From The Mud Puddle

Monday, March 30, 2009

Caffeinate Cleverly Lattes Don't Have to Break the Bank: We wouldn't dream
of asking you to quit cold turkey, but weaning off Starbucks could save you
money. A 20-ounce latte from Dunkin' Donuts runs $3.29; at Starbucks, the
same-size drink sets you back $3.65. Plus, at Dunkin' Donuts you don't have to
say "venti" when you want a large.

Kiplinger's March 2009 Issue

I am not a coffee drinker, but I do love a Venti Hot Chocolate with extra whip for a treat now and again from Starbucks. I found this clip in their March issue made me smile. A rose by any other name is still a rose. (in other words, call it a large or a venti-it's still the same amount of drink, Yes?) My hot chocolate obsession/issues/addiction?! is not a regular enough thing to matter-especially with spring here and summer close on it's tail. Speak to me about this again in November or December when all the cute Christmas Cups are out again.

Oh and BTW, this was a magazine that I found at CVS for $1 in a buggy full of month old magazines as they new ones were brought in. Nice to find a Personal Finance Magazine for a discount . That too made me smile...saving money getting tips on saving money. :)

Pinching Pennies
Kind of a recap of this post -but with a little more information after the fact. I continue to go and see tremendous savings there.

Friday, March 20, 2009

It's been a couple of challenging weeks here at my house...some of which may or may not eventually make it into my blog...
For now a post of two of my more recent columns...
A Rare Treasured Snow Day
Campbell's Chicken Noodle-No Longer a Hit

Sunday, March 08, 2009

Sometime last year I first heard about "CVSing". The first mention was on a blog somewhere that I stumbled upon. The author of the blog was talking about how she wasn't going to CVS anymore. The whole thing was starting to drive her crazy.

I had no idea exactly what she meant. I kept stumbling upon various posts on various blogs though that discussed what CVSing was and how consumers were able to get many products for pennies on the dollar if not totally free. I know I had received coupons in the past which said $2 dollars off $10 or more or $3 off $20, but I had not seen any like these bloggers were speaking of.

Interest was peeked somewhat. Most of our purchases are done at Wal-Mart. It's quick, easy and inexpensive. Rarely have I run across any other prices to come close to what Wal-Mart charges, so I just tucked back information here and there.

A new CVS was built close to us on our main pathways through town a few months ago. Once again I thought back to what I had read on blogs. With a CVS so close now, perhaps it was a good time to give it all a try. I could play with it some and see if it really did make a difference.

About the time I decided to play with this, my son had to have some oral surgery. They gave us a prescription for pain meds. On a recent visit to CVS, as I scanned my CVS card, I was given a coupon that was good for a $25 Gift Card with a new or transfered prescription. That $25 became my "Play money", money not out of our regular budget for me to use to see if I could get this CVS thing to work for me as it appeared to be working for others.

With the $25 Gift Card, I bought can Coke drinks that they had a special offer on. If I bought $20's worth of Coke Cans (at the sale price of $3.50 each) I could get $10 back in ECB or Extra Care Bucks. My husband would get his drinks for the next week. Everyone would be happy.

This left me with $2.58 on my gift card and the $10 ECBs that I could use on my next purchase.

>My next visit to CVS a few days later found me picking up some deodorant (2), a box of carnation, some reece cups and some valentine candy hearts that Bayley likes for treats. I also bought two things of toothpaste that we use that was on sale that I had coupons for. I used the remainder of my GC and the $10 ECBs leaving me only $11 and some change out of pocket (oop). I also received an ECB coupon for 4.99 off my next purchase and one for $2 off my next purchase.

Today I went again as the new sales were posted. I did four transactions to maximize the savings.

The first transaction I bought three boxes of lucky charms for $10. I also had a coupon that was in today's paper for $1.00 off. I used the leftover ECBs from last week that totaled $6.99 off my order. I paid $2.01 oop on this transaction. I received $5.00 in ECB's to roll into my next transaction.

In the second transaction I bought four 12 packs of coke products. Three packs were diet dr pepper, the other was a caffine free diet coke one. The deal was to buy 4 for $13.00. I used the $5 ECB off of this transaction that I received in the first. My oop was $8.54 for the 4 -12 pks . I also received $3 in ECBs to use on my third transaction.

In the third transaction I bought Palmolive dish soap. I bought two of them for $1.49 each. I used the $3.00 in ECBs to pay for the dish soap, which was adjusted down to $2.98. My oop was nothing on this transaction. I received $2.00 in ECBs to roll over in the last transaction.

My fourth transaction bought a tube of Crest Pro Whitening Toothpaste for $2.99. I had a .50 cent off coupon and the $2 in ECBs from the previous transaction to pay for the toothpaste. My oop was .56 cents. I walked away from the store with another $2 in ECBs to use next time I need to go to CVS.

The cashier at my store was nice and patient, totally understanding what I needed to do. He did not make me feel weird or cheap for breaking this all down like I did. I was happy as I walked out of the store with what I had purchased knowing that everything I just bought were things my family will use.

If I had more Manufacturer coupons I probably could lower my oop even more, but for now I am satisfied with the savings until another day when I can go and try my hand at CVSing again.

Last week, as I ran errands in Greensboro, one of the bigger towns near me, I also tried my hand at Walgreen's specials. That trip was successful too-but likewise is a whole other story.

Saturday, March 07, 2009

MSM gave me the Kreative Blogger Award so that I could list 7 things I love.

  1. Jesus: There is nothing or anyone I could list without first mentioning Him. Grace.
  2. My husband, Jay.
  3. My children, Hannah and Christopher
  4. Bayley, our dog
  5. Photographs-snapshots of our memories.
  6. Words
  7. Our Country-the USA....It is disturbing to watch how what was founded "In God We Trust" do a 180 into such a godless, mean, hateful, greedy society falling ever so quickly into a nation I do not recognize anymore. While this is not our home, our time on Earth has purpose and meaning and I pray that God's will be done on Earth as it is in Heaven.

I'm not going to tag anyone right now. If you see this and want to do it-leave your blog link in the comments to let me know. Thanks MSM for the nod...

Friday, March 06, 2009

Wednesday, March 04, 2009

Soundtrack of Our Lives

Monday, March 02, 2009

It started snowing here in my part of NC late in the day Sunday....after a day and a half of very cold temps and a very cold rain.

Bayley's first inclination is to eat the snow. Ever since he was a tiny pup, he has loved to shove his face in the cold white powder and begin to graze. He loves cold food; ice, icicles, etc-so it's no surprise that he loves snow.

My son and I went outside with Bayley for a little while. It was a very wet, cold snow at first.

When we got cold, we told Bayley it was time to come back inside. He was not done with the all you can eat snow buffet that now graced our yard. The look he gave me when I informed him it was time to come inside says it all.

As homeschoolers, we've never officially had a snow day-until today. (What's the point when you are already home and at school-right? LOL) Oh sure they got to play in it those few times we've seen snow.....but they still got to work on their studies while they warmed up.
We had a relaxing morning before going outside ....allowing the kids to enjoy their first real snow holiday. (My son, a junior this year in our homeschool was allowed a day off as well-a first in the many years our homeschool has been in existence!)

It was fun walking around in the yard and up the road to take various photos.

My daughter, Hannah, enjoying her snowday! (son is behind her in the picture)

Both my son, Christopher and daughter, Hannah posing for mom for a snow day photo!

Bayley once again was grazing in the front yard eating all he could. Eating snow makes you shiver.

Eating snow also makes you quite adorable as the flakes stick to your fur.

My son, Christopher enjoying his snowday!

Bayley continued to eat more snow-and continued to shiver. I walked up to the front porch to let him in , yet he did not want to go inside yet. He was having too much fun....even though he was freezing.

My daughter, Hannah ran inside to get his red sweater. I put it on him. He still seemed cold, but at least was not shaking quite as much.

Bayley warmed up to the idea of continuing to eat more snow.

My kids have long had a snowball rivalry. It's been many years since we have had this much snow (we got 5"), so they have not had a good chance to fight it out in a long while. My son has been waiting for all these years for the chance to "cream" his sister with a snowball as she did to him for many years.

They tossed a few back and forth....mainly just enjoying throwing the cold round balls of snow...but I never got a full report of the result.

Bayley and I walked around the house, trying our best to get out of the way of the flying snow.

Soon, he walked up the porch-ready to go inside. He finally had ate his fill and was tired of being outside.

The day continued mostly inside, taking a nice long nap with my husband while the kids did their own thing...Ordering some pizza...watching some TV. All in all it was a day to remember and to praise God for. Snow doesnt come nearly as often to these parts as we'd prefer, but we enjoy it whenever it does decide to brighten our part of the world...fluffy flake by fluffy flake.