My Blog

My blog has morphed over the years into different things. It is a place to learn about saving money, product reviews, cooking, gardening, and homesteading. It can take you to whatever has my attention at the moment and then back to the day to day. I hope you will learn something here and come back often.

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Grocery Saving Part 2

We are trying to answer the question, "Can you still save money on groceries?".  The answer is YES!

I went to Kroger this week with a very short list of things to get.  I'm usually not  a list maker but I have learned that making a grocery list helps reduce excess spending and when I get home I'm not kicking myself because of what I forgot to buy.  So, make a list of the things you need.

Next, learn which day your local grocer has the most marked down items.  I know that there are two days when my local Kroger has big markdowns.  I have narrowed down the best time to get there so they have had an opportunity to mark the sale items but it's not so late that they have been too picked over.  So, I breeze through the fruits and veggies and quickly pick out what I need.  I then head to where they mark down the cheeses, then the meats, and on to the canned goods.

The picture shows just a few things that I got marked down.  Overall, I saved over 40% off of my grocery bill by buying markdowns.  Be sure to only buy things that you normally eat buy anyway.  Don't buy something just because it's marked down.  Also, be sure to check expiration dates.  If it's coming up soon, is it something you can take home and freeze until you are ready to use it?

Once you are used to looking, you may be surprised at what you can find marked down!

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Grocery Savings?

Is there any such thing as grocery savings anymore?  I originally started this blog because so many people asked me to help them save money using coupons.  After all, I was saving anywhere from 50-65% off my grocery bill each month.  I loved the days that I could walk into a store and save 90% off my purchases!  Where have those days gone?  Will they ever come back??  I don't think so.... :(

I believe the glory days of couponing are behind us, thanks to a popular tv show that I will not name, but it has to do with using coupons in an "extreme" way. Once this show gained popularity, the stores quickly began to change their rules regarding coupons and the manufacturers began changing the coupons.  We no longer have stores that double or triple the coupon values and the value of the coupons themselves have come down.  That's not to say that you can't ever find a good deal!  I'm just saying they are fewer are far between now.  So much so, that I do not even get the paper anymore.  The coupons no longer make it worthwhile.

So, can you save money?  Yes! As time permits, I'm going to do a small series blogs on how we save money on groceries and other things.  I know that our way of life is not for everyone but I'm hoping someone can glean a little help from it.

The first thing you need to do is evaluate your time and the foods you, or your family, eat.  Do you have time to cook meals from scratch?  Would you be better served with meals that require just a little effort? Or, do you need meals that you just heat and eat?  If you can carve out a little time to cook, you will save a lot of money.  After all, 1 bag of dry beans and a stack of flour tortillas are going to cost about $3 but if you buy that frozen pack of burritos you are looking at $8+.  That's a savings of $5!  Plus, odds are, you can make more than one meal out of that bag of beans and tortillas (depending on the size and appetite of your family).

Let's stop there for today.  Give yourself a few minutes to sit down and really evaluate your time.  Can you make time for the kitchen?  If so, how much time?  Maybe it's only 1 meal this week from scratch but that's a start.  You will save money and eat healthier food if you make it yourself.  There is also a lot of personal satisfaction in a job well done.

Sunday, August 17, 2014

#Cartwheel #Coupons

Want to save a little back-to-school money?!

Get 10% off HERE

This offer is only good until the end of August so check it out now!

Friday, April 25, 2014

So Easy, Even Your Husband Can Do It!

Laundry is one of those chores that fall solely on me.  My husband is a super smart guy but a bewildered look crosses his face when I even mention the idea of him putting on a load of laundry.  But now, I have the solution!  Purex NO SORT!

Now, Purex No Sort is not a miracle worker.  If you have new, brightly colored clothes you do not want to put them in with your whites but once they have been washed a few times separately you should not have the bad color bleeding accidents like before.  Purex No Sort has a dye transfer inhibitor that traps dyes so they will not settle on other fabrics.

Purex brand sent me a free sample to try out so here is the before pics:

I added a little red, blue, green, yellow, light gray, etc to this load.  Normally, I would not wash these together.  And, this is what I got: 

No bleeding stains at all!  I like the idea of no more sorting!  I do believe my husband and kids can do this!!

I have a couple of free coupons to give away if you would like to let your husband try laundry duty!  Email me at  3 winners will be drawn.

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Mom's Night Out ~ The Movie

I LOVE being a Mom!  I have 2 wonderful boys that are truly the light(s) of my life.  I don't think anyone would ever say that being a Mom is easy though.  The only thing I know that is harder is being a Homeschool Mom!

You see, Homeschool Moms do not get breaks.  We don't have a commute to work where we can choose to listen to the radio or enjoy the peace and quiet for a few minutes.  We don't get a lunch break where someone else cooks the food and places it on the table in front of us and we certainly don't get sick days!!

I know that being a working Mom is not easy either.  I have been there too and I know the difficulties and the sacrifices that must be made so please don't feel like I'm belittling what you do.

                The bottom line is BEING A MOM IS HARD and sometimes we need a break!! 

That's why I am super excited to offer you the chance to win a night out for you and four of your friends to see MOM'S NIGHT OUT. Just click here to register.

I was actually invited to a screening of this movie and I can tell you, It Is GREAT!  I can't wait for it to come out on Mother's Day weekend so I can take my family and friends.  You can see a sneak peak of it here

Monday, March 17, 2014

Garden Hands

I am so excited that it seems that Spring is finally trying to get here.  We had a couple of 70 degree days last week that only intensified my longing to get in the garden.  I was able to get my hands in the dirt for a few minutes before another storm front moved in bringing cold air with it.  I must admit, I was not ashamed of the dirt under my fingernails.  In fact, I admired it! lol  I looked at it knowing that the time for "Garden Hands" is just around the corner.

Lucky for me, Dial provided me with a sample of Dial Deep Cleaning Hand Soap for me to review just at the right time! I decided this would be a great time to put it to the test!

I was immediately pleased with the scent (Yellow Raspberry & Black Sugar) but then I noticed the micro-scrubbers that were in it.  It really helped get the dirt off and exfoliate my skin in the process.  I see why they call it a Deep Cleansing Hand Soap!

I am going to give you an opportunity to try this premium soap for yourself, by the way, it's a great family soap too so share with your kiddos!  Instead of a random drawing this time, I am going to give a coupon to the first three people to email me at with the subject line Garden Hands!

Sunday, March 9, 2014

Blind Worship

Today, at church, I had the honor of sitting beside a sweet young teen that happens to be blind.  I listened to her angelic voice as she was singing "Jesus, Jesus".  Tears came to my eyes as I thought of how God's heart had to be touched as she sang His name. 

I pondered this a few minutes when a thought struck me.  God is just as touched when I sing His name.  To Him, I am blind to so many things but my eyes do see.  I am mute at times when I should speak for Him.  I am sometimes deaf to the things that He wants me to hear.  I am no different than this beautiful girl beside me in God's eyes.

Now, this is not to diminish this young lady in any way.  I do still believe that she touches the very heart of God.  But I also see that we each touch His heart when we take the time to worship Him.  Have you taken the time to worship Him today?  Put aside your laundry list of things that you need for just a few minutes and take time to worship.  He is worthy!

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Paleo ~ The Cure To What Ails Me?

Can a change in what you eat really change your body?...and I'm not talking about weight here!

My on-again, off-again relationship with the Paleo Lifestyle has taught me a lot.  I have learned that life without dairy, grains, legumes, and sugar IS possible.  It's not only possible, but it's pretty easy.  I don't have to worry about counting calories or fat grams.  I don't have to worry about what foods I should eat together and what foods I need to eat by themselves.  I don't have to worry about the hundreds of other "rules" of dieting that we have accepted over the years.  I just eat real food.  I eat meat.  I eat vegetables.  I eat fruit. Simple!

Now, for some personal info.  I am in my early 40's.  I am in the early stages of menopause.  I've been through the peri-menopause and already hit menopause.  Yes, I said early 40's.  The real downside to it is hot flashes.  You really cannot explain them to someone that hasn't experienced them.  The best way I can describe it to you is imagine someone lit a blowtorch inside your body and all of the heat was trying to escape through your skin from the inside out.  It comes without warning and leaves you drenched in sweat. There is no quick relief and the effects make you angry.  I told my husband one day to leave me alone because I was having a hot flash.  He thought it was funny and decided to hug me.  Wrong thing to do! There is an inexplicable anger at anything and anyone while your body is melting on the inside!

The next thing you need to know is that I have had problems with me feet since I was a young child.  I have had to wear braces on my legs and feet, had fractures in weird places on my feet, and multiple surgeries on my feet.  I have had bone removed and the Achilles tendon lengthened on both feet/legs.  Each of those surgeries took over a year to heal completely.  I have recently started having extreme pain in my foot again so I went back to the doctor.  He told me that there is a lot of scar tissue in the tendons and there are several treatments.  Option 1 is injecting my own blood into the area so it creates scar tissue.  This will have to be done three separate times and each time I will be in a cast for 6 weeks.  There is no guarantee this will work. Option 2 is completely cut the tendons! That does not sound like fun to me!

Why do you need to know this, you ask?  So you can understand my experience with Paleo.  You see, after a couple of weeks of eating this way I noticed that my hot flashes were gone.  Not decreased.  GONE!  I also noticed that the constant pain in my foot was not there.  Interesting.  The next thing I know, the holidays are here and I feel like I "deserve" to eat what everyone else is eating.  In a way, I guess I did deserve it.  I deserved the consequences!  I was off Paleo for about 6 weeks.  During that 6 weeks the hot flashes returned with a vengeance and the pain in my foot returned.

Now, I am back to the Paleo lifestyle.  The hot flashes are gone again and my foot pain is decreasing daily.  My energy is returning and I feel good.  I don't know how Paleo will affect you.  Maybe it won't but I know that it is better for my body.  I hope to lose weight but if I don't, it's ok.  My body is healthier.  I can feel it.

If you decide to try it, let me know how it works for you.  I would be interested in knowing if your aches and pains lessen or go away completely.

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

To Paleo or Not Paleo, That IS the Question

I AM one of those people.  I have tried every diet on the market.  You name it, I have done it.  Obviously without success! lol

Weight issues are really annoying to me because we really don't eat that bad.  You can come into my home on any given day and you will not find ice cream, chips, or cokes.  There are no cookies or cakes hidden away.  We eat a pretty healthy diet so why don't we lose weight?  I think there are many answers to that question but this blog is about Paleo so that's where I will go.

I have several friends that lead a Paleo lifestyle.  I will admit...I was skeptical about it when I began to read up on it.  I mean, how can you survive without grains, beans, sugar, and dairy?  What is left?  Well, I will tell you what's left.  REAL FOOD.  Meat, vegetables, fruit, and healthy fats.

I decided to put Paleo to the test last October.  I decided I would follow all of the rules, strictly, for one month and then decide from there.  I was excited the first week.  I lost about 6 lbs and was beginning to come out of the sugar and carb withdrawals. The second week was much easier but I did not lose any weight.  By the third week, I had energy that I hadn't seen for a while and I had no desire to eat any of the things that I was not supposed to but I still didn't lose any weight.  I think my body was confused! When the fourth week rolled around I felt better than I had in a long time and the number on the scale began to move.  By the end of my little experiment I lost 12 lbs but for the first time in my life, that was not the most important thing.  The best part was how great I felt!

You would think that I would stick with it since I was feeling so good and losing weight BUT the old excuses came back.  I made it through Thanksgiving without much trouble but by the time Christmas rolled around I was ready for a break.  I thought it would be ok to eat our traditional Christmas foods and then get right back on plan but I forgot about the leftovers. And then, my body had a taste of sugar and carbs again so it was screaming for more!  It took me 3 weeks to get my mind made up that it was back to Paleo and this time, I'm taking the whole family with me!

The family agreed that they would join me in this new lifestyle.  It has been an adjustment in the way we think but overall, it's been an easy transition.  It has been hard this past week because I have been sick so there has been very little home cooked meals and, lets face it, you can't eat healthy on fast food.  I am on the mend now and I'm looking forward to preparing our meals again.

I think this is something we can do.  I hope it is.  I'll keep you posted. :)

Monday, January 27, 2014

Fitness Tracker

Did you make a New Year's resolution to lose weight or exercise more?  With this sweepstakes, you could win a Fitness Tracker and a year's supply of Purex!

Enter HERE