A place for Maine's Frugalistas to Share Information on Matching Coupons with Upcoming Sales to Maximize Savings to Your Budget. Welcome, Friends ♥

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Ooops, I did it (again)...

...but I am determined to be back in the saddle soon!

Farm life is wonderful, to me. Really, Really. Even taking into account the daily rituals of cleaning several feeding and watering dishes and buckets, mucking various stalls, cleaning critters who often much prefer their originally dirty & stinky state. Even in the rain. Even with the worries of the impending snows of winter. Even with goats who possess a wondrous Houdini-esque ability to defy metal "cow" fencing supplemented with electrified taped ribbons. Even with the Fractured Neck of my Left Humerus bone I managed to sustain corralling my daughter's Quarter Horse, Jasmine, about 10 days ago. Thankfully, I broke my fall with the left side of my face (mostly my forehead and left eye area) and, obviously, my left shoulder and upper arm.

My youngest on Jasmine 2010

This latest injury- remember the torn right Anterior Talofibular Ligament in March sustained in an unprovoked attack from my dear Brother and Sister-In-Law's newly purchased home that I was assisting to paint, followed by totalling my pretty little brand new 2010 Nissan Versa in April which left me with a pinched nerve from a compressed C4/C5 disk in my neck?- has left me with very little ability to type with any amount of comfort physically, and mentally, in no condition to search for sales and compare coupons. In addition, being couch bound, drugged (legally, obviously), vision blurred, dazed and confused creates less than ideal circumstances for any planned shopping for Sonja. I am right handed, but having my left arm strapped across my torso, completely immobilized has been... let's say, inconvenient and uncomfortable (read that: experiencing bouts of extreme pain if I dared to move, followed by periods of dazed stupor). I am not the best patient. And, I cannot give enough thanks to my friends Cherie C. and my sweet niece, Micayla B. for sitting with me for hours, Kami H. for providing my family with a delicious meal, Helen H. for providing food stuffs for our family, and the act of kindness which touched my heart the most was that of Richard B, who taped the part my daughter had at a Christian meeting, which I was physically unable to attend. I am so blessed to have each of you and the many, many others like you in my life.

To add insult to injury... I can't find my coupon binder. I will admit, on days one through seven, I did not care- at all. Day eight? I started to completely freak out! I can deal with being out of work for a couple of weeks, doubling (at least) the time it takes to accomplish any household task, the forced inability to drive myself anywhere (still) or dress myself unaided, or the uselessness of attempting to put a ponytail in my hair one handed... but, this just will not do! I called out the troops, also known as my family to hunt high and low for it. It is nearly neon green; how hard can it be to spot? No success. I try to always look to the good in any situation, but I was hard pressed to find it here! Eventually, (and this is a work in progress) I am attempting to convince myself that most of those coupons probably expired at the end of October. And, that this is an opportunity to revamp my coupon binding sorting system. I still had 4 sets of inserts from the last weekend in October because I had not gotten the time to cut and file them, so they were still living in my desk. And, my kind and understanding friends come to my rescue in this, too. Mrs. Nancy R. brought me at least 6 insert sets from the November 5th paper. And, my most wondrous husband, Sean brought me 5 sets of this weekend's paper. These are all living in a plastic bag on my kitchen table at the time of this posting, but I have hope that more troops will rally to help me to get these sorted and filed properly.

My husband has done some shopping for our family this week. He shopped Rite Aid. All in all, he spent $8.72 to buy one package of Stayfree for free and 6 packs of Trident gum for .31¢ each. He made .50¢ on each of the eight tubes of Colgate toothpaste he purchased. He even found some with bonus packs of Colgate Dry Mouth Solution attached to four boxes of the Colgate. He purchased 2 bags of Candy Corn for .38¢ each and 1 bag of Cotton Candy for .25¢ on the clearance table. Lastly, he found five- 1 gallon buckets (new feed buckets for the goats), a dog brush, a dog travel water dish, and a bag of dog treats in the $1 section aisle, which became .90¢ each because of the 10% off level on our Wellness Card. Today, at Rite Aid, he picked up 6 packages of Orbits gum for free.

Ellie & Pepper in back. Leah & Rachel in front. Jedi on the right.
There are more sales on the horizon and though I may be slower these days, I will start posting again regularly. I have missed blogging and talking with all of you. In closing, I just have to include a picture of my completed goat herd. Miss Ellie (the black LaMancha doe) is pregnant already. We are anticipating the possibility of twins in the Spring and with them, milk for soaps, lotions, and homemade Cheeses! Twin does, Miss Rachel and Miss Leah (both white/tawny in color) and Miss Pepper (the brown doe) will all be attempted to be bred to Master Jedidiah next season. He is a good lad and we are sure he will throw handsome kids for us to sell next year after they are weaned.

Jedi ♥s cardboard boxes.
What has been going on with you all?
Sonja ♥

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Free Samples: John Frieda Full Repair, GoodNites Under Pants,

Get a Free Sample of John Frieda Full Repair HERE.

Sample offer valid through 12/26/11 11:59 PM EST or while supplies last. One sample per person while supplies last. We reserve the right to invalidate multiple entries, substitute items and change and/or cancel promotions at any time. Samples will be fulfiled after 12/26/11 and should take 6-8 weeks to arrive.

Get your Free Sample of GoodNites Underpants from Sam's Club HERE.

I do not have children in pull ups at this stage in my life, but some of my friends do and it comes in handy to have one or two in the cupboard, just in case of an emergency.

I did not see any fine print with this offer, except to expect delivery in 4-6 weeks.

Moderation in all Things

I have been thinking about the changes I have made to my life this year; some of them are more personal than others, of course. But, among them are the writing of this blog, the choice to save money using coupons, and the decision to be proactive and creative about helping my husband to provide for our family's needs without me working full time. As I sit here this morning, waiting for the sun to come up to signal its time for me to trek out into the cold to care for my livestock, I have been comparing how much has changed from when I first began couponing for my family in March (of this year) and now. I actually laughed aloud and shook my head at myself, remembering the drive to get to the stores first on Sunday morning, just when they opened their doors, for fear that the stock on the shelves would be gone were I to wait. Sitting up with my husband late into the night; clipping coupons, comparing multiple couponing sites for deals, cross referencing sales, and cursing the corporate gods who dropped regional coupons that I didn't get! Oh, the sales others were having! The slightly lower prices at Targets, Walmarts, Harris Teeters, and Piggly Wigglys in the South, or the Midwest or wherever they were, tortured me. And, those people had stores that doubled coupons, matched sale prices, and had Customer loyalty card which could be loaded with online coupons at the click of a button. I considered moving. There was clearly nothing else to do.  "Why????" I cried out! Okay, I am possibly exaggerating my response just a little, but perhaps you have been there: watching those perfectly coiffed wives and mothers (men, of course, too), marching into their stores with binder in hand and walk out with 4-8 shopping carts worth of food for less than $20. I wanted to be one of them, didn't I?

Here's the thing: I am thankful that I came across Extreme Couponing on TLC. Without that, I would be shopping the old way, spending way too much and getting way to little. But, in my zeal to stop paying with my money, I started to pay with my time. Then, I had a bad fall and injured my ankle...totalled my car in a dispute with a highway guard rail (It had the stronger argument.)... and needed to take some time to heal mentally and physically. I felt horribly guilty the two months I stopped writing and chasing sales. I was convinced that I was letting down the few readers I had and that my family was quite possibly going to starve if I didn't run to the store and purchase 20 jars of Ragu at 7 am. Reality check needed! I reevaluated my goals and the guilt stopped.

Fast forward to today. Literally, it is Wednesday morning, I have not shopped any store sale yet. I have spent about 2 hours last week planning and deciding which sale items I wanted to purchase and collecting the necessary coupons. I do have my list printed. But, since I now order my stock ahead when I anticipate needing more than I am sure the store will have in stock, I no longer scramble. I know the truck will come in Thursday for Rite Aid, Shaws and Walgreens and any items I ordered will be on it and waiting for me. This week, I did not need to preorder any stock, since I am only planning on buying a couple of each item. If the items are gone when it is convenient in my schedule to shop, then I will get a rain check. No more racing other shoppers. No longer at the mercy of someone else's schedule to shop or scrambling on Saturday mornings to collect as many coupon inserts as I can get my hands on. I have reached my Balance Point.

I do have a small 3 tiered shelving unit in the basement which holds toiletry stock and some dry food stock, but I do not intend to line my basement walls with shelving units, buy under bed totes to store excess inventory, or have enough stock to open my own grocery store. I am not going to have a maze of products stacked floor to ceiling in my office space, living room, children's bed rooms, or garage. That is fine for those who do. Their choice, their way of living. I have a good supply, what I consider a reasonable supply for me. Others may feel I should stock pile more. But, saving my family money at the expense of my living space, time, or sanity is not healthy or productive for me. And, I think I may get some raised eyebrows at this, but I am meaning no disrespect or offense to anyone who chooses to stock more than I choose to. I am simply saying that for me, couponing has been a way to lower my family's expenses. I do not need to stock 20 tubes of toothpaste, even if I plan to give away some of them to others. I do not need to take advantage of every sale item that comes along. That balance is needed. Too much of anything can be detrimental.

That completes this mornings thoughts. I am sure more will follow...

Warm Regards,
Sonja ♥

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Rainy Day Give Away Contest Winner ♥

An email has been sent to notify the winner! Congratulations, Shari!!!
Thanks for playing and keep watch for other give aways and contests in the coming months.

Sonja  ♥