dawn Hand Renewal Dish Soap .99 each
2-$1 off Dawn Hand Renewal Dish Soap (Right@Home coupon booklet)
2-Bausch & Lomb BioTrue Saline 2 oz $2.99 each
2-$2 Extra Care Bucks (ECB)
$1 ECB

Spent $1.33 and got back $5.98 ECB.  The saline is travel size and will come in handy when we go to Israel.  I use the Dawn on an almost daily basis.

Target Trip:

5 Satin Care Shaving Gel .99 each (travel size)
5-$1 off Satin Care adjusted to .99
2 Vanish Drop In Toilet Cleaners $2.14 each
1-BOGO Vanish Target Q
1-BOGO Vanish printable Mani Q

Spent .50 on this trip.  So, today I spent a little over $2 and got all that.  I would call this a successful day.

Standing on His Promises, Mrs. Bubba

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Reader Question-Having Fun In Gray

Having Fun in Gray asked these questions:  

I feel as if I’m failing at this couponing thing. When you post your totals are you including the staples as far as Milk, Bread, Meat and Veggies for a weeks worth of breakfast, lunch and supper? I have made great deals for personal care items and have on occasion found good deals on cereal, frozen food and snacks. But when I go do my grocery shopping for actual home cooked meals that I plan out my percent savings goes down and my out of pocket goes up. I have purchased a lot of hot dogs, spaghetti sauce and BBQ sauce with coupons and BOGO deals. But there is only so much cereal and BBQ chicken and Spaghetti my family can stand. I have been couponing for about 2 months now. I wonder if I’m holding on to my Coupons to long. I hold them until I see a sale or a BOGO and then I stock up. But that is only a handful of items and then I need to make a Grocery run for the staples and boom up goes the bill. When I cleaned out my binder this week I tossed a lot of Coupons I could have used but had held onto waiting for the better buy. This was disappointing. I felt like I actually wasted money. What am I doing wrong? My monthly totals are nowhere near yours. PS… love your blog. Keep it up. And Congrats on the Trip. Way to go!!! 
First, you aren't doing anything wrong!  The people who are doing the coupon thing wrong are the people who aren't trying.  You are out there, collecting coupons, watching the sales, and working hard to save money so you can provide a different life for your family.  You are doing everything right so do not give up.  Be encouraged because even the most seasoned couponer spends too much money sometimes, or they will miss a deal, or they will throw a big handful of coupons away at the end of the month.  Personally, I haven't stepped foot inside Walgreens, RiteAid, or CVS in awhile.  I've had too much on my plate and just couldn't sit down to focus on making a list, pulling the coupons, and heading out to the store.  I've missed some great deals and threw a bunch of wonderful coupons away on July 1!
Now, to address the first question: yes, my totals include staples like milk, meat, veggies, and bread.  I look at the weekly staples from 2 angles.  One, if I stock up on non-perishables at rock bottom prices then I can spend a little extra on the fresh items and still stay within my budget.  Second, if I can get a few money-maker items then that will help lower the overall bill so I can buy the fresh items and stay within my budget.
In the spirit of this blog and for full disclosure: it is just my husband and I.  No one else is on our grocery budget.  My budget isn't going to look like yours...especially if you have one or more in diapers (or bottomless teenagers)!  Also, my husband only eats breakfast on Saturdays and that is sometimes.  He thinks a mountain of a cup of coffee is "breakfast".  I eat Cheerios, Frosted Shredded Wheat, or oatmeal for breakfast.  I do make his lunch most of the time and when I work, sometimes I take my lunch and sometimes I eat out.  I do cook most of our dinners but I'm not a gourmet cook.  We eat things like grilled chicken, bbq chicken, spaghetti, soft tacos or fajitas, etc.  Simple but it sustains us.  If I eat fish it's because we went out to eat.  Bubba eats very few veggies so if I make a salad it's all mine.  The same with fruit.  Since he doesn't help eating them I only buy enough for me.
I would like to encourage you.  My grocery bill did not go down until I had been using coupons for about 6 months.  The amount of groceries I purchased went up significantly but I wasn't spending any less.  It wasn't until I had an initial stockpile of items in my home that I took the plunge and challenged myself to spend $35 or less a week on groceries.  If you have been using coupons for 2 months then there shouldn't be a decrease in your spending yet but there should be an increase in the amount of items you are bringing home.  You want to have a decent stockpile of non-perishables before you start decreasing your spending.  Another tip is this: when you plan your menu, plan it from your pantry...not the grocery ads.  If you have a good sized stockpile then when you plan your weekly menu you should look in the pantry and freezer for what you will be making.  When you head out to the grocery store only buy that fresh bunch of celery or broccoli or the peaches for the cobbler.  Everything else should be in your stockpile.
There are things out there that freeze very well.  Milk and shredded cheese are 2 of them.  When milk is on sale I will buy maybe 4 gallons.  Then I'll pour a little from 3 of the gallons into another freezer friendly container and freeze them.  I have had great success with frozen milk.  Back when there was a great deal on Kraft shredded cheese I bought a bunch and stuck most of it in the freezer.  I'm hoping it lasts me until the next great deal on shredded cheese!  We use liquid creamer in our coffee so when I was able to pick it up very cheap I bought a bunch and stuck those in the freezer as well.  I won't need to buy creamer until about Christmas!  I guess what I'm trying to say is that you can stockpile things other than personal care items, canned goods, or frozen chicken fingers (Bubba loves those).  
Having Fun In Gray-my final word of advice is: if you are running out of items too fast then maybe it's time to consider getting a few more coupons from somewhere.  I have no idea how many people are in your family but if you have more than 4 then you should be getting at least 6 inserts.  It's just the 2 of us and I pick up 5.  Once you have a good sized stockpile then you will find that you won't be spending your money on the same non-perishables every single week.  Eventually, you will look at your stockpiled items and ask yourself, when is it enough?!?  I found myself asking that about body wash the other day.  I don't need to buy another bottle of body wash for at least 6 months!  That frees up a few dollars for something else.  I don't need to buy deodorant for at least 6 months, there's another couple dollars freed up.  Hand soap is covered for...I don't know how long, there's another couple of dollars.  Now I have freed up enough of my grocery budget to buy a few nice ribeye steaks for the hubby to grill or enough for that big old watermelon I've been eyeing.
Give yourself time for trial and error.  Give yourself time to get into a rhythm that works for you.  Give yourself permission to take a little time to figure this whole coupon thing out.  You will get there.
Thanks for the great questions!  If I neglected to answer anything or if this isn't clear please feel free to ask again.  I'm loving the great comments and questions!

Standing on His Promises, Mrs. Bubba

Friday, July 2, 2010

Bubba's Ukraine Mission Trip

I put Bubba on the bus today at 1pm to head to the airport for his mission trip to the Ukraine.  I always forget how big a part of my life he is until I go somewhere without him or he goes somewhere without me.  I mean, I know that he's such a huge part of my life, but I realize it when he leaves.  So, here I am for the next week and a half wondering what to do with myself while my best friend shares The Gospel with the people in Ukraine.

I am uber proud of him for signing up to go.  I am uber proud of him for leaving the borders of our great country but I miss him terribly!  He's my heartbeat, the love of my life, the man God prepared for me all those years, and my best friend.  I talk to him mulitple times a day, yell at him, laugh with him (or at him, he likes to make me laugh), ask him a million times what he'd like for dinner, and generally drive him crazy.  There is no one I would rather spend time with than him.

So, I'm sappy and sad.  I rented a couple of movies so I am going to curl up on the couch with my tissues and a pound of fruit.  I'm going to cry and eat a boat load of fruit.  Then tomorrow I'll work on the blog, laundry, the kitchen, organizing my coupons, and answer Having Fun in Gray's question!

If you think about my Bubba, please pray for him and the team that went to the Ukraine.  Pray for the kids they will meet and the parents.  Pray for hearts to be open to hearing The Gospel.  May they plant many seeds and see a harvest!  Pray that the Ukrainians develope a hunger for the things of God.

Standing on His Promises, Mrs. Bubba

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Month End and Year To Date Totals

All I'm reporting on this time is the grocery challenge.  The Israel trip has been saved and paid for!  Praise the Lord for this amazing opportunity!!!

I can't believe it's July already.  I have been looking forward to and dreading July all year.  My amazing husband leaves for the Ukraine tomorrow and will be gone close to 10 days.  My boss will be taking care of her hubby on Monday so I don't get to work...I will, out of habit, watch the clock and wait for Bubba to come home from work but he won't.  I will, absolutely, be pathetic without him here.  I will get a tiny, little bitty, very small glimpse of what our military families go through for months and sometimes years.  As far as I know, we have decided to have absolutely no communication while he's gone.  I will not get a call, FB message, email message or text the whole time he's gone.  I will get to see pictures of what is going on while they are over there because the church website will be posting updates daily.  When I find the link I'll post it here for you guys to follow along and pray for them accordingly.

Here are the totals for June:

Total Shelf Cost:  $577.11
Coupons:  $320.19
Store Discounts:  $123.47
Rebates:  $14.99

Total Out Of Pocket:  $133.45 for a savings of 77%.

This breaks down to $33.36 a week. 

Year To Date Totals:

Total Shelf Cost:  $3706.99
Coupons:  $1581.81
Store Discounts:  $1286.95

Total Out Of Pocket:  $835.23 for a savings of 78%
I have paid a little over $800 for nearly $4000 worth of groceries!  Unbelievable.  My breath is taken away.  I thank God for the people He placed in my life to point me in the direction of saving money on groceries.  May He shower blessings in your life!

Ladies and gentlemen, if I can do this...YOU can do it!  Start small, just start collecting and clipping coupons and using them.  That is step one!  You can do it, I promise.  :-)

Standing on His Promises, Mrs. Bubba