Great Shopping Deals

I know I said a few posts back that I would chronicle my recent epic shopping trip because I got some great deals by combining some coupons with sales.  Then I never got around to it.  I have since had some more successful shopping trips, so here is the quick and dirty on some of the awesome savings I have been able to accomplish of late. 

 
At Price Chopper:

 
  • 2 free Oscar Mayer Deli Creations (they were on sale for 99 cents and I had two $1 off coupons)
  • 1 free box of Ronzoni Garden Delights pasta (was on sale for 99 cents with $1 off coupon)
  • Borden Singles Pepper Jack cheese for 89 cents ($1.89 on sale with $1 off coupon)
  • Farmland Hot Dogs for 13 cents (sale for 68 cents with 55 cents off coupon)

 
At HyVee:

 
  • Raspberries for $1.13 (sale for 1.68 with 55 cents off coupon)

 
At Target:

 
  • 1 Nivea Men's Body Wash for 4 cents (cost $3.04, had a $1 off Target coupon and a $2 off coupon)
  • 2 full size bottles and 2 half size bottles of Gillette Men's Body Wash  for 99 cents ($3.99 for each 2 pack with a B1G1 free coupon, a $2 off coupon, and a $1 off target coupon)
  • 2 Venus razors and 1 Gillette shave gel for 98 cents (bought 2 at $4.99 and used two $2 off coupons, a B1 Venus razor G1 free shave gel coupon, and got a $5 Target gift card for the purchase).
  • 1 box of Nexcare Strawberry Shortcake band aids for 31 cents ($1.86 with Target coupon for $1 off and a coupon for 55 cents off)
  •  Free bottle of KC Masterpiece BBQ sauce (sale for 99 cents with a $1 off coupon)
  • 1 bottle of Sweet Baby Ray's BBQ sauce for 25 cents (sale for $1.25 with $1 off coupon)
  • 2 boxes of Hefty One-Zip bags (22 count) for $1.08 (cost $2.04 each, had 2 Target coupons for $1 off and one coupon for $1 when you buy 2)
  • 2 Gillette Fusion ProGlide razors for $6.78 (cost $9.89 each and I had 2 $4 off coupons and got a $5 Target gift card for the purchase of 2)
  • 2 Travel size Degree deodorants for free (cost was under $1 and I had $1 off coupons)
  • 2 bottles of Similac formula for 50 cents each (cost is about $5.50 and I had two $5 Similac checks)
  • I have gotten some other good deals on Nivea Men's Aftershave lotion, Pampers Diapers, Gerber baby food, among other things but I can't remember the specifics. 
At CVS:

  • 2 Schick Hydro razors for $1.38 (cost $8.99 with B1G1 free sale, used two $4 off coupons)
  • 2 bottles of Wisk detergent for $3.21 (cost 8.99 each with B1G1 free sale and two $2 off coupons, plus I used $2 in ECBs).
  • 1 box of Finish dish washing tabs 20 count for $1.99 (sale for $2.99 and I had $1 off coupon)
  • 1 bag of Hershey's Bliss chocolate for free (cost $5.99--I had $1 off coupon and paid $4.99 but got $5.99 in ECBs for use on any other CVS purchase)
  • 1 box of Rephresh Tampons for free (cost $6.79, used $1 off coupon and paid $5.79 but got $6.79 in ECBs for use on any other CVS purchase)
  • 2 bottles of Pantene Shampoo for $2 and 2 Pantene Conditioners for $2 (on different weeks, took advantage of the 2 for $6.97 sale and used $3 off purchase of 2 coupon, then got $2 ECBs on the purchase)
Those are the most notable things I can think of that the moment.  I am finding a lot of success in getting normally expensive items like shampoo and razors for next to nothing but it takes some diligence and planning.

Unpleasant Afternoon Surprise

Most days of the week, I work 8am to 5pm and yesterday was one such day.  I usually like to take my lunch from 1 to 2, and that's what I did yesterday.  When I came back from lunch, I parked my car in a spot next to the sidewalk that runs on the north side of our building, amongst the other staff.  At about 5 o'clock, one of my coworkers came in from outside to tell me that someone had stolen my license plates.  What?!! Ugh!

Yes, in broad daylight, in the middle of a parking lot that sees a fair amount of traffic, someone took both my front and rear license plates and the screws that bolted them onto my car.  They left my Missouri Tigers license plate holder on the ground behind my car, so I can only assume the thieves were Kansas Jayhawk fans, which only increases my ire towards them.  Luckily there was nothing else missing and no damage to my car. 

So, instead of heading to daycare to get Eva and head home for the night, I spent an hour waiting for the police to come to my work to take the report.  I had planned on going for a run last night, but I couldn't help but feel out of sorts and a bit paranoid since becoming the victim of a crime.  Of course, no physical harm was inflicted and Kyle pointed out that it is highly unlikely that I was specifically targeted--someone just simply needed some plates and decided to take mine.  Nonetheless, I decided that after getting Eva off to bed and dinner cleaned up, I would relax and do nothing.

This morning I went down to the DMV and got new plates.  I bought some anti-theft license plate screws too--I figured the next criminal might think twice about taking my plates if they are going to have to work very hard to get them. 

I emailed the district manager to find out if we could pull security footage of the parking lot from yesterday to try to figure out when this happened and identify who did it only to find out that the outdoor security camera runs from 10pm to 10am only and the tree that's in front of it is partially blocking the camera's view of the lot.  Good to know.  Glad we have that there. Ha! (Apparently both of these issues are going to be rectified by the way). 

So, now I have new plates and an even more intense distrust of anyone I don't know.  What a hassle!!

Father's Day Weekend

We had a really nice Father's Day weekend around our house.  I asked Kyle if it was the best Father's Day he'd ever had and he said yes, so I call it SUCCESS!

On Friday night, we went out to eat at the mexican place down the street.  We loaded Eva up in her stroller and walked down, and sat out on the patio for our meal.  When we got home, we put Eva to bed and played Rock Band for a while.  We hadn't played in a while, but it was loads of fun.  I also finished the Tina Fey book before bed.

Saturday morning, I actually had to run up to work to let everyone in.  The power had gone out during a bad storm overnight, so the security system wasn't reading anyone's keycard.  I got the call around 8am and ran up there, let everyone in, figured out the power and computer situation, then headed home around 9.  Kyle and Eva were up when I got back so we had breakfast and walked down to the local farmer's market to get a couple of things.  Later, Kyle went to hit some golf balls at the driving range while Eva and I went to Price Chopper to get some groceries. 

Then we took Eva to the pool for her first swim.  The water was kind of cool, so she didn't want to get in too deep, but she seemed to really enjoy kicking and splashing in the water and watching the other kids play.  She took about an hour nap, first on me, then on my lounge chair next to me in the middle of our pool visit.  But when she awoke, she was ready for more splashing.

After showering, we went to a Corks and Canvas wine and art walk in our little downtown area (we live in a suburb of Kansas City and our small downtown area is trying to revitalize).  While it was a nice little excursion with some interesting art to look at, Kyle and I decided they needed more "cork" than what was available and we both wished there was some food vendors.  We stayed for about 30 minutes and then went home to grill some brats for supper and relax.

Sunday morning, Eva presented Kyle with the card I made for him on her behalf using an online stationary site called Tiny Prints .  It featured a cute little Father's Day poem and 3 of Eva's most recent photos.  I made Kyle some eggs and bacon for breakfast and he went to golf 9 holes while Eva stayed home with me and napped.  When he got back, I went for a very hot and humid 5.5 mile run.  It was a good run, but I had to walk a bit of the last mile due to the heat.  I should have gone earlier in the day, but I enjoyed our semi-lazy morning so the run got done when it got done. 

In the afternoon, we went down the Country Club Plaza to Blanc Burgers + Bottles and shared a delicious pepper crusted burger and black truffle fries.  SO GOOD!!!  Then we went home, called our Dads, and relaxed for the rest of the night.

Kyle wants a smoker for his Father's Day gift.  Unfortunately, we don't have the cash flow for that at the moment, so he is patiently waiting a month or so until we can afford to buy one.  I know he can't wait to get some ribs and brisket going on it!

So that was my busy but fun weekend.  I think this weekend we'll focus on some projects around the house that we have been putting off and I hope to get a couple more runs of 5 miles or more in as well.  We'll see!!

A Blog I Wrote For Work

I am a librarian, so I sometimes write blogs for our library branch's web site.  I don't think anyone outside of the library system reads these, but that's mostly because this is kind of a new thing for us.  We as a library haven't truly established ourselves online the way some other systems have, but we are working on it. 

I wrote this particular blog to promote our Summer Reading Program and couldn't miss the opportunity to show off my daughter!  I had hoped that the blog would be cute enough to get picked up on the library's main home page, but alas, it did not. 

Nonetheless, here it is for your enjoyment!

Eva's Blog

Sporadic Posting

To the few of you that do read my blog, I apologize for the sporadic posting.  Blogging is not a habit for me yet, and I often find that when I have free time, I am not thinking about sitting down to write a blog.  I am even behind on reading the blogs I subscribe to.

I do have all kinds of blog ideas though.  I usually think of them when I am running or when I go to bed at night or when I am in the shower--all times that I can't whip out the computer to write an entry.

So, since it has been a while since my last post, you get to read another blog entry that gives a basic rundown of what's going on in my life at the moment, as opposed to an entry focused on one particular topic. 

1) I am currently reading Bossypants by Tina Fey and it is hilarious!  If you like the show 30 Rock, then you like Tina Fey's humor and you will definitely like this book.  It is a biography that gives a general overview on Tina's life and how she got into comedy writing and acting as well as some general thoughts on women and how they are viewed by themselves and others in today's day and age.  Just about all of it is conveyed with humor though, and I usually end up laughing out loud, sometimes with tears rolling down my cheeks when something strikes me particularly funny.  Tina Fey is not one to take herself too seriously.

2) I have been doing some very smart couponing of late and have had a couple of great shopping trips I'd like to share with you in a separate entry.  I am focusing my efforts on toiletry type items that tend to be very expensive like shampoo, conditioner, body wash, and razors, but am keeping my eyes open for food deals as well.  Kyle and I tend to spend most of our grocery money on fresh produce, meat, and dairy products, so there is little use for many of the food coupons I get in the Sunday inserts most of the time.  Seems like many of the food coupons are for boxed or frozen meals, and other highly processed foods and those are all things we are trying to keep to a minimum in our household. 

3) I didn't run at all last week.  I didn't work out at all actually.  I just chose not to devote any time to exercise last week so I look at it as an exercise vacation.  I got back in the saddle on Sunday morning with the 30 Day Shred workout video (which my arms are still sore from--Thanks Jillian!) and then I ran a pretty fast 3 miles on Monday night.  I didn't get my timer started until about 3 minutes into the run, but the part of the run that I did record on the Garmin showed I was running sub-10 minute miles.  9:54 and 9:50 I believe.  I felt pretty good at that pace, though I could tell I was running a bit faster than an easy pace.  If I had been running father than 3 miles that night, I think I would have slowed down a bit and probably been putting out 10 minute, 15 second miles.   It also helped that the night was cool and the humidity wasn't stifling.  I took yesterday as a rest day and plan to  hit the pavement again tonight after Eva goes to bed.  I am thinking a 3 or 4 miler, depending upon how late I get started.  I like to get back home before it gets completely dark. 

4) Kyle got a new job!  He will start in July doing essentially the same work he does now but for a different company.  He will make a little bit more money but the main reason for the job change is the potential for bonuses, raises, and promotions.  His current position has been frozen in limbo with no real opportunity for any of those things for about 3 years now.  It was definitely time for a change and I think he is excited.

5) Eva is doing well.  She is taking to solids a lot better now and I am down to nursing just about 3 or 4 times a day.  Usually once around 5 am and again at 7am (right before she goes to daycare).  I don't pump at all at work, so I usually nurse her again around 6pm and then I try to top her off before bed at 8.  My milk production has really been reduced though, so I know she isn't getting much milk at the 7am and 8pm feedings-- I am thinking about dropping both of those nursing sessions and just giving her a formula bottle at 8pm before bed.  She is having solids at breakfast, lunch, and dinner now with a snack in the afternoons and about 3 bottles over the course of the day while at daycare.  I do nurse her more often on the weekends, since we are together during that time.  I wonder if I should taper those feedings off as well? 

That's the short and sweet of it.  I'll try to get some pix up and my entry about my coupon shopping up soon.

MIA

I know I have been MIA for a little while.  My little sister got married in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains in Virginia this past weekend, so I spent the last week or so making lists, doing last minute shopping, and mentally psyching myself up for taking Eva on her first long distance trip which included her first ever plane ride. 


Eva in Daddy's lap on the plane

She did great on the plane, the wedding was beautiful, and we had a nice time visiting with family and spending time in such a beautiful place. 


Our cabin


My father walking my sister "down the aisle."


The ceremony in the wedding field.  It was gorgeous!

Kyle and I at the reception.
Eva and I at the reception.
We got home on Sunday evening, so we decided to just cook out some burgers and brats in our backyard for our Memorial Day celebration.  We have a kiddie pool that we've had for years now (I bought it originally thinking our dog Napoleon would like it but surprise! He doesn't like to swim).  So, we pulled out the pool, put some water in and got Eva all dolled up in her swimsuit and hat for some playtime in the water.  She loved it!





Now we are back to the daily grind.

I didn't get to do any running while away, but I did spend a lot of time hiking around the grounds of the resort farm (Montfair) where we stayed and where the wedding was held.



Monday morning, I did a 4-miler with the jogging stroller and last night I went on a quick 3-miler after Eva went to bed.  I was planning on doing some interval training tonight after Eva goes to sleep but I think we have some rain and thunderstorms moving in, so it will either be a rest day or a Zumba workout for me later on.

So that's the haps with me.  I plan to update more often now that I have this big event under my belt.